One of my colleagues asked me to read this book along with him to help him prepare a presentation for his religions and sociology course, and I wanted to like it, for his sake and my own, but I was hands-down the absolute worst audience for this book. This is a volume for someone who’s coming in with no prior knowledge, or knows a little bit about a lot of different religions. I unfortunately know an iceberg’s worth of information on my own religion, and about a thimbleful on everything else. And this isn’t to say the book is bad, […]
It keeps surprising me that whenever I go looking for a book on writing, it’s much less a ‘how-to’ and much more a literary criticism of the Greats. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just not what one expects when selecting a book called “How Fiction Works.” But Wood isn’t interested in telling his reader to go find a pen, write some words down and assess if they’re any good based on certain literary principles. Instead he presents us with what’s out there in the literary world and looks at it not for it’s entertainment value or likability (even though he’s very […]
Thank you so much to bonnie for these awesome books! They’re going to be super helpful with ny TA position next semester!
Why have I never heard of Jeanette Winterson before? And why has it taken me so long to find her? This little unassuming book totally took me by the heartstrings and destroyed me. Now, it wasn’t Gaiman levels of destruction, but it still did a number. The Passion follows Henri, a soldier in Napoleon’s army, and Villanelle, a remarkable woman from Venice as they weave a story back and forth that we aren’t sure whether we’re to believe at face-value, or take as metaphor. I can’t talk about the plot too much without absolutely ruining the wonderful surprises and moments this […]
I would never have picked this book up on my own, but I’m glad I stumbled upon this read. Mothers and Other Strangers looks at the relationship between mothers and daughters in a new and interesting way. Elsie is the only child of a narcissist mother with a compulsive lying issue. We start the story at the end, when Elise is called back to her hometown to find that her mother died of a heart attack. Elise has had a less-than-healthy relationship with her mother at any point in her life, but her world gets turned on its head when […]
Whew! This little book was a ride. Clocking in at only 190 pages, our story follows Amanda, an architect with a happy, boring life that she loves. She’s a young, married professional with a nice loft and an aspiring future until little things start happening…..hearing noises, a sudden desire to start smoking, unexplained purchases, an intense need to steal….but things still easily explained away, or so Amanda thinks. Gran’s delightfully minimal style weaves us through the mind of a woman unraveling. Told in the first person, Amanda tracks her own descent into madness, first with off-hand wonderment, and slowly, very […]
I always find it hard to review the last book of a series, mostly because I so hate knowing that I’ve spent over 1,000 pages with a cast of characters that I have to leave behind. And I will absolutely miss the Raven Boys and their psychic battery, Blue. Stiefvater’s greatest feat was creating such lovable and relatable characters out of personalities that could have easily wandered into cliche or become incredibly annoying. But they never do, even as the plot goes literally crazy around them. The five kids ground what could have been an absolutely outrageous story, but […]
So far my favorite book in the Raven Cycle, Blue Lily, Lily Blue begins to bring all the loose threads of this epic tale together. I blew through it in two days, and could literally find nothing about it that I didn’t like. The characters continue to be their wonderful selves, with a focus on Adam that I really enjoyed. He begins coming into his own in this third installment, accepting his newfound powers and finally accepting that his friends have only ever wanted to help him because they love him. It was a thing of beauty to watch Stiefvater tantalizingly […]