Austerlitz, by W.G. Sebald

Another stunning novel by Sebald, and this is the first of his to approach anything like a plot. As with all of Sebald's books, the themes are on memory, and the Holocaust. Of all his books I've read so far, this one most directly addresses the two. The narrator, who as usual is a maybe/maybe …

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A book too good for me to handle? Some thoughts on impostor syndrome.

I recently (start of the year) had a bit of a crises of confidence, and I'm still not sure I've fully recovered. It was probably a combination of many things, but I think W.G. Sebald's books (Vertigo and The Emigrants) were a big factor. Not only because they are about memory and perception, but because …

Invitation to a Beheading, by Vladimir Nabokov

I always come back to good ol' Vlad, and this one keeps up the pattern of being awesome in unexpected ways. This book tells the story of Cincinnatus C. , a 30 year old teacher convicted of 'gnostical turpitude' and his experiences waiting around in a cell for his own execution. What struck me most …

The inner workings

Having recently read some great sci-fi for the first time in a couple years, I have some thoughts. I think my perspective has changed after the past few years of reading pretty much only literary classics. Coming back to science fiction after that, everything feels so transparent. I'm not sure if it's me, or just …

Hill House vs Hill House

The 1959 Shirley Jackson Gothic horror novel, The Haunting of Hill House, has spawned two  Hollywood movies, a radio adaption, numerous parodies and copycats, and has influenced novelists and film writers for decades. Most recently, it’s been made into a TV series by Netflix which, after I heard from so many people how great it …

Is Sci-fi missing something?

A friend linked me this article about the squeamish hesitance of writers to call their books sci-fi, and the reputation sci-fi has for being cheap or base entertainment. Some of this rings true for me, too, even as a (ex?) sci-fi fan and writer myself. Their example of Faber is accurate. I remember when I …

Yes, I’m still reading, just slowly

Here are the books I've read so far this year and my thoughts! I am way behind schedule! The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: Amazing! I have a much longer post about the book versus the show coming up, so I'm not going to post much here besides 'I loved it!' Sapiens: a …