The Wandering Earth, Cixin Liu

The first sci-fi I've read in a couple years, and I picked nothing but the best of the genre. Liu is an endless fountain of ideas, and although I was tricked into thinking this was a novel by the way they marketed the version I bought, I was not disappointed, and was constantly surprised and …

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To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Can a book be a work of art? The answer is yes, and I've read it. The only way to read this novel is to do so the same way you might look at a painting. A painting captures a moment, a feeling, a tone, it brings thoughts to your mind and makes you wonder …

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 …

The books I read in 2018: the good, the best, and the rest

This year I continued my exploration of the literary. I read 34 books, the same as last year (missing my goal of 40 by a fair amount) and only two of those could be called genre. Of those 34, most were brilliant, some extremely so, and very few were bland or uninteresting. I don't think …

The Last Samurai, by Helen Dewitt

No, it has nothing to do with the 2003 Tom Cruise movie (which came out 3 years after this novel was released)--and that I need to make that distinction at all is an illustration of the sad state of American culture, because this book was flipping amazing and I can't believe I've never heard of …

The Emigrants, W.G. Sebald

Much like the others I've read by this author, this book deals heavily with memory, loss, and--more directly than the others--the holocaust.  The narrator recounts his experiences with four characters, in four sections of the book. Each character is an emigrant from Germany, and each, in some way, seems to want to forget some aspect …

The Handmaid’s Tale: a negative side of human adaptability

I finished this dystopian classic by Margaret Atwood and was both impressed and frustrated. I was impressed by how believable the story was. In the afterward the author talks about how she took great care to put nothing in the book that hadn't already happened somewhere in history, and no technology that didn't exist. She …