Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

Jackson is the queen of subtly blurring reality and imagination into a single, unnerving gradient. This story follows Natalie, a 17 year old just starting college, and her slow descent into solipsism and possible madness. The more you read, the less sure you become of what has really happened, and what has been dreamed up …

The poetry of Jorge Luis Borges

I've read his many stories off and on throughout my life, but never his poetry until this year. From reading his memorable stories, certain words and ideas have come to carry a lot of 'Borgesness' with them: Labyrinth, hexameter, tigers, algebra, chess, libraries, mirrors, coins--and this carries through to his poetry as well. This could …

The Melancholy of Resistance, by László Krasznahorkai

The second book I've read by this author (the other being Satantango) and written in a similar style. The rarely ending wall of text sucks you in to the overwhelming story and crushes you into nothingness by the end. The story describes a small town in Hungary that is visited by a circus, and the …

The Third Reich of Dreams, by Charlotte Beradt

I discovered this book via an article in the New Yorker, and knew I had to read it. I quickly discovered it was out of print (1000$ for a tattered paperback on Amazon) but I was luckily able to find a PDF online. That was Wednesday night (today is Friday). Needless to say, I couldn't …

The Train Was On Time, by Heinrich Böll

In another war novel by Böll that does not feature battle or action, a young soldier, Private Andreas, boards a train and is immediately overcome with the certainty that he will soon die. As the train rolls on, Andreas' certainty grows, and he even begins to narrow down exactly the time and place that he …