Stoner, by John Williams

John-Williams-StonerIn a recent blog post, I talked about some of the praise this book has received.  I know the dangers of the oversell, I do, and I would hate to have someone not read this book for fear that it could not possibly live up to the hype I am heaping upon it, but this book was, seriously, front to back, page by page, sentence by sentence, one of the best novels I can remember reading.  And you know how much I read.  More than a book a week, all year every year.  And this one belongs near the top.  A star is born.  A new favorite. Continue reading

“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel- Book Review

station-elevenEven as I set out to review this book, I’m not sure how to go about it.  As we’ve discussed here before, literary appreciation is a subjective exercise, at least in part.  And what makes any particular book “good” or “bad” has a lot to do with who you are, the context you are reading that book in, your taste in books, and what other criteria you rely on in assigning that book a value.  There is a body of readers for whom “enjoyment” is the only measure of success.  If they read a book and like it, then that is a “good” book, and there’s nothing you can do to convince them otherwise.  Contrarily, there are bodies of literary criticism for whom nothing written in the last hundred years or more is worth the paper it is printed on.  These same broad general theories have application to specific pieces of literature.  In that context, would I recommend Station Eleven to you?  That depends. Continue reading