Imagine Me Gone, by Adam Haslett- Book Review

imagine me goneEveryone knows someone who struggles with mental illness.  Maybe they don’t even know it.  But when it’s a member of your immediate family, it is hard to miss.  And it affects each member of that family in a different way.  Maybe we inherit those traits.  Maybe we feel guilt.  Maybe we mourn the fact that we can’t do more.  Maybe we ignore.  Maybe we act out, in anger, fear, or desperation.  Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter Twelve, Part I: “[F]or what could be said to occur unobserved?”

night desert moonThis chapter begins with the band of scalp-hunters traveling stealthily, only by night, and going to great lengths to cover any tracks (using clay to cover any indication of nail marks in their horses’ hooves, “bur[ying] their stool like cats,” even spitting their tobacco into pouches).  It is unclear whether this is purely done because they do not want their quarry (here, the Gileños) to know they are coming, or because they fear someone (something?) tracking them.  It almost seems like the behavior of the hunted, more than the hunters.  Everyone seems to be haunted in this country. Continue reading

“S”

ship of theseusOh, “S.”  I wanted to love you.  And I did love you.  In some ways.  In other ways, you left me numb, and a little bit confused.  In yet other ways, I hated you with a passion that I’m not quite sure where it came from, or why, but it is there, and it is undeniable.  So make of that what you will. Continue reading

How Literature Saved My Life

how literature

Have you heard about the new non-fiction?  It’s all the rage.  There are a couple different names for it: collage writing, I think is one of them.  It sort of defies categorization, or is too new to have a definitive label, but David Shield’s How Literature Saved My Life both talks about it and is an example of it. Continue reading

CliffsNotes: Wuthering Heights Edition

In digging through some boxes in my basement, I made a horrifying discovery.  Buried surreptitiously beneath some actual books and innocent-looking old school papers, I saw the ominous and telltale black and yellow that could only mean one thing: CliffsNotes.  A whole disgusting stack of them.  These were NOT mine.  Perish the thought.  As an English major, I had seen them, around, wasting valuable space on bookstore shelves and giving away many a literary underachiever.  I think/thought they are/were dirty, and cheap, and utterly repugnant.  I…would…NEVER!  Continue reading

Tropic of Cancer: Book Review

"I prefer Tropic of Capricorn..."

The first time I ever heard of this book was in that episode of “Seinfeld” where Jerry thought he had returned his copy years ago, but in reality he hadn’t, and now he owed something like a billion dollars in library fines.  And flashbacks ensue, wherein George has hair (and intensely short shorts), Jerry has more hair (see accompanying mullet shot), and…well, you remember the episode. Continue reading

The Moonflower Vine: Book Review

Few books I have read have been as touching and beautifully true to life as The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton.  On its surface, it seems like a sweetly innocent story, reminiscent of a time-before-my-time that I still somehow feel nostalgically connected to, without any real reason or explanation.  But as the story unfolds, the characters reveal themselves to be more tangible and not-quite-perfect and human than would perhaps first meet the eye.  And I am so glad that this is the case. Continue reading

On Love: Book Review

I am in love with On Love by Alain de Botton.  This is de Botton’s first novel, and it may be my new favorite (I make no secret of the fact that I love everything that he writes.  Every time I read one of his books, in fact, it becomes my new favorite.  I don’t know if that is because I am serendipitously reading his books in order of increasing greatness, or I love all his books equally, and my love for the most recently completed book simply has the most pressing position in my consciousness). Continue reading