Library Wait Lists and Late Fees Strike Again

It’s happened again!a little life cover image  After several months on the library waiting list, it was finally, finally my turn to get my hands on the book I had heard so much about: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.  I was so excited!  I had heard so many good things.  That it was one of the great works of contemporary literature.  Moving.  Award-winning.  Incredibly done. Continue reading

Vacation Reading: Florida Edition

Left to my own devices, the suitcase I would bring on a Florida vacation would be 90% full of books.  If there happens to be any leftover room for a toothbrush and a swimsuit, great.  Anything else would be superfluous.  But as my wife is fond of reminding me, these are no longer viable packing options, given our current circumstances. 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

Goodreads Reading Challenge

Does anyone else do the Goodreads Reading Challenge?  I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, and really enjoy it.  Enjoy it, and hadn’t thought too much about it, until just recently when I read an article on, I believe it was Book Riot, where one of its submitters said she was taking a break from the Challenge, or at least dialing it way back, because of the hold it had taken on her life.  Granted, she had some ridiculous goal of reading something like 300+ books a year, and so found herself reading while eating, reading in the shower, reading instead of ever going out with friends, not sleeping so she could read, and reading junk just to fill a quota.  This is taking it to the extreme.  But I have experienced a micro version of some of these. Continue reading

Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Book Review

Has anyone read these Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney?  If not, you should.  They are HILARIOUS!  I know, I’m as shocked as any of you, but it’s true.  And they are written well, too.  I mean, aimed at a much younger audience, but still appreciably funny for an adult reader, especially (but not exclusively) if you have kids. Continue reading