Category books

Dostoevsky on Originality

For months I have avoided picking up The Idiot again, despite being only about 150 pages from the end, because every time I did I was just not able to get through the wall of text that is the beginning of Part Four. When I read, sometimes I like not concentrating too much, and Dostoevsky […]

Book Review: An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

There is a huge payoff in the last 50 pages or so, but the real tragedy in An American Tragedy is that you have to slog through 800 pages to get to it.

Book Review: Plainsong, by Kent Haruf

I, like many Americans, am a sucker for well-told tales about small towns. In that regard, Plainsong does not disappoint. Kent Haruf has crafted a beautiful story of decency and togetherness, simply told, without a hint of bombast or sentimentality. It is a book of few words and myriad actions, demonstrating in starkly evocative prose the capacity of the human heart for everything from the worst kinds of violence to the purest kindness.

Book Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks

Dr. Sacks has devoted a large part of his career to bringing the relationship between music and the brain into the public consciousness, and this book is a distillation of his core message: music is not simply an aesthetic pastime; it is essential to the human experience, down to the very physical structure of our brains.

Book Review: Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, by Edwidge Danticat

In this phenomenal collection of personal essays, Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat explores art and artists, the act of creating, the stories and struggles of Haitians and Haiti, and her own conflicts regarding the realities of being an expatriated representative of an entire country and its people.

Book Review: The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

I greatly enjoy science fiction as a genre, but I haven’t read nearly enough sci-fi novels to be considered any kind of authority on the subject. So when my boyfriend handed me The Forever War and said, “Just read it,” I shrugged and said, “Okay,” thinking it was going to be action-packed light fare, its pages riddled with technobabble and laser beams.

Gentlepeople, naïveté is a dangerous thing.

Book Review: I Love Dick, by Chris Kraus

I Love Dick is a maddening memoir-epistolary novel-performance art hybrid that defies definition and doesn’t shy away from anything. Its publication in 1997 resulted in blazing controversies in the intellectual community, for good reason.