Book Review: The Dream Songs by John Berryman

Since I’ve been writing more poetry, I’ve been reading more poetry lately. I’ve read some newer stuff, but I’ve also been reading many of the classics, including William Blake, T.S. Eliot, and W.B. Yeats.

I recently read an anthology of 20th century American poetry that was comprehensive regarding the poets it included. One of the poets that struck me the most was John Berryman, and the anthology included poems from his much-celebrated volume called The Dream Songs.

Continue reading

On Giving up on Books and ‘Book Guilt’

I hate giving up on a book once I’ve started it. I like to call this “book guilt,” and from talking to a few others, I’m not the only one who has it. Recently, I’ve tried to let it go.

A few months ago, I started a book called Fall; Or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson. It’s a huge, sprawling epic released in 2019 about a billionaire tech CEO who has his consciousness uploaded into the Cloud. Neal Stephenson is a widely acclaimed author in science fiction, and I was excited to start it. It’s a cool concept for a book, and something I’ve wondered about often (uploading our brains onto computers).

Continue reading

4 Creepy Books to Get you Ready for Halloween

Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday. Really, I love all the fall and winter holidays. But Halloween? What’s not to like?! Horror movies, marathon readings of Edgar Allan Poe, perhaps a little Lovecraft.

I compiled a shortlist of my favorite creepy books that are perfect for this time of year. Some of them fall within the umbrella term of “weird fiction.” Others are classic ghost stories that I highly suggest you check out if you haven’t read already. And yeah, they’re all old books – like, really old.

Here’s my list:

Continue reading

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I’m always reading heavy and serious books like Kafka, the classics, or dystopian science fiction. So I decided recently to read something a little more light-hearted for a change of pace.

The book I picked up was from Rachel’s shelf – The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 debut novel from Helene Wecker. The novel still has some serious themes, but it wasn’t the type of angsty existentialism I usually dig into.

Continue reading

Book Review: Damnificados by JJ Amaworo Wilson

Damnificados is based on the real-life story of the occupation of the “Tower of David” in Caracas, Venezuela, during the country’s housing shortage. The tower is an unfinished skyscraper abandoned in Venezuela’s capital city in 1994 because of another national crisis (this one having to do with banking).

Continue reading

Book Review: The Plague by Albert Camus

I have a (slight) problem with going on book-buying binges. When I feel anxious, sometimes I buy a book. I’ve reined in this annoying tendency recently to cut expenses. But when the pandemic hit in early March, I saw an essay about Albert Camus’ novel, The Plague, and knew I immediately had to read it.

Continue reading

Book Review: In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck

I’ve always been a big John Steinbeck fan. So I was pretty excited when I picked up In Dubious Battle from my library. It’s not one of Steinbeck’s most famous books, but it’s written with the same energy and zeal of all the other books I love by him. 

Continue reading

Book Review: Amerika by Franz Kafka

After reading Franz Kafka’s complete short stories last year, I was determined to read the three novels that were published posthumously. I find Kafka to be a tremendously interesting writer and literary figure, and after reading most of his work, the recurrent themes became evident.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

There are many ways to dissect and analyze a novel like The WindUp Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. The original Japanese version of the book was released in three parts, and the English translation that I read was just over 600 pages. The novel is packed with different thematic elements and symbols, and it’s easy to get lost in the tangled web that Murakami spins.

Continue reading

My book review of ‘The Plague’ is published!

About a month ago, I posted a review of The Plague by Albert Camus. It’s now been published in Bewildering Stories, along with an accompanying review by Don Webb, the website’s managing editor.

Continue reading