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

Free Books? Yes, Please!

About a year ago, Rachel and I moved to a new neighborhood in Philly that’s, well, very well-read and educated. One of the reasons I say this is because of the bounty of “free libraries” we see during our walks.

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

On Reading Old Books to Escape the Anxieties of 2020

There’s something about old books, especially fiction, that transport me to a world where I feel safe. This has been the case lately, as I’ve jumped into the classics to escape this year’s anxieties.

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

The Golem (a poem)

A golem without a master is like a key without a lock

the sorcerer created her, this woman made of clay

now she’s gone astray, wandering New York’s streets

without a purpose –

a golem is made to obey + without a command

it scarcely knows where to stand, desires pushing it

to + fro until someone says the magic phrase +

it disintegrates into dust.

(Photo source: Wikipedia)

Note: This poem is inspired by The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 novel by Helene Wecker, which I’m currently reading. One of the main characters in the novel is a golem – a mythic creature in Jewish folklore.

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