“The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson

During the past month, I participated in a readalong of Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings.”  It has been an incredible experience, and I’d like to thank everyone who made it possible.  To conclude the readalong, I’m going to share a spoiler-free review of the novel for anyone who hasn’t been following along. “The WayRead more

“Broetry” by Brian McGackin

Everybody needs at least one good coffee-table book.  As a grad student whose life has been impacted by the somewhat shitty economy, I found this book of poems to be hilarious. The collection, entitled “Broetry,” is written by a guy who actually has an advanced degree in poetry.  The subject matter lies along the linesRead more

“Feast of Souls” by C. S. Friedman

  One can learn much about an author by reading her blog/webpage.  While reading Friedman’s blog, I was highly impressed with what she deems the “DM Rule.”  Basically, while worldbuilding, she tries to imagine what gamers would do if they were allowed to run loose in such a world and exploit it.  I approve ofRead more

“The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende

  I wasn’t quite sure what genre to categorize this book as, largely because it blends elements of multiple genres into a unique novel.  Is there a line between magical realism and fantasy other than the fact that magical realism tends to be written first in Spanish?  While “The House of Spirits” incorporates elements ofRead more

“Homeland” by R. A. Salvatore

  This is the first book in a series about a Drow (dark elf) named Drizzt.  Drow society is ruled by evil dominatrices with snake-headed whips who worship a creepy-ass Spider Goddess.  Drizzt is set apart from the rest of his society because he happens to possess a functional conscience.  Throughout the novel, he strugglesRead more

“The Telling” by Ursula K. Le Guin

  “The Telling” reminds me a bit of Huxley’s “Brave New World” in the sense that the characters aren’t of much importance, but rather a lens through which to view the society that the novel portrays. Sutty, the main character, is an observer from Earth (called Terra in the book) who is sent to studyRead more

“Thomas the Rhymer” by Ellen Kushner

  Kushner’s novel is a reinterpretation of the ballad “Thomas the Rhymer,” which I described in an earlier post.  The original ballad tells the story of Thomas, a man who kisses the faerie queen and is then compelled to serve her in Elfland for seven years. Kushner’s version fleshes out the story to give individual charactersRead more

“A Clash of Kings” by George R. R. Martin

  “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.  There is no middle ground.” This is book two of Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.  It picks up where “A Game of Thrones” leaves off. Just as a warning, there may be some spoilers from the first book. “ARead more

“The Lady With the Dog” by Anton Chekhov

  Today I’d like to talk about the short story “The Lady With the Dog” by Anton Chekhov, which can be found full text here.  While Chekhov is most famous for his plays, his short stories remain among the classics of Russian literature, and “the Lady With the Dog” has been the subject of numerousRead more