“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

“The Courtesan’s Secret” by Claudia Dain

  Generally, I avoid romance novels like the plague.  I avoid romance novels even more than I would avoid the plague, as the plague doesn’t generally pop up in my day to day life.  However, every now and again I realize that I’m in a situation where I have to choose between a romance novelRead more

Thomas the Rhymer

One of the books that I picked up during the Borders liquidation sale was Ellen Kushner’s “Thomas the Rhymer.”  I thought that before reading it I would like to take a look at the legend upon which it was based. “Thomas the Rhymer” (also known as “True Thomas”) is a ballad that is closely relatedRead more

“A History of Modern Russia” by Robert Service

  Since I’ve focused primarily on fiction thus far, I thought it might be nice to review one of my favorite nonfiction books.  Service does a fantastic job providing a recap of 20th century Russian/Soviet history that is both highly readable and well-researched. One of the biggest problems with history books about the Soviet eraRead more

“The Stationmaster” by Pushkin

19th century Russian literature has a certain timelessness that makes old stories relevant even today.  One example of this can be found in Pushkin’s “The Stationmaster.”  It is originally found in the collection entitled “The Tales of Belkin,” but let’s face it, writing about all five tales long enough to do any of them justiceRead more

“The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot

  The image to the left is by sive, and I thought it fit the poem incredibly well. “Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom Remember us—if at all—not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.“ In describing T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men,” it’sRead more