“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

“Queen of Camelot” by Nancy McKenzie

  I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for Arthurian novels.  Nancy McKenzie’s “Queen of Camelot” was interesting, largely because it doesn’t portray Guinevere as a bitch, but rather more of a victim of circumstance.  At the same time, she is a rather strong character. McKenzie handled the whole Lancelot love triangle as GuinevereRead more

“The Idiot” by Dostoevsky

  “The Idiot” is one of Dostoevsky’s most intriguing novels, as it is Dostoevsky’s attempt to write a novel about a character who is purely good.  I studied this book in undergrad and so could go on about it for hours, but I shall try to be a bit more succinct. Prince Myshkin is theRead more

“Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

  I just finished reading “Slaughterhouse Five” for the first time.  I should have read it years ago; in fact, I attempted to read it my freshmen year of high school, but then was mildly traumatized after reading that a soldier in the novel carried around a picture of a girl attempting intercourse with aRead more

“Crystal Singer” by Anne McCaffrey

  Ah, yes… 1980s sci-fi.  I had heard good things about McCaffrey, although she’s mostly famous for her dragon books.  I was not disappointed in “Crystal Singer.” The protagonist, Killashandra Ree, reminds me a bit of Rachel from Glee.  She’s very ambitious and driven, and it took me half the book to figure out thatRead more

“Moonheart” by Charles de Lint

  And, yet again, I return to Charles de Lint.  “Moonheart” is a bit different from his other novels, though, in that it is set in Ottawa rather than Newford.  There’s still a neat blend of Celtic and Native American mythology, but there is oh so much more. The story starts out when Sara Kendall,Read more

“Interview With the Vampire” by Anne Rice

  Disclaimer:  Normally, I’m not into vampire novels.  Sometimes they’re okay (if you are Robin McKinley or Elizabeth Kostova).  Sparkly vampires bother me.  This book was really big when I was in high school, but I never got around to reading it because I was too busy reading Nietzsche and various social contract theories.  WhenRead more

“Demons” by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  This book was singlehandedly responsible for getting me into Russian literature.  I came across a battered paperback copy in my high school library (a terrible translation, mind you, with the title still as “The Possessed” instead of “Demons”) and was immediately sucked in.  Now I’m a huge Russian lit nerd.  Dostoevsky, I blame you!Read more