‘Exhalation’ is a Breath of Fresh Air

The thing that is striking about Ted Chiang’s work is how well thought out everything is. His are not stories that blossom from a singular thought. His are not suppositions of a singular event spun out a different way. When reading his stories, you get a strong sense that the ideas and the characters areContinue reading “‘Exhalation’ is a Breath of Fresh Air”

Summer’s Over but ‘Beach Read’ Still Sizzles

I have mentioned before how I’m not usually drawn to romance novels (and Kath, if you’re reading, I’m sorry for being a disappointment). It’s not that I hate love, I just struggle with several aspects of the genre. Namely, the heavy reliance on miscommunications and deus ex machina to provide a happy ending, as wellContinue reading “Summer’s Over but ‘Beach Read’ Still Sizzles”

Mean-spirited Musing Mars ‘Me’

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am sick of other generations telling me what it’s like to be a millennial. I already know I don’t go to Chili’s. I already know avocado toast is delicious. I already know I’m hopelessly mired in a horrible financial outlook not of my own making. So I’mContinue reading “Mean-spirited Musing Mars ‘Me’”

Lots of Magic in ‘Sea’ But It’s Hard to Reach

About forty percent or so through The Starless Sea is a sort of parenthetical tale about a sculptor who tells stories through her work. She first works with clouds and with snow—things that disappear almost immediately. As people demand more permanence in her work, she transitions to different mediums to tell her stories to theContinue reading “Lots of Magic in ‘Sea’ But It’s Hard to Reach”

‘City’ Feels Like it Leaves off in the ‘Middle’

There are few things more frustrating than getting to the end of a book and seeing its loose ends fluttering in the breeze, and realizing that you have to read—or worse, wait for—the sequel to find out what happens next. But one of those things is getting to the end of a book like thatContinue reading “‘City’ Feels Like it Leaves off in the ‘Middle’”

‘Don’t Want to Die’ Isn’t Poor on Prose

If there’s one thing Michael Arceneaux isn’t, it’s coy. His second collection of essays, I Don’t Want to Die Poor, minces no words as he talks about the dire financial straits he found himself in after college and the various ways debt has made his life harder. Through that lens, he talks in about sexContinue reading “‘Don’t Want to Die’ Isn’t Poor on Prose”

Caught Between the Devil and ‘The Deep’

For this week’s The Deep Part Two (The Deep-er? The Deep-ening?), I got to read Alma Katsu’s novel about the sinking of the Titanic and I was SO EXCITED because I was absolutely gripped by her last book, The Hunger, which was about the Donner Party.  I went to a reading and a signing ofContinue reading “Caught Between the Devil and ‘The Deep’”

Rolling in ‘The Deep’

On my TBR is The Deep. No author, but it’s in with the 2019 stuff, so I wasn’t worried about finding it. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there were actually two books titled The Deep published in 2019 and both look like something I’d put on my TBR list. Since I couldn’t remember which one I meantContinue reading “Rolling in ‘The Deep’”

More Nightmare than Dream in ‘House’

I’ve been recommending Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House to people for months. To the classmate trying to find a way of writing a memoir of her time in the Air Force without resurrecting her past too much. To the colleague arguing that  Choose Your Own Adventures weren’t an effective form of storytelling. To theContinue reading “More Nightmare than Dream in ‘House’”

The Sea Witch Enchants in ‘Circe’

It’s been a long time since I raced to get back to a book not to find out what happens next but instead to return to the world found only within its pages. I remember feeling that way about the Chronicles of Narnia series as a kid, for example, or Alice in Wonderland. But IContinue reading “The Sea Witch Enchants in ‘Circe’”