Categorized in many reviews as ‘unlikable’ and ‘unstable’ and all naysaying things ‘un’, Eileen is a vivid and compelling character study in contradictions, discomfort, and authenticity. I found her deeply raw and real, and endlessly fascinating—I couldn’t look away I was so enthralled. I would count her as one of my favorite characters—ever. Humans are nothing if not a complicated mess of contradictions; some more so than others. Every act, no matter how infinitesimal, reveals who we are—each act as […]
I wanted to do a quick reread and review of this book since I brought it up here as an inspiration for writing science and speculative fiction. This book was first released in 1990 and I was twenty and naïve. I cannot remember what I felt like at the time of reading it. I’m sure I probably loved it since I still remember it thirty years later. It certainly has its charm, as does every Lindsey book. Upon rereading it […]
Last month, I found some of my old poetry from the early 2000’s and started posting it here on this site. This poetry was written at an illusive indecisive moment for me. It was mostly an outlet for larger issues—therapy writing, if you will. All of it bad—really bad; some so bad, I’ll probably never post. I was crawling my way through clinical depression at the time and trying to shape an identity I had long found slippery. I looked […]
I’ll be completely upfront: I never read The Iliad or The Odyssey and had no clue about any of the ancient gods or Greek and Roman religions. I was completely and totally ignorant about it all and have only just begun to graze its gilded surface. What about college, you ask—I’m a college dropout; I couldn’t afford to stay in college. What about high school—this is where I laugh out loud and ask what high school did you go to? […]
Jesmyn Ward is an artist of words. She wields her visions into searing stories of the Black contemporary south. Complex, heartbreaking and bleak narrations that seduce and sway you into the Black bodies born of love and pain and hunger and beauty that will make you tremble with rage and cry in horror; that will make you love with a passion and toil alongside to fight and demand justice. Words like the sun that beguiles you into the burn of […]
This novel appeared at a much needed time in my life touching parts of me that rarely saw light. Having been a ‘train wreck’ myself, I can relate to the damage—not specifically but in general. The inability to share that damage left me floundering. I believed I was alone in being so broken. I was ashamed and terrified having slipped back into a pattern that had almost consumed me prior. Trauma and depression do that. It’s mundane like that—insidiously stealth […]
The world building in this book features a multi-generational spider and ant society evolutionized with a nanotech virus, created and delivered to them by a marooned and cocooned human scientist in a semi-sentient pod, suspended in animation hovering above the planet’s atmo—who was from an Earth human’s destroyed with war and climate change—claiming to be god for the practical purpose of successfully completing her evolutionary experiment that began with monkeys only to be sabotaged by a crazy religious cultist that […]
I love historical romance novels. If you come at me with any type of literary or cultural snobbery whatsoever (music, movie, TV, etc.), I will laugh you off as a pedestrian rube. And if you are a man and not reading historical romance novels, you are missing out on a trove of knowledge, sexual and otherwise. That and you are sexist—hashtag men are trash. I an’t kidding. Historical romance novels gave me a wealth of female cultural knowledge and education […]
I am the product of an abusive alcoholic father and family. This book and The Shining speak to me on an entirely other level. One with the puking, the violence, the rage, melancholy and moodiness, the fugues, the cruel silence with the banal abusive micro-aggressions, and on and on ad nauseam. I equate the shining with the non-verbal language and cues us codependents decipher and interpret in order to keep the peace. Or not get lit by a switch, a […]
Narrated by Joe Morton aka Papa Pope, this audio book is probably one of my favorites. Joe Morton’s intensity and glorious acting skills succeed in making this a fantastic, riveting listen. Morton’s read is made all that more excellent by Ellison’s words and story. Hypnotic doesn’t do it justice. Stark and poetic, revealing and utterly transformational are mild understatements. If you come away from this disappointed, I question your wisdom and challenge your imagination. As with any audio book I […]
Most of the books I’ve reviewed so far I read months if not years ago. This one I recently finished. I did not realize that Orwell was such a superb essayist and journalist; perhaps even more so than his fiction. I would say a master; one of the best in his field. He writes with a clarity that’s rarely published nowadays. Authentic, forceful, and not the least bit misleading regarding his own preferences, he viscerally flays with crisp, sharp, detailed […]
David Mitchell is a god of words. A brilliant, utterly divine artist that pushes creative boundaries beyond akin to Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Mary Shelley and their more modern equivalents (to which I’ll go more into on future posts). When I first read Cloud Atlas, I waited for someone to jerk me from the blinding Utopian tunnel I suddenly found myself floundering, gasping in the radiance of such wit. It was all consuming. It pivoted my life into a […]
This book was unputdownable. Intensely addictive. Thrilling. Philosophically and aesthetically deliberate—as is every Tartt novel. Privilege illustrated to an engrossing degree—glaringly elevating rich white entitlement and classism within the hallowed halls of even the most revered American educational institutions. How the perception and power of youth and events surrounding that experience evolve with time and hopefully, wisdom. How one story can indelicately frame your entire life—some of us more so than others; please keep this in mind while reading. I […]
I inhaled this book—it consumed me. This book left me raw. exposed, alive, shattered, and…human—so extraordinarily human. It lived and grew within me for weeks afterward and transformed me into something other, hypersensitive teeming with an abundance of grit and heart and life; something graceful that made my toes curl and my humanity multiply and fragment—my compassion and empathy soar. Yeah, it did. It really did. Forewarning: this book is agonizing and bleak. The trauma eviscerates. Hints of contentment and […]
I made no secret that I didn’t care for J.D. Vance’s very narrow perspective and interpretation of Appalachian folks in Hillbilly Elegy. Not only was his judgment and words lacking in basic facts and empathy, Vance veils his problematic views as some kind of virtuous self-help bible for the pernicious bootstrap ethos and hard work ethic that he believes most of us other hillbillies lack. He uses that old tired recycled conservative trope of stereotyping poverty as a moral failure. […]
Once again, we have an author lifting up the language and unspoken stories of the oppressed; examining the perspectives and circumstances of the alternate embellished—often compelling—history to the voices and narratives silenced; scrutinizing the actual ghost tale told by the oppressors or the oppressed, the victims or the perpetrators; anecdotes transformed over time—made mythical by their troublesome and often exploitative and dehumanized actions—for entertainment purposes and to make the injustices feel more palatable about horrific actions and the absolution that […]
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard is such an immense read that I’m still reading it. I didn’t wanna wait to write about it though while experiencing just how important a read her words are given how germane history relates to our present and the total lack of historical awareness people have today. I wonder if there’s a current correlation in world events? /sarcasm Mary Beard is brilliant in her knowledge and writing of the material in […]
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal is an alluring and infuriating must read. From the socio-political themes to the catastrophic extinction level event that requires immediate action—all currently, highly relevant and related—the plot focuses on the main character’s quest to become an astronaut after a meteorite strikes off the coast of D.C. causing a rise in temperatures that will ultimately lead to an unoccupiable Earth. Sound familiar? The first couple of chapters are riveting. Character driven, the book converges […]
I write about The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin.
Bookish questions I grabbed online.
Some of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year.
I review and discuss The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.