I began 2020 with a fire in my belly for reading. I made up a goal to ensure a robust literary year: 20 novels, 20 plays. I proceeded to read more nonfiction than ever before, and I have no regrets.
Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City is a remarkable piece of pop history. Larson takes two very different historical narratives–one bringing pride and hope to a city, the other leaving shame and fear –and sews them into one fascinating garment. I expected the serial killer to keep my interest, but I was pleasantly … Continue reading In Review: The Devil in the White City and The Fountainhead
I ought to warn you that this essay will contain spoilers for Wolf Hall (and lots of them), but I am not sure that this book can be spoiled. Wolf Hall is historical fiction, based on the actions of Henry VIII and his councilors surrounding the English Reformation. In addition to the king, the three … Continue reading In Review: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
I'm now in my second year of prioritizing reading as an adult, and I don't know how I let all those years before slip past. I used to have four or five TV shows in regular rotation, but I have spent the last three months just slowly rewatching Mad Men because TV isn't as important … Continue reading Queen Harvest’s 2016 Reading Recap
The Ulysstes? The Ulistes? No. What better day than Bloomsday to revisit my plan and preparations to read Ulysses. Right on schedule, I started Ulysses January 1, and I was able to finish on February 1. I am not foolish enough to make any attempts toward analysis, but I am comfortable saying that Ulysses is … Continue reading In Review: The Ulysses List
"All right," cried Allbee. "Now let me explain something to you. It's a Christian idea, but I don't see why you shouldn't be able to understand it. 'Repent!' That's John the Baptist coming out of the desert. Change yourself, that's what he's saying, and be another man. You must be and the reason for that … Continue reading Repent!
Learning that a friend read over 200 books last year compelled me to reevaluate my reading habits. A voracious reader as a child, I had let various distractions take priority over my time, even though reading continued to bring me joy and satisfaction. I read maybe five books in 2014, and I found that unacceptable. … Continue reading Queen Harvest’s 2015 Reading Recap
Here come a riddle. Here come a clue. If you were really smart, you'd know what to do. - Talking Heads '77 One lyric that typifies the style and charm of The Decemberists' songbook comes from "Calamity Song," in which a verse begins, Hetty Green, Queen of supply-side bonhomie bone-drab (ya know what I mean?) … Continue reading In Review: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
What’s Bred In the Bone is the second novel in Robertson Davies’ Cornish Trilogy. As anticipated, 1985's WBITB follows the life of a minor figure in The Rebel Angels, Francis Cornish, whose death in the earlier book leaves professors Hollier, McVarish, and Darcourt with the task of sorting through his massive collection of paintings, sculptures, … Continue reading Review: What’s Bred in the Bone, by Robertson Davies
"But what I want to know is this: couldn't somebody of that type moderate his physique, by the right kind of diet and exercise, and general care?""To some extent. Not without more trouble than it would probably be worth. That's what's wrong with all these diets and body-building courses and so forth. You can go … Continue reading Weight Loss, Fitness, Health, and Body Image, According to Robertson Davies