Bird Box: A Review

Bird BoxBird Box by Josh Malerman  My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In Bird Box, author Josh Malerman explores humanity’s basic fear of the unseen, quite literally. His protagonists are unable to safely open their eyes, for fear of seeing…something. No one can be entirely sure of what it is they aren’t supposed to see, because everyone who looks grows violent and suicidal. When their home is no longer safe, the three protagonists strike out on a terrifying course, navigating the outdoors blindly in an attempt to find the last safe place. Continue reading

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Saints at the River: A Review

Saints at the RiverSaints at the River by Ron Rash My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ron Rash‘s Saints at the River opens with the death of a young tourist in one of South Carolina’s wild and scenic rivers. Ruth Kowalsky’s parents begin a campaign to defy laws governing the river in order to retrieve their daughter’s corpse from a dangerous eddy. From there, the situation turns into an even on both local and national levels, one in which people from all walks of life find a stake. Continue reading

When the Emperor Was Divine: A Review

When the Emperor Was DivineWhen the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first discovered Julie Otsuka when I picked up a copy of The Buddha in the Attic a few months ago. Her subject material attracted me, her rhythmic writing style pulled me in, and her expert storytelling held me until the book was done. And while her first novel is still a fantastic read, I just didn’t feel quite the same about When the Emperor Was Divine as I did Buddha. Continue reading

Show Your Work: a Review of Austin Kleon’s Philosophy on Marketing Creativity

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get DiscoveredShow Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever read a book that you just couldn’t shut up about? Even though you don’t want to be that person, you cannot help but gush, “Oh, you just have to read this book!” Your friends and family start to side-eye you whenever you work it into a conversation, but really, you’re just in love with the whole thing: its ideas, its illustrations, the funny little quirks in the typography. Continue reading

Hitler and Nazi Germany: A Review

Hitler and Nazi Germany: A HistoryHitler and Nazi Germany: A History by Jackson J. Spielvogel | My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jackson J. Spielvogel’s Hitler and Nazi Germany A History is an excellent text, covering nearly seventy-five years of German history in approximately three hundred pages. Stretching from Germany’s beginnings as a unified nation in 1871 to its surrender to the Allies on 7 May 1945, the text provides a look at aspects of the country’s history and culture which is shockingly detailed, given its brevity. Take, for example, this passage on Nazi artwork— Continue reading

In Defense of Holden Caulfield

The Catcher in the RyeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am one of those people who was in love with J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye from the first page. Shortly after reading it, however, I noticed that the novel and its protagonist are synonymous with ungrateful teenagers and their angst. Maybe I only liked it because I was in high school; I was mad at the world and every crummy thing in it. In many ways, though, I admire and pity Holden Caulfield to this day. Continue reading