On the Subject of Choosing to Read

In today’s fast-paced world (because apparently that’s a phrase that can still be used despite being what I assume to be decades old), it is difficult to hold someone’s attention for more than a matter of seconds. I wasn’t even sure there was an audience for my writing on here because I tend to stay away from short content; thankfully, I was wrong.

If I am going to write something and put time in revising and editing, I want there to be something substantial to show for it. However, there are countless blogs and websites that have more followers and clicks because they stick with short posts that fit into people’s limited attention spans. If reading long articles online barely keeps someone preoccupied, how can reading books for fun even compete in this age of micro-attention?

Technoture.jpg
I think this is supposed to be profound or something. I dunno.

Continue reading “On the Subject of Choosing to Read”

Interesting Times – Review

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1994

Pages: 399

Genre: Fantasy, satire

“This is where the gods play games with the lives of men, on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing area and the whole world.”

Such an enigmatic opening can only be the beginning to yet another Discworld novel. Interesting Times, by Terry Pratchett, picks up the thread of Rincewind’s life and sends him sprawling into adventure once again. Fraught with peril, politeness, and parody, Interesting Times continues the story of Rincewind; a man who seeks boredom in lieu of his naturally exciting life. Continue reading “Interesting Times – Review”

Of Human Bondage – Review

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Published in 1915

Pages: 380

Genre: Fiction, semi-autobiographical

“The day broke gray and dull.”

This line sums up Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham incredibly well. Following the life of a newly orphaned boy in England, the book covers twenty years of indecision, romanticized lust, and attempts at self-discovery. Fraught with romantic entanglements and conversations of morality and religion, Of Human Bondage makes for a bit of a slog due to the immense amount of toilsome prose. Continue reading “Of Human Bondage – Review”

On the Subject of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech has long been a contentious issue throughout the history of not just the United States, but the world. How do we express ourselves without upsetting others? How do we go about hearing hurtful words directed at us and deal with them as responsible adults? What is okay to say, what isn’t, and who decides? The issue of freedom of speech has never fallen out of prominence in society, but it is especially prevalent today when people are afraid to speak their opinions. Continue reading “On the Subject of Freedom of Speech”

A Monster Calls – Review

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

Illustrations by Jim Kay

Published in 2011

Pages: 205

Genre: Children’s literature, fantasy

“The monster showed up just after midnight.”

While this may seem a cliché way to begin a tale about a monster, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is anything but. Conor O’Malley is plagued by nightmares; more specifically, he has a recurring nightmare filled with wind, darkness, and letting go of someone’s hand which forces them to be swallowed by darkness. In the wake of this nightmare, a monster appears outside his home and says that it has been called there by Conor. What follows is not a happy tale (those involving monsters seldom are) but an emotional adventure into the crushing weight of guilt lain upon a young soul. Continue reading “A Monster Calls – Review”

The Prince – Review

Il Principe (The Prince) by Niccolò Machiavelli

Published in 1532

H. Thomson translation (1910)

Pages: 71

Genre: Political science, nonfiction

“All the States and Governments by which men are or ever have been ruled, have been and are either Republics or Princedoms.”

The Prince is arguably one of the most well known works of political literature ever written which is saying something for a pamphlet written almost 500 years ago. Written by Niccolò Machiavelli as a guidebook on how to successfully rule, this book has transcended the troubles of its period and holds advice that continues to be relevant today. Continue reading “The Prince – Review”

Eric – Review

Eric by Terry Pratchett

Published in 1990

Pages: 197

Genre: Fantasy, parody

“The bees of Death are big and black, they buzz low and somber, they keep their honey in combs of wax as white as altar candles.”

As brutal as those bees sound, they only serve to introduce the strange occurrences happening not only in Death’s realm but on the Discworld itself. Eric, by Terry Pratchett, takes the classic stories of Goethe’s Faust, Homer’s The Iliad, and Dante’s Divine Comedy and tells them through the lens of parody. Continue reading “Eric – Review”