Blogs

The Subtlety of Influence in John Brandon's Arkansas by Nick

I, for the record, completely disagree with T.S. Eliot. And Pablo Picasso. The beaten-in-the-ground-so-many-times-it-has-turned-to-powder quote that ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal (actually, it originally reads as ‘immature poets imitate, mature poets steal) has become a catchall excuse for bad imitation. I personally would appreciate some subtlety. A mere nod, or a tip o’ the hat, perhaps, could go a long way.

Adventures in the Absurd by Tim

As the child of a noted wordsmith, a man who is credited with being the most important contemporary intellectual of the American conservative movement, Christopher Buckley''s literary DNA is self-evident. Aside from his keen wit, Buckley’s experiences growing up within the political power circle of Washington D.C. have provided ample material for his works of satire.

Two sides to every story: A People’s History of the United States and The Lacuna by Cara

History geeks everywhere lost an icon recently. Howard Zinn, best known for his radical work A People’s History of the United States , left behind an illustrious life at the age of 87. History is written by the winners, they say, and the works of powerful men have been recorded since antiquity. But we have Zinn largely to thank for creating a place in historical scholarship for the narratives of everyday citizens, for those who have been largely ignored and often oppressed.

Getting Lost in Victor Lavalle's Big Machine by Nick

I picked up Victor Lavalle’s Big Machine and could not put it down. I know, I know, everyone and their mother uses that cliché to describe a great book. But for me, this is few and far between. While I love a well written novel, honestly it’s the first twenty pages that makes or breaks a book for me. If I can’t get into it within that span, chances are I will abandon it and continue my hunt for the next big score. So what hooked me? Fluid, seamless prose.

Slow Books by Rebecca

Some books you must read slowly. I call these slow books. In my classification system, “slow book” does not equal “bad book.” There is a distinction. Think slow food. Slow books are like French cooking. Sure, you could buy a packaged rotisserie chicken and use a carton of stock, but you would miss out on the aromas and flavors of the dish as it was truly intended. Slow books are those which must be savored. You cannot read these books too quickly, because you will miss the breathtaking sentences that are more poetry than prose.

Pages