20 Books of Summer 2022

I haven’t posted on my blog in almost a year, nor have I read any books in that time. I know reading isn’t supposed to be something you quit, but other projects came up and a break was a great help to get my TBR in hand. A little distance made it possible to purge my bookshelves. There were so many books I’d held onto only because “I’ll read it eventually,” even if the topic didn’t interest me, or titles that I felt obligated to keep on my shelf because they meant I was a certain type of reader, etc. Getting rid of the chaff was such a relief—it was like I’d accumulated hundreds of homework assignments over the years, and the deadlines suddenly vanished. Really, why should I read all the Booker/Pulitzer winners anyway? Some of them sound awful. (eBooks escaped the purge because they don’t require physical space.) I haven’t updated the TBR that’s posted on this site yet, but eventually it’ll reflect books I’m more excited to read instead of self-imposed homework. read more

Review: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez

20 Books of Summer: Book 3

I’ve been trying to finish a book by Gabriel García Márquez for years and—finally!—I have. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is one of his shorter books at 120 pages. Its premise is also much more straightforward and linear than that of 100 Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera. This book is a murder “mystery,” but the only mysterious thing about the death is that it was allowed to happen. On the morning before Santiago Nasar is murdered, everyone is gossiping about his upcoming death, but no one prevents it. No one even warns Nasar: “No one even wondered if Santiago Nasar had been warned, because it seemed impossible to all that he hadn’t.” (20) read more

Review: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

20 Books of Summer 2021: Book 2

This is more of a plea for additional book recommendations than a review. I expected to enjoy Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! because friends (and strangers) have recommended the Discworld books for years. I didn’t have a compelling reason to not read them; there are just so many of them and I’m not overly fond of series. Plus, in the days before I had access to used bookstores (and before Kindle deals), getting sucked into the series would have meant a hefty financial commitment. read more

Review: Murder in the Age of Enlightenment by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

book cover: murder in the age of enlightenment

Murder in the Age of Enlightenment: Essential Stories is a collection of seven stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa. While the titular story is my least favorite, its title suits the collection well as each story hinges on death—either murder or suicide. On the whole, it’s an excellent collection of creative and disquieting fiction. The following stories are included. read more