A Wizard of Earthsea – Review

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Published in 1968

Pages: 183

Genre: Fantasy

“The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards.”

A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin, follows the young wizard Ged from his humble beginnings to his ascension to greatness. Taking advantage of many tropes of the fantasy genre, the tale spans years of Ged’s life and hits the highlights rather than diving into the everyday minutia of Earthsea. Though the story follows the well-trod road of the hero’s journey, there is little to elevate it above other spell-bound tales. Continue reading “A Wizard of Earthsea – Review”

Why Translation Matters – Review

**Before beginning my review, I want to take a moment and thank my fellow blogger Silvia Cachia for the recommendation. You can read her blog by clicking this hyperlink**

Why Translation Matters by Edith Grossman

Published in 2010

Pages: 160

Genre: Nonfiction, academic, language

“The vast, constantly expanding sea of contemporary literature can easily swamp any reader interested in keeping abreast of new works and new writers.”

Why Translation Matters, by Edith Grossman, is less of a book and more of an extended argument in defense of the practice and necessity of translating literature. Comprised of three essays and an introduction that gives context as to who Grossman is, Why Translation Matters is part of a series, created by Yale University, that asks experts to explain the intricacies and necessities of their fields. Debunking misconceptions and demonstrating the difficulty of her profession, Grossman creates a compelling thesis that will convince her reader to view translated pieces from a far more enlightened perspective. Continue reading “Why Translation Matters – Review”

The Lowland – Review

 The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Published in 2013

Pages: 415

Genre: Contemporary fiction

“East of the Tolly Club, after Deshapran Sashmal Road splits in two, there is a small mosque.”

The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri, weaves through years and across oceans to create a narrative that is universal despite the specificity of the culture from which the characters originate. There is a kaleidoscopic element to the human experience that is captured and translated into the words within this novel. Pay attention; you might miss something. Continue reading “The Lowland – Review”

In the Woods – Review

In the Woods by Tana French

Published in 2007

Pages: 429

Genre: Mystery, thriller

“Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.”

If you enjoy this idyllic vision of a summer day featuring the laughter of children in the background, Dixie cups filled with Kool-Aid mix lemonade, and the well-earned scrapes and bruises from an afternoon of playing, do not continue reading. In the Woods, written by Tana French, twists this picturesque scenery into a crime novel that takes the reader on a journey down the dark paths of malleable memory and the little lies we tell ourselves to make it through each day. Continue reading “In the Woods – Review”

Wishful Drinking – Review

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Published in 2008

Pages: 156

Genre: Autobiography, memoir, humor

“So I am fifty-two years old.”

Many people around the world felt waves of sorrow and grief for Carrie Fisher in the wake of her death last December. It is a strange thing to read a memoir by a deceased person in which they make a joke about their eventual death, but it isn’t all doom and gloom in Wishful Drinking. This autobiography gives the reader a glimpse into the unreal world of a member of Hollywood royalty while simultaneously showcasing Fisher’s quick wit. Continue reading “Wishful Drinking – Review”

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Review

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Published in 1969

Pages: 290

Genre: Nonfiction, autobiography, African-American literature

“I hadn’t so much forgot as I couldn’t bring myself to remember.”

Most people wouldn’t choose to begin their autobiography by telling the story of a time they wet themselves in embarrassment, but Maya Angelou was not like most people. The anecdote that begins I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings sets the tone for the first in a series of autobiographies about her life. Deeply poetic and honest without restraint, Angelou writes with passion and conviction while letting us into the delicate truths of her childhood. Continue reading “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Review”

Song of Solomon – Review

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Published in 1977

Pages: 337

Genre: African-American Literature

“The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance agent promised to fly from Mercy to the other side of Lake Superior at three o’clock.”

Song of Solomon follows Macon “Milkman” Dead III in his quest to find identification in a world still very divided by skin color. From Milkman’s birth to his open-ended fate, the book chronicles a family whose roots lie farther south than their home in Michigan. When he is told that there may be gold in them thar hills…I mean, hidden in a cave, that his father and aunt found when they were young, Milkman sets off on a journey that leads him closer to himself than he thought was possible. Continue reading “Song of Solomon – Review”