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The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)

I’m quite embarrassed to admit that I just finished The Hobbit for the first time. Ever. And here I consider myself a fantasy gal. It’s shameful, really. Anyway, I finally read it…and I loved it. I expected nothing less, of course, but there it is. I loved…

Third Class Superhero (Charles Yu)

I’m not usually a fan of short stories, so it’s pretty rare that I actually muck my way through an entire collection. That being said, Charles Yu’s first collection, Third Class Superhero, was one of those can’t-put-it-down reads. When the book arrived on my doorstep, I…

Junot Díaz @ OSU

Junot Díaz was at Ohio State University yesterday giving a reading and answering questions. Having written about his book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in my dissertation (in terms of magical realism as literary activism in the post-Cold War era) and read his first…

Kingdom Animalia (Aracelis Girmay)

Aracelis Girmay’s poetry collection Kingdom Animalia is among my favorites. She writes with a fluidity and grace that gives her poetry a sense of soulfulness. Her poems are achingly beautiful and get at the loneliness and love that lie at the heart of many human interactions.…

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (Charles Yu)

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe was an unexpectedly imaginative read. To be perfectly honest, I picked it up because of its obnoxiously bright cover and its quirky title. I’m glad I did. Charles Yu writes with a creativity that I haven’t…

City of Dark Magic (Magnus Flyte)

Magnus Flyte’s novel jumped out at me from the shelves of a bookstore in the airport in Salt Lake City. Anytime I see the word “MAGIC” emblazoned on the cover of a book like this, it’s bound to catch my eye. A quick glance at…

The Aylesford Skull (James P. Blaylock)

Until James P. Blaylock’s novel The Aylesford Skull, I hadn’t read any works that could really be classified as “steampunk.” I quite enjoyed it, especially coming off of a stint of hard research and writing. The novel is very suspenseful (not always a good thing in…

The Madness Vase (Andrea Gibson)

I absolutely loved Andrea Gibson‘s collection Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns, and when I found out she had a newer collection I went out and bought it right away. I was not disappointed. The Madness Vase is every bit as full of energy and purpose as Gibson’s…

Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns (Andrea Gibson)

Andrea Gibson is awesome — check out her website to see what she’s up to. That’s probably all I really need to say in this post. But of course I’m going to say more. The poems in this collection range from intensely personal selections to…

Beautiful & Pointless (David Orr)

This book jumped out at me one day in the poetry section at my local Barnes & Noble. David Orr writes with a humorous, witty voice that makes it easy for any reader to keep turning the pages. More than that, his approach to reading…