book review

Book Review: The Glass Castle

This was such a stunningly good book. I usually read more squarely in the area of genre fiction. Fantasy, thriller, science fiction. I read books for escapism, so the fact that I loved this one speaks to just how great it is. Because it’s anything but escapism. Wells writes a memoir of her childhood, growing up in conditions that bring new meaning to the word squalor. She pulls no punches, portraying her family and the people she knew back then for both good and ill. Her father was both a raging alcoholic and someone who really wanted to be a

Book Review: The Outsider, by Stephen King

I have long admired Stephen King’s ability to create a riveting story. To just set up a premise that demands to be read. I think where he excels the most is in his ability to write characters we care about, and then his willingness to put those characters into extremely difficult situations. From there, he allows the premise to unfold, and he doesn’t shy away from put all those characters through the ringer. The Outsider is squarely in that sweet spot. I started reading it one evening, and the next thing I knew, it was almost midnight, and I had

Book Review: The Cradle Series, by Will Wight

Several years ago, I came across some chatter online about a great new fantasy series. Cradle, by Will Wight. And would ya know it? At the time, he was literally giving away the first five or six books in the series. Yes, they were self-published, but “free” is a pretty darn compelling selling point, so I downloaded them all and figured I’d read them eventually. They were in some new-fangled genre called “LitRPG,” which basically meant (from what I gathered) that they were like reading a video game. The main character kept leveling up to fight bigger monsters. Well, here

Book Review: The Frugal Wizard’s Guide to Surviving Medieval England

I often have people ask me if they should read any books by Brandon Sanderson. It seems like sometimes people feel that if enough other people like something, maybe they’re missing out if they’re not liking it as well. I always tell them that Brandon’s books aren’t for everyone. Most of them are very Epic fantasy, meaning you’d better be ready to learn a lot of character names and figure out a whole new magic system fairly quickly (or at least be okay with the fact that for the first long while, you won’t understand what’s happening). That said, they’re

Book Review: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

I’m a well known fan of Groundhog Day, and I’ve loved seeing just how many time loop movies have come out since Phil first went to Punxsutawney. However, I haven’t seen much in the way of books that cover the same ground, so when I read the description of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, I was more than a little intrigued. The premise is fascinating. A select number of people in the world live their lives over and over and over again. Every time they die, they are reborn back on their original birthday, under their original circumstances.