Tag Archives: classics

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility, who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or eyes – how such people think nothing of abusing a man born with low intelligence. It infuriated me to remember that not too long ago I – like this boy – had foolishly played the clown.

And I had almost forgotten.

It’s been a long time since a book has sucker punched me in the stomach both intellectually and emotionally. Continue reading

19 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

My professor introduced this novel by saying “Tess will change your life… but not in a good way.” Without a doubt, it has made me question the universe and all who inhabit it. My hatred of the patriarchy (aka Alec D’Urberville and Angel Clare) still shines like the sun in the middle of a hot summer day, but Tess of the D’Urbervilles has filled me with a cold, dark despair over the injustice of existence. As if a college English major didn’t already have to dwell on that.

One day Tess Durbeyfield learns that she actually descends from the noble D’Urberville family. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

As a pacifist, I did not expect to love The Things They Carried – a book comprised of short stories centered on the Vietnam War. However, Tim O’Brien’s magnificent writing won me over quicker than I could say “callipygous.” This book isn’t just about the brutality of war, it’s about the human condition, the emotions that entrench us in times of desperation and loss. There isn’t much more I can contribute concerning the book that hasn’t been said so here are a few of my favorite passages from it. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

5/5 stars.

A lot of the literature I’ve read for school this year has disappointed me. It’s great that we got to read and watch The Glass Menagerie as part of my AP Lit class, because I reclaimed my title as extremely obsessive fanboy extraordinaire.

There’s just so much to love in this play. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

In Defense of Young-Adult Books

Some of my favorite books, that so happen to be young-adult.

Some of my favorite books, that so happen to be young-adult.

Usually, I’m scared of my mom reading my posts. But not this time. With this post, I’m scared of my AP Literature teacher stumbling upon it, my elitist literature-loving friends finding it, or, even worse – my future college professors in the English department reading it. Because this post is dedicated to one argument: young-adult books are just as valuable as what many people refer to as “literature,” and on some occasions more valuable than such classics. Continue reading

81 Comments

Filed under Books

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

When I first heard of As I Lay Dying, I imagined a grand romance with star-crossed lovers fighting to stay together until the very end. I imagined a more mature Juliet calling out to Romeo to rescue her from her imminent doom, and I imagined a bittersweet ending bathed in pathos and poignancy. I expected an epic story featuring several deep themes: love, loss, heartbreak.

Well, now I know not to judge a book by its title.

As I Lay Dying is actually about the Bundren family, a messy group of uncouth Southerners who embark on a journey to Jefferson to bury their wife and mother, Addie. On the way they encounter difficulties ranging from storms to broken body parts, and their ambitions are tested accordingly.

I could justify any star rating for this book, but I based my two-star rating on how much I personally enjoyed it. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

A beautiful, haunting book about a man who moves to Paris to find himself – only to fall in love with a man and lose himself even more. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

On a plot level, reading The Stranger is as exciting as watching your grandmother eat potatoes. It’s a simple story about a nondescript man who does things randomly and routinely, and he eventually goes to trial for an incident caused by the heat.

Though I didn’t care about the characters or the plot, The Stranger did prove intellectually stimulating. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 5/5 stars.

Sophie’s Choice revolves around three characters and three story lines. The protagonist, Stingo, is an aspiring writer from the South who stumbles upon Sophie and Nathan when moving into his apartment in New York. Sophie serves as the beautiful and damaged love interest, a Polish woman and a survivor of Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp. Nathan, a handsome and successful biologist, brings both darkness and light into their lives. Stingo’s journey as an individual and a writer, Sophie’s troubled past, and Sophie and Nathan’s tumultuous relationship all come together in a convoluted, intensely passionate triangle that will break readers’ hearts.

This was my first time reading Styron. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Book Reviews, Books

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

A Raisin in the Sun details the story of a working-class family struggling to make ends meet. The Youngers are then faced with a difficult decision that brings their colored heritage and the lives of their ancestors to the forefront.

Although this book and Death of a Salesman have some similar themes, what makes A Raisin in the Sun much better is its dynamic dialogue and the conflicting desires of its characters. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books