Book review: Into the Wild

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer (1996), was a bummer of a book. Describing the ultimately fatal journey of a disillusioned, middle-class young man into the Alaskan wilderness, the book seeks to explain how and why Chris McCandless died. Through interviews with the family members he abandoned on the East Coast and the friends he…

Book Review: The Boys in the Boat

My cousin did crew in college after competing in gymnastics for years. I always knew she was tough and that her chosen sports were no joke, but reading The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown confirmed to me that not only is rowing one of the most sophisticated athletic contests, but also one…

Book Review: The Reign of the Kingfisher

Before actually reading his debut novel, I had the pleasure of sitting down with TJ Martinson to chat about The Reign of the Kingfisher (2019). Although a life-long fan of comic books, Martinson recognized that current culture is already inundated with superhero stories. Hoping to add something new, Martinson decided to deviate from the predictable…

Book Review: Setting the Table

When a book written in 2006 makes you want to book a table at a restaurant in 2019, you know it has successfully captured the essence of enduring timeliness – something that restaurateur and author, Danny Meyer should be proud of in his career. I first heard of Danny Meyer last summer when I attended…

Book Review: Frankenstein

In response to a challenge by the poet Lord Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Started in 1816 and published anonymously in 1818, the story chronicles the exploits of Victor Frankenstein. Well bred for a life of academic success, the young scholar submerses himself in the challenge of creating new life…

Book Review: Hidden Figures

I’m a huge proponent of reading books before watching corresponding movies. Unfortunately in this case, the movie came before the book. Tiny tangent before I actually review the book, watching movies first is the worst because humans are able to hold images in their minds much easier than words (for the most part). Since I…

Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Heather Morris, a New Zealand author, wrote a fictional account of the concentration camp experience of two Slovakian Jews during World War II. The story was first written as a screenplay and later adapted into the novel format I read. In 1942 Lale Sokolov, the protagonist, arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. When SS…

Book Review: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Written in 1889, the novel follows Hank Morgan, an modern day (19th century) engineer from Connecticut, who gets hit in the head and wakes up in the 6th century. Early in the story, Hank is captured by one of the knights of the Round Table and brought to the court of King Arthur and Lady…

Book Review: Neither Here Nor There

Bill Bryson, an American travel writer, recounts his travels through Europe in the early 90s. He journeys from Hammerfest, Norway to Istanbul, Turkey while retracing an infamous backpacking trip of the 70s with an unforgettable high school acquaintance name Stephen Katz. The story of the original trip is documented in Bryson’s, A Walk in the Woods (which I have not read)….

Book Review: Hamlet

Hamlet (1599-1601), one of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragic plays, is a rhetorical narrative on the inherently destructive nature of struggles for power. The story picks up right after the King of Denmark dies. Presuming the death to be a homicide, his son and rightful heir, Hamlet, spends the entirety of the plot seeking revenge…