Book Review: The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles: A Novel by Karen Thompson Walker (New York: Random House, 2012. 269 pp) Karen Thompson Walker is a graduate of UCLA and has received the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship as well as a Bomb Magazine fiction prize. She is a former editor for Simon & Schuster. The Age of Miracles is her first novel. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Random House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” The End is Nigh! The year is 2012, and,… Read More →

Book Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica Roth (New York: Katherine Tegen/Harper Collins, 2011. 487 pp) Veronica Roth (b. 1988) is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, where she wrote her first book, Divergent. Film rights to the novel have been sold as of April 2012. Vice and Virtue So often we can unknowingly characterize ourselves based on our greatest vice. Perhaps we are too greedy, too slothful, too prideful, or even too malicious. However, we rarely think about what our greatest virtue is, and we even more rarely gravitate toward characterizing ourselves based on it. In a work of speculative fiction, Divergent by Veronica Roth imagines a world where society is broken up into factions based on their… Read More →

Book Review: Zone One

Zone One: A Novel by Colson Whitehead (New York: Doubleday, 2011. 272 pp) Colson Whitehead was born in 1969 and raised in Manhattan. He attended Harvard College and afterward he began working as a reviewer for The Village Voice. Out of the gate, Whitehead’s fiction gained acclaim when his first novel, The Intuitionist, won the Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award. His work has earned him the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. Also, Whitehead has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Knives and Reason Aristotle, when expanding on his defense of virtue ethics, contends that humans act ethically when… Read More →

Book Review: The Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet: A Novel by Ben Marcus (New York: Knopf, 2012. 304 pp) Ben Marcus is the author of The Age of Wire and String and Notable American Women. His stories have appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Tin House, and Conjunctions. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and awards from the Creative Capital Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York, where he is on the faculty at Columbia University. The Curious Case of Parenthood They say life transforms once you become a parent. The transition is instant. One day you care about music and video games; the next, you… Read More →