Book Review: The World to Come

The World to Come by Jim Shepard

The World to Come: Stories by Jim Shepard (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017. 272 pp) Jim Shepard is the author of four previous collections, including Like You’d Understand, Anyway, which won The Story Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award, and his short fiction has often been selected for Best American Short Stories and The Pen/O Henry Prize Stories. The most recent of his seven novels, The Book of Aron, won the PEN/New England Award and the Sophie Brody Medal for Excellence in Jewish Literature. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children and three beagles, and he teaches at Williams College. Who Needs Pay? A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s… Read More →

Book Review: The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (New York: Nan A. Talese, 2015. 320 pp) Born in Ottawa in the autumn of 1939, Margaret Atwood grew up in Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She attained her B.A. from Victoria College, University of Toronto and her M.A. from Radcliffe College. Atwood has written more than 50 works of poetry, children’s fiction, fiction, and non-fiction. While she is most known for her many novels, her book, Blind Assassin, received highest acclaim winning the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Currently, she lives with Graeme Gibson in Toronto. Shoe Steppers Often when considering the experiences of others, you’ll hear the suggestion of “stepping into another’s shoes.” Such a position provides ample value as empathy emerges… Read More →

Book Discussion: Foundation

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Foundation by Isaac Asimov (New York: Everyman’s Library, 2010; originally published in 1951. 199 pp) Isaac Asimov was one of the most prolific writers and editors of modern times, with approximately five hundred books in his bibliography. He died in 1992. The Back-Story Foundation is the first novel in Asimov’s larger Foundation Trilogy.  Though the series was later expanded into a work of five novels total, but most consider the original trilogy to be the true series. Foundation was written in multiple stages as publications in Astounding Magazine, the first part of the book was written the last. Later, Asimov wrote two sequel novels and two prequels. Foundation’s story is relatively simple. A group of scientists are seeking to preserve knowledge… Read More →

Book Discussion: Moby-Dick: or, the Whale

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick: Or, the Whale by Herman Melville (New York: Penguin Classics, 1992; originally published in 1851. 672 pp) Herman Melville was an American author best known for his work, Moby-Dick. A best-selling author with his first three books, Moby-Dick did not sell well and Melville’s popularity never returned. He died in 1891. *Spoiler Alert: We talk about the entire book here* A Sweeping Epic Melville’s sweeping epic details the story of Ishmael and the voyage of the whaling vessel, Pequod. The ship’s eccentric captain, Ahab, sails with a personal vendetta against a white whale, Moby-Dick, who is the source of Ahab’s missing leg from a previous sailing endeavor. Moby-Dick details the minutiae of whaling, the expanse of the open seas,… Read More →

Book Review: What Matters?

What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry

What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth by Wendell Berry (Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2010. 256 pp) Born in rural Kentucky, Wendell Berry is a farmer, critic, and prolific author. He has published many novels, essays, poems, and short stories. Berry received his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky before attending Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program. He obtained a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and taught English at New York University before taking a position on faculty at the University of Kentucky.  After a decade of teaching, Berry purchased a farm in the Kentucky countryside where he currently works and writes about the virtues of connecting with the land. Berry has won numerous awards including the T.S. Eliot Award, the Thomas Merton Award, and the… Read More →

Book Review: Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Avenue: A Novel by Michael Chabon (New York: Harper, 2012. 480 pp) One of the most celebrated writers of his generation according to The Virginia Quarterly Review, Michael Chabon was born in Washington D.C. He earned his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.F.A from the University of California, Irvine. Chabon published his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, from his master’s thesis at the age of 25. His third novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won Chabon the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. He is married to poet Lollie Groth. Escaping to the Mountainside “After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd… Read More →