Book Review: Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach: A Novel by Jennifer Egan (New York: Scribner, 2017. 448 pp) Jennifer Egan is the author of five previous books of fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Keep; the story collection Emerald City; Look at Me, a National Book Award finalist; and The Invisible Circus. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, McSweeney’s, and The New York Times Magazine. A Crisp Morning in the San Juans Life’s verification exists in the vignettes we embed in our unconsciousness. Our senses capture the material world and etch these memories into our brains like a Dürer woodcut. Of the many etchings catalogued in… Read More →

Book Review: Frog Music

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

Frog Music: A Novel by Emma Donoghue (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2014. 410 pp) Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin, Ireland to Frances and Denis Donoghue. She attended University College Dublin earning first-class honors in English and French. Later, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. In addition to Room, she has written the Sealed Letter, Landing, Touchy Subjects, Life Mask, the Woman who Gave Birth to Rabbits, Slammerkin, Kissing the Witch, Hood, and Stirfry. Donoghue lives in Ontario, Canada with her family. Describing History The preservation of history requires detail. Historians often wax poetically around the systems and institutions of history. The historian asks big questions, such as, what socioeconomic issues constitute causes for the… Read More →

Book Review: To the Bright Edge of the World

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2016. 424 pp) Eowyn Ivey’s debut novel, The Snow Child, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and an international bestseller published in twenty-six languages. A former bookseller and newspaper reporter, she was raised in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. Magic I’ve never felt more like a magician than in my early iPhone years around my grandparents. When visiting their domicile, the juxtaposition between the phone desk with a decades-old phone matched with the rolodesk-style address book. This picture paints a stark contrast to the sleek super computer in the pocket. Want to see a… Read More →

Book Review: Confessions of a Pagan Nun

Confessions of a Pagan Nun: A Novel by Kate Horsley (Boston: Shambhala, 2001. 208 pp) Kate Horsley is an award-winning novelist and poet who writes about the untold lives of people who lived during times of dramatic historical upheaval. She teaches English at Central New Mexico Community College. Tracing History I know it is a pretty obvious statement but have you considered the differences between modern life and those of our ancestors. Obviously, from a technological perspective, life is irreversibly different; shelter to transportation, nutrition to wellness—every aspect of life carries little to no resemblance to the lives of people 100 years ago, let alone those living much earlier in our shared history. Interestingly, consider the advancement of Christianity. Over… Read More →

Film Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter written by Seth Grahame-Smith, directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Productions, Bazelevs Production, Tim Burton Productions, R, 105 minutes) Starring  Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper. “History prefers legends to men; it prefers nobility to brutality, soaring speeches to quiet deeds. History remembers the battle and forgets the blood. Whatever history remembers of me, if it remembers anything at all, it should only be a fraction of the truth, for whatever else I am, a husband, a lawyer, a president, I shall always think of myself as a man who struggled against darkness” – Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter Why Not? I watched Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter because it was close to Halloween, and it seemed like a not-so-serious movie that I could “enjoy”… Read More →

Book Group: The Revisionists

The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen (New York: Mulholland Books, 2011. 448 pp) Born in Rhode Island, Thomas Mullen graduated from Oberlin College. His first novel, The Last Town on Earth received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction, Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune best book of the year. Mullen currently resides in Atlanta with his wife and two sons. The Plot In The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen, Zed is an agent from the future. He is sent back in time to Washington D.C. to make sure the world’s problems continue in order that the future he lives in is preserved. It is his goal to make sure that every catastrophe… Read More →