Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

My grandmother gave me this book for Christmas a few years ago. Inside the cover she wrote: Merry Christmas 2016. I look forward to trying one of your cakes! What puzzled me was not how she mistook a dystopian novel for a cookbook (the cover art on this edition was a man in a helmet... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Odyssey

These days, “sequel” has become synonymous with minimum effort and maximum disappointment. When I learned Homer had written a follow-up to his classic Iliad, I assumed it was a lazy cash-grab—not that I blamed him, you have to make hay while the sun shines. But I lowered my expectations unnecessarily; it turns out The Odyssey is... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Jungle Book

I first heard the name Kipling during a grade seven English class. Our teacher had to leave the room for a few minutes to deal with an unexpected situation (Adam Preston had just run outside and spewed over the balcony), so my schoolmates and I were left to talk amongst ourselves. Naturally the topic of... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Ivanhoe

Write what you know, says the old proverb. Well, apparently no one is listening, because everywhere I look there’s an author jabbering on about something clearly beyond their field of expertise. Tolkien’s violent, beer-swilling depiction of dwarves in The Hobbit made me wonder if he had ever actually met a dwarf; William Golding, though never... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Crime and Punishment

There are many rules when it comes to writing, and different authors favour different rules. Hemingway liked the effect of short sentences, Stephen King is big on ditching adverbs, and then there’s what seems to be Fyodor Dostoevsky’s rule of choice: punch the reader in the conscience. Well, old Fyodor is at it again in... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Grapes of Wrath

Perhaps you are like I was. Perhaps your only encounter with John Steinbeck’s work has been Of Mice and Men, and you’ve thought, Wow. That was some top shelf storytelling, impressive writing, and enough shattered hope to knock the stuffing out of the most hard-hearted reader. How could he top that? Well, get ready because... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Iliad

Few people have reached such heights of greatness as to be remembered by their first name alone—people like Elvis, Moses, Cleopatra and Santa. So I figured there must be something remarkable about the ancient Greek poet known through the ages simply as Homer. I was right. Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad, tells of the warriors... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Godfather

It is almost fifty years since Mario Puzo’s classic tale of a fictional New York crime family hit bookstores, and it remains as popular today as it was then. It’s not hard to see why.  Early in the story we are brought to a wedding scene. The bride is Connie Corleone, daughter of the crafty... Continue Reading →

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