books, borges, library

(no subject)

The RisenThe Risen by Ron Rash

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In 1969, two brothers in rural North Carolina fall under the spell of a young woman who seems to embody the free spirit of the time. Years later, the brothers couldn't be more different and a body that rises to the surface will bring tension and memories. Rash is a gifted writer and his talent is on display in this short novel.



View all my reviews
buddhism

(no subject)

The Art of SolitudeThe Art of Solitude by Stephen Batchelor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Buddhist author writes short essays tied to the idea of solitude (at least in his mind). He writes about his experiences with peyote and ayahuasca, Montaigne's essays, meditation, and writing. While the short essays make for quick reading, the impact may have been better served by keeping those together that discuss the same topic. Still worthwhile and occasionally thought-provoking though not a revelation.

[I received an advanced copy through Netgalley. The book is due to be released February 18, 2020.]



View all my reviews
books, borges, library

Deeper, not broader

This year, inspired by this article, I am focusing on enjoying what I have rather than gaining new things. With regard to reading, I want to focus on some big books that I've been meaning to tackle for a long while. In short, a #mounttbr year. Books I've own that have gathered too much dust waiting for me to crack them open.

I've also been too focused on how many books, rather than their quality. So I've got a couple from 2019 I'm still working on and then I'll be browsing and pulling from my home shelves.
book wheelbarrow

(no subject)

The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own MakingThe Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making by Jared Yates Sexton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A powerful memoir and analysis of the role of toxic masculinity in contemporary American life. It is difficult to read at times, and the author is brave for confronting the truth of his life, his father's, and stepfather's. With the embodiment of toxic masculinity residing in the White House, this book is more necessary than ever and deserves a wide audience.



View all my reviews
buddhism

(no subject)

The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist NunsThe First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns by Matty Weingast

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Therigatha ("Verses of the Elder Nuns") is the oldest collection of known writings from Buddhist women and one of the earliest collections of women's literature in India. This collection is a new translation that should resonate with modern readers. The poems are powerful as these women - wives, mothers, prostitutes, and others - find their voices and meaning by devoting their life to Buddhism and the Way.

[I received an advanced e-galley through Netgalley. The book is due to be published February 11, 2020.]



View all my reviews
books, borges, library

(no subject)

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Galaxy "Alex" Stern attends Yale University to monitor the supernatural activities of the school's secret societies. She seems like a poor fit given her background of dropping out of high school and hanging around drug dealers but she has a secret that makes her perfect for the job. Among the elite, she finds people just as sordid as in her past. A very entertaining fantasy novel with strong characters and story. I look forward to the next one in the series.



View all my reviews
book wheelbarrow

(no subject)

How Literature Saved My LifeHow Literature Saved My Life by David Shields

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A collection of memoir-ish essays about the impact of books, those he's read and written, on his life. Even as he hails books and reading as his life raft, he questions their importance particularly in a culture of rapid technological upheaval. If you're looking for lists of intriguing books to read, this might be a good place to start.



View all my reviews