The Vines We Planted

When I originally said I would review The Vines We Planted, by Joanell Serra, I fully intended to read the book in a couple of days and then review it the day after. Then life happened, my world got a bit crazy (in all good ways, eventually), and I couldn’t dedicate the time I wanted to reading and reviewing books. That was back in May. Now it’s August, on the cusp of September.

I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.

But now I’m back! So let’s get started! Continue reading “The Vines We Planted”

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Walden Two

walden two coverThanks to finally opening up on my Twitter account about my book blog (sorry, I’m not comfortable linking my twitter handle here just yet), one of my followers recommended the book Walden Two to me.  After a few false starts and distractions, I finally buckled down and took the book out for a half hour per night until I finished it.  It’s certainly not a book I would have picked on my own, which is perfectly fine.  After all, expanding my horizons by reading outside my comfort zone is something I’m working on all the time (well, not all the time, but at least little by little).

Walden Two, by B. F. Skinner, is a terrible novel.  If you are looking for something with good plot, engaging dialogue, and fully realized characters, do not pick up this book.  Though set up as a novel, it is more of a novelized version of Skinner’s treatise on the optimal Utopian society based upon behavioral science and behavioral conditioning.  I kept reading, thinking that someday, sometime, the exposition-via-dialogue would end and Skinner would show us how Walden Two (the fictional utopian community) worked instead of telling us.  After all, the book started promisingly enough, with our introduction to Professor Burris pretending he remembers two of his old students, who have returned from war and hope to find a place to live not dictated by the ever-shifting ever-hazardous environments created by warring politics.  It was humorous, intriguing, and just the hook that I needed to be drawn into what I thought would be engaging lessons via prose.

Alas, it was not to be.

This review shall be split in two parts: critiquing the novel, and critiquing the ideas presented. Continue reading “Walden Two”

Thy Brother’s Blood

thy brothers blood cover

Okay peeps, time for a moment of honesty: this book took me nearly two months to read, and it’s taken me a week to formulate my thoughts for this blog post.  I’ve got my cream soda ready for a sip; and as I don’t drink alcohol, this is serious business.  The only way I could be more serious is if I had chocolate milk on hand to fortify myself.

I was asked to review Thy Brother’s Blood by someone who has sent several wonderful books my way.  I was warned that it was controversial in content and literary in nature.  Always up for a challenge, and always thirsty for exposure to different cultures, I eagerly accepted.  And I promised I would write a review, which is why I’m here now. Continue reading “Thy Brother’s Blood”

The Agitated Heart Book Review

the-agitated-heart-cover“Christopher Jacob Arnold sought peace for many days.”

So begins J. Scott Bronson’s novella, The Agitated Heart. This short book provides what many longer works lose in their lengthiness: concise language, yes, but rich, deep characters, situations and themes that make you think, a stillness that engulfs you after you’ve read. Continue reading “The Agitated Heart Book Review”