Beauty & ideas
U.S. Army Private John Bartle has returned home from Iraq—physically, but not mentally. Having done a tour in one of the deadliest cities for American soldiers in the Iraq War, Bartle is lucky to be alive. But is agonizing over a haunted past really living?
Yes. Even if you’re one who might be put off by Kevin Powers’ poetic style, I think The Yellow Birds is good enough that you should give it a try. Understand that this book has a small plot and wants you to focus on the emotional aspects of war. It’s heavy on character introspection and isn’t meant to be a detailed analysis of anything that happened in Iraq.
Despite having a cold virus for the past five days that made me think I was going to die, I made it to year 27 last Friday. (It’s more impressive in Roman numerals: XXVII.) This birthday was celebrated with little fanfare because of the plague I’ve been carrying, but in a way the quiet suits me fine. My family sent nice gifts, Mr. F gave me a box of random LEGO and cooked comfort food, and I put on pants … Keep reading?
Above All Things is about the mountaineers of Britain’s 1924 Mount Everest expedition. In particular, it’s about the relationships between the men who dared to climb in conditions unfit for humans and about the people they left behind, back closer to sea level. (Aside: If you don’t know much or anything about this expedition or George Mallory, I would urge you to read about them after you’ve read this book.)
Yes. Historical fiction is so often about wars and royal politics that we sometimes forget there are other smaller but still important stories to tell. If you like survival adventures, you’ll enjoy this book.
The Fault in Our Stars is a small story that covers a big subject, namely death. Characters Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters are two smart, sassy teenagers who have so far managed to stay one half-step ahead of the Grim Reaper. Meeting at a cancer support group, they quickly form a strong bond. Through each other, they experience a world beyond illness.
Perhaps. Outside of its dialogue, The Fault in Our Stars is an okay young adult novel, but I am probably more inclined to talk about John Green than I am his fiction.
In the Bible, Dinah is a minor character, despite being the sole daughter of Jacob, an important patriarchal figure of the Old Testament. What little is written about Dinah is really about how men perceived and used her; like most biblical women, she is whittled down to her virginity and potential as a wife and is given no voice of her own. The Red Tent is author Anita Diamant’s attempt to give Dinah, and the women in Dinah’s life, a voice.
The Red Tent is one of those books I’m glad I read, even though I didn’t exactly love it. I’m giving it three stars, but I feel its historical information is important and that both religious and nonreligious people should read it. For anyone who’s curious, it was recommended to me by someone who is religious.
Follow the lives of an overweight recluse and a poor teenager as they uncover the secrets of a woman they both have loved but have never really known.
Yes. Filled with memorable characters, Heft is one of the better books I read in 2013.
If you’ve at all followed American politics in 2013, you know it’s been a contentious year filled with enough real-life drama that probably even the writers of House of Cards have been taking notes. Between the Supreme Court deciding racism isn’t an issue anymore, the NSA spying on our sexting, the new health care website rolling out like it was programmed by a hungover college kid, the Obama administration reneging on Afghanistan, the Do-Nothing Congress … Keep reading?
"Working with colleagues at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms, a group led by Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin and MIT Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic have managed to coax photons into binding together to form molecules – a state of matter that, until recently, had been purely theoretical."