12 books for 12 months – 2017

My main reading goal for this year was to make serious headway into my unread books (books I’ve owned for six months or more and never opened). To better motivate myself to get through this stack – which was easily 100+ books at the start of the year – I set a moratorium on book buying, which I was able to maintain more or less successfully.  And I’ve finished up the year by taking out 34 unread books, out of 85 read for 2017 total. Not spectacular, but it’s within spitting distance of 50%. Continue reading


On Symbols and Searching for Them

When I was a middle/high school student, I had a flair for finding meanings in various literary constructions in the poems and short stories that we read. For most of these, I was spitballing because no one else in the class would raise their hand, but it was still fun to poke around at the possibilities. This stayed through college; I once jokingly told a friend that I could come up with all sorts of “deep” interpretations of a webcomic we both followed and did so. A joke cult became a comment on religion’s masquerade and a running gag of a purse was transformed to a comment on the menace of consumerism. It was a ton of fun and made up entirely on the spot.

I had the tables turned on me when one of my poems came up for critique in a poetry class. A classmate expounded on a complex interpretation related to art and the perils of taking its pursuit too far. It was incredibly insightful- and had nothing to do with anything I’d had in mind for the poem. Continue reading

Story Must Matter

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I’m no stranger to being down on things that are critically acclaimed. However, for the most part, I try not to begrudge whatever the critically acclaimed things the success they have. Usually I can chalk it up to difference in taste and move on.

However recently I saw a stage production (kindly called an opera) that got four stars and a prominent  review from the Chicago Tribune.

This made me really angry. Continue reading

Basic Things to Think About During the Zombie Apocalypse

Since I’m an abysmal failure at getting anything up on schedule for this blog, I decided to make up for it by having a post that’s sort of timely. And with Halloween looming, I decided to try and be useful. To that end I’m presenting you with my tips for surviving the zombie apocalypse. Continue reading

Why I’m Giving Up On Goodreads

Time to blow off the dust on this thing! It’s been a very busy summer, but hopefully I will be able to have more frequent posting from here on out. I plan on actually creating a schedule (it remains to be seen how well I’ll actually stick to it). But you have to start somewhere, and right now, the best way to do that is an announcement!

So here it is: I’m giving up on Goodreads.

I’m sure the four people following me there will be crushed, but honestly, it’s time for me. Continue reading

Why I’m glad I can still be scared by stories

If you follow me on Twitter in any way (I haven’t been terribly active there; working an 8-5 job cut back considerably on my social media time), you might have noticed that I mentioned that I was reading It by Stephen King.

I ended up checking this book out because I was looking for Tony Hillerman novels and happened to stumble across King’s section while in the middle of that search.* Now, I know that this book is regarded as a horror classic, but I knew nothing about it other than that there was an evil clown that had, in the film adaption, been played by Tim Curry.

That was literally all I knew about it.

So I figured that it couldn’t be that bad. Right?


Continue reading