Recently my fantasy books have come from Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series. I have read the three books that have been published out of the planned ten. Brandon Sanderson really came to the forefront of the fantasy world when he stepped up to finish the Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan died. I can't speak to his work there, since I could not continue that series when Jordan's later books became unbearably tedious. Now that I've read his original work, I can say that Sanderson is a great author. He creates fantastically intricate worlds. He has the universe developed to such an extent that he has appendices at the end of each of his novels providing meticulous charts laying out various facets that are completely unnecessary to the story.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Monday, May 21, 2018
I tend to have difficulty appreciating books that are filled with accents that are portrayed phonetically. For me, the story often gets buried under the effort to decipher what's being said. But in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston's beautiful prose makes the story shine through. Hurston tells a story about Janie Crawford, a woman who was biracial in the 1900s, which, of course,65 wasn't a great time to be the product of an interracial marriage. Janie spends the book searching for love, but for her this turns out about as well as it did for Romeo and Juliet. More than that, the story is a compassionate, but ultimately fairly bleak, look into the immense difficulties facing both women and minorities at the time, which were compounded for the protagonist. I can't think of much else to say about this book without spoiling it except to say that I did not see the ending coming.
Friday, May 11, 2018
It was pretty inevitable that I would get around to reading the biography of Alexander Hamilton. While Hamilton has always been a recognizable name, the average American didn't know much about him. A study conducted in May 2015 found that 71% of the U.S. residents sampled thought that Hamilton was a U.S. President (spoiler: he wasn't) and those responding rated their confidence in this at over 80%. When writing his book, Ron Chernow could not have had any idea that his book would inspire a musical that would cause Hamilton's popularity to surge as never before.