Soon I Will Be Invincible

Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible is a book about superheroes that is neither a comic book nor a graphic novel. Drop the comic, drop the graphic. It's simply a book, a novel. About superheroes. And it is awesome. The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of a literal evil genius, Dr. Impossible, who suffers [...]

A Princess of Mars

If you've read a science fiction book or seen a sci-fi movie, odds are you have some familiarity with Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars even if you don't know it. Published almost one hundred years ago (1917), A Princess of Mars is a classic pulp adventure story and its DNA flows through the veins of [...]

A Boy and A Bear In A Boat

When Dave Shelton named A Boy and A Bear In A Boat, he pretty much gave away the whole premise in the title. The book follows the adventures of a boy and a bear in a (you guessed it) boat as they take a journey of indeterminate origin and purpose. As the boy and bear venture to who-knows-where [...]



Let's get this out of the way upfront: Ursula Le Guin is a master of the bildungsroman. A Wizard of Earthea, The Farthest Shore, Malafrena, and several of her other books are among the finest coming of age novels in American literature. There are few authors capable of elucidating the challenges of personal discovery the [...]

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a story of childhood adventure and, as such, the story's titular hero finds himself in a number of troublesome predicaments, usually as a result of his own childishly unchecked curiosity. Through Tom's adventures in overcoming these predicaments, Twain paints a remarkably accurate picture of the joys, fears, and trials [...]

The Turn of the Screw

Throughout middle school, high school, and then college, I read and re-read an old hand-me-down copy of the Edgar Allen Poe collection Tales of Mystery a number of times. Like a lot of teenagers, I loved Poe. He and his work were dark and creepy and fascinating. And though it's been a long time since I read [...]

She Is Beautiful

She Is Beautiful

First things first: I highly recommend Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Go. Read it. Oddly enough, my initial response was less rosy. After a few pages I didn't much care for the narrator's voice. By page 50 I was at least comfortable with it. And by page 92 I loved it. At the risk [...]