Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

When asked to describe what kind of music his band plays, Andy Dwyer—the kindhearted lug played by Chris Pratt on Parks and Recreation—states that he "doesn't like to define" their sound but that they sound like Matchbox 20 and The Fray. "So ... rock," someone responds. "Well, again," explains Andy, "I don't really like to [...]

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

In his short story “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” Jorge Luis Borges—that miraculous, mind-fucking Argentinian—proposes an unusual premise. The titular Menard is shown to be obsessed with unusual literary feats and, as such, he decides to take it upon himself to rewrite Cervantes' classic, Don Quixote. He's not planning to translate the book or [...]

2014: What I Read

Following up on Monday's musical retrospective, it's time to award some superlatives to the books that I read in 2014. Straying even farther from release dates than with my musical entry, this list reflects books that I read in 2014, not necessarily books that were released this year. Most Hyped Book (That I Didn't Really Like) - [...]

Drivel & Dreams

When I came across this review yesterday, I couldn't help but smile. In case you didn't follow that link (which you should), the book being reviewed is Drivel: Deliciously Bad Writing by Your Favorite Authors. It's a collection of early, and decidedly bad, writings from luminaries like Dave Eggers, Chuck Palahniuk, and A.J. Jacobs. Early [...]

The Hobbit Begins

I've read The Lord of the Rings a number of times. As a result of all that repetition, I've internalized most of the story's primary aspects and plot points. And though I've not read it with the same frequency, I've also read The Hobbit a not-insignificant number of times. So I was surprised to find, [...]

I’ll Be Fine

I’ll Be Fine

A disclaimer: there is an old axiom about stones and glass houses that certainly applies here. I have achieved much less as a writer than, of all people, tennis legend Moncia Seles who - and pardon my surprise at this - has published two young adult romance novels. (I should specify that Seles co-wrote the books with James [...]