Recounting nearly 30 years of Egyptian history in three Cairo summers, Yasmine El Rashidi‘s Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt drives readers through an evolving — perhaps even crumbling — country on the brink of revolution. At the heart of El Rashidi’s story are the unnamed narrator and her ever-dwindling family. The changes in the city and its politcal landscape are subtle as the narration moves from the mid-1980s to the Arab Spring in 2011, but the comings and goings of her family are not. Continue reading
I’ve read my fair share of dystopian fiction, but I have never come across a book outside of the genre that gave me the same signature sense of hopeless terror. At least I hadn’t, until I read Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet. This chilling tale of a woman’s flight from her manipulative husband had me offering a forceful recommendation to anyone I thought would enjoy it. Continue reading
It isn’t often that a book I’ve only just read becomes an instant favorite. I tend to realize just how much I’ve enjoyed a novel only when I find myself recommending it to friend after friend after friend. It is perhaps because I can’t do this with John Darnielle‘s Wolf in White Van that I bonded with it so quickly. Continue reading
According to data gathered in 2014, 42% of college students will not read another book after graduation. Now, graduating from college is terrifying, because it’s like getting pushed out of a nest: you’ve got to fly, but you don’t know how, and you have to make progress to stay afloat. Progress = growth, and one of the easiest ways to make it is to read. Sure, you could watch a TED talk or learn a third language, but think about how many books are out there: books to read, books to reread, books to say you’ve read. Okay, maybe not that last one. Continue reading
I say to myself every semester, This is it. This is the one. This is the semester where I read everything. Then life happens, I read about 60% of what’s required, and I pass with flying colors. So this semester, I’m telling myself something different: I’m going to read everything I need to read. If I find that I don’t need to read something I’ve begun, I’ll quit it, and move on to bigger and better things.