Looking back over the blogs I’ve written for the Literary Duck, I realized that it’s been a couple of years since I griped about a book, which must mean that it’s time to take up my sword of criticism and do some hacking and slashing. I should say going in that I’m not a good “social” reader, meaning that I don’t like to read what everyone else is reading, and I will, in fact, go out of my way not to read a title if it has made the bestsellers list. This hasn’t served me 100% of the time because, obviously, some things are wildly popular because they’re extraordinarily good. But, in general, if a book is so popular that the second edition has a “book club questions” section in the back, I’m not going to be a fan. continue reading >>
I love Jane Austen. I love petticoats and tea and sweet sisters and snarky sisters-in-law and meddling mamas and surly men with hearts of gold. So, when I saw Joanna Trollope’s modern adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, I knew I had to have it. I opened it, started reading, and threw in the hand-embroidered handkerchief after two chapters. Then a few weeks ago, the book came across my path yet again, and I thought I’d give it another try. Maybe I’d like it more now. Maybe I was older, wiser, more patient. Maybe those few months in between tries had made me a better person, one more capable of understanding that rich people have needs and feelings, too.
I’m not. I’m not a better person. I still have a hard time coddling the wealthy. I still think millionaires are money hoarders who should have their own TLC show. And so, without further ado, here is my open letter to the 21st century version of Elinor Dashwood and the rest of her useless family (I apologize for the caps and the profanity): continue reading >>
We are in the Dog Days of Summer—long days ruled by the hot sun and short nights ruled by Sirius, the Dog Star. While we like to think books are man’s best friend, we know there truly is no better friend than a dog. Celebrate the Dog Days of Summer by reading books (man’s second best friend?) about those loyal pals: continue reading >>
I like to think that I’m more prepared than most for a zombie apocalypse. (It’s actually been a point of pride for me.) I’ve read enough about zombie wars to feel like I have an appropriate plan of action for most zombie situations. But when I read World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, I realized how little I knew about dealing with the undead. continue reading >>
Every type of weather is the perfect weather for reading. A sunny day? Perfect for reading under a shady tree with a refreshing drink in your hand. Thunderstorms? Well, the only thing to do during a storm is to curl up with a good book! Fog? Fog is much too dangerous to do anything but stay safely inside with a mysterious tome.
No matter what July weather comes your way, use it as an excuse to read one of our lovely staff favorites: continue reading >>