Only finished three books this month, but that happens sometimes. Thanks to a good January, I’m still on pace. While you’re here, I’m going to be writing for charity in about a month and half, and if you’d like to help out, it would be wonderful. Louisville Story Project is a fantastic organization that seeks out unheard and marginalized voices and makes sure they get published. You can donate here.

  1. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (3/5) – I was disappointed in this book, and I realize I’m very much in the minority. I don’t have a problem with novels that are more about place/time/culture than character (some of my very favorite books fall into this category – One Hundred Years of Solitude, for instance), but I do need there to be some focus on character. In this novel, it seemed to me that the people never really got to be people rather, they were props who existed waiting for deus ex machina to come along and move the story to its next phase. Again, I know i’m in the minority, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
  2. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (5/5) – A teaching reread, but Act III of Caesar is one of my very favorite things in all of literature. Do yourself a favor and go watch the Brando version from 1953. Marlon Brando was good.
  3. Collection of Sand by Italo Calvino (3.5/5) – Another disappointing one. I’m working my way through Calvino right now, and this is the first work that hasn’t done much for me. Mostly, I’m sure, because it’s a collection of essays and not a unified work and those are always problematic. The first half or so of the book is very pedestrian (2/5), but the second half I quite enjoyed (4.5/5). So take that for whatever it’s worth.