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Posts from the ‘Next Up’ Category

Next Up: Housekeeping

No, I’m not about to tell you my honey-do list. That’s the name of the book–Housekeeping.

I know absolutely nothing about this one, and I’ve never read anything from Marilynne Robinson.

So with that ringing endorsement, let’s all learn a little about Housekeeping in today’s preview: Read more

Next Up: A House for Mr. Biswas

You guys voted for the next novel last week, and A House for Mr. Biswas it is.

This novel is V.S. Naipaul’s only appearance on the Time list. Time describes the novel as such:

A House for Mr. Biswas is the life story of a man who wanted only a home, but who was a magnet for misfortune, oppression and humiliation, “a wanderer with no place he could call his own, with no family except that which he was to attempt to create out of the engulfing world of the Tulsis.” Mohun’s survival is a triumph of resilience and persistence and humor, an epic of dignity and self-respect doggedly clung to.

A few other facts about A House for Mr. Biswas and V.S. Naipaul: Read more

Next Up: Lucky Jim

I’m ready to move on from the intensity of The Confessions of Nat Turner and read something a little lighter. Enter Lucky Jim.

Lucky Jim was written by Kingsley Amis, and it portrays the sad but comical life of an English professor in post-war England.

The character of Jim is based on Amis himself, as well as influenced by his friendship with the poet Philip Larkin.

Some quick facts about Lucky Jim and Kingsley Amis: Read more

Next Up: The Confessions Of Nat Turner

I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, but this one looks pretty good.

The Confessions of Nat Turner, written by William Styron, is historical fiction in a sense. The novel recounts the first-person narrative of Nat Turner, who led a slave revolt in Virginia in 1831.

Here are a few quick facts about The Confessions of Nat Turner and William Styron: Read more

Next Up: Appointment In Samarra

I’ve seen Appointment in Samarra, written by John O’ Hara, compared to The Great Gatsby.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I consider that extremely high praise–almost impossible-to-meet expectations to put on a novel.

The novel focuses on Julian English, once a member of the social elite in small-town Pennsylvania, and follows his self-destruction.

A few facts about Appointment in Samarra and John O’ Hara: Read more

Next Up: The Sportswriter

Literary whiplash!

How in the world am I supposed to transition from a fantasy story of hobbits and elves and orcs and wizards and a magic ring into the story of a gloomy depressed and divorced sportswriter who recently lost his son?

Good question. I don’t know, but let’s give it a try.

Here are a few facts about The Sportswriter and its author Richard Ford: Read more

Next Up: The Lord Of The Rings

If you don’t like The Lord of the Rings, you might hate my blog over the next couple of months because it’s about to get all Gollum up in here for a while.
The Lord of the Rings Read-Along begins today!

Orcs, hobbit feet, angry dwarves, beautiful, mysterious elves—that’s what we’ll be talking about around here. Don’t worry, if you truly don’t like The Lord of the Rings, I’ll still have normal bookish posts unrelated to the novel.

I also want to open the blog up for some guest posts during this period. So touch base with me at if you might be interested. I’m thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 guest posts, and I already have one lined up, so I’ll only be selecting a few.

Anyway, enough about all that. Let’s take a brief, completely underwhelming look at a few facts about LOTR and its author, J.R.R. Tolkien. Read more


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