Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

Brennan, Marie. (2015). Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir of Lady Trent (A Natural History of Dragons). Tor Books; New York.  During one lovely evening at my local library, my eye was captured by a brilliantly-designed book cover out under the ‘new releases’ section. I read through the plot description for the novel before checking…

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Burroughs, Edgar Rice. (1912, 2010). Tarzan of the Apes. Oxford University Press; Toronto. This is a fun read to start off what is predicted to be a balmy and beautiful summer season. It will, however, make you feel ashamed of civilization and yearn for the uninhibited jungle life. Or maybe that’s just my particular take…

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

Dick, Philip K. (1977, 2011). A Scanner Darkly. Orion House; London.  This is a trippy, amazing, intense ride of a novel. I read it for the first time this past long weekend; it felt incredibly familiar to me. It felt  familiar to me because I’ve previous watched the film adaptation. Immediately after I completed the…

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Brontë, Charlotte. (1847, 2009). Jane Eyre. Wilder Publications.  Like many other readers, I was young when I first read through Jane Eyre. I recall being, quite possibly, in tenth grade, and was utterly fascinated by the gothic appeal of the novel. A young, brave, and intelligent overcomes an unloving childhood and grows into her own person…

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

Abbey, Edward. (1990). The Monkey Wrench Gang. Utah: Dream Garden Press. Four main characters, who meet randomly in serendipitous circumstances and are united in their common hatred of industry, drive the plot of The Monkey Wrench Gang.  Bonnie Abbzug, a mix of Jewish heritage, cabaret training, and university education, is the beautiful young lover of…

Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski

Bukowski, Charles. (1982, 2002). Ham on Rye. Ecco; New York.  Despite finding this book a charismatic and engrossing read, I did not like it. A coming-of-age tale about the young protagonist, Henry Chinaski, it describes every possible dirty and detestable feature of life. References to shit are constant; Henry breaks out in full-body acne/boils which…

Back of Beyond by C.J. Box

Box, C.J. (2012). Back of Beyond. Minotaur Books; New York.  Although not specifically based around his best-known character, Joe Pickett, this C.J. Box novel has much in the way of action, adventure, and suspense to offer to the contemporary reader. I was most excited about the setting of the novel in Yellowstone National Park –…

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

Boyden, Joseph. (2005). Three Day Road. Penguin Group; Toronto.  Appropriately, I finished reading Three Day Road during my trip to Thunder Bay last weekend. The setting for this novel is partly in the bushes of Moose Factory in Northern Ontario, and partly in Europe during World War I. It ties in many stories of First Nations lifestyle and…

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Orwell, George. (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Penguin Books; London.  There are many novels which you will want to read at least once in your lifetime, and this is one of them. Containing suspense similar to the distorted culture of Brave New World, mixed with the apocalyptic fear of The War of the Worlds, and as strangely…

Sylvia Plath Poems – Chosen by Carol Ann Duffy

Plath, Sylvia (Author) and Duffy, Carol Ann (Compiler). (2012). Sylvia Plath Poems. Faber & Faber; London.  I am not a regular consumer or producer of poetry; given a pile of poems, I would likely think them all of equal stature. It takes someone with a discerning mind and conscious heart to identify poems of great…

The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski

Kosinski, Jerzy. (1965). The Painted Bird. Grove Press; New York.  Let me begin this review by providing the potential reader with a warning – this book describes incredibly disturbing acts of violence and sexual depravity. The plot follows a young boy, abandoned by his parents during World War II, as he wanders from one village…