The Heart Goes Last

Review: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Part satire, part cautionary tale, Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Heart Goes Last, is an exploration of our worst cultural tendencies as North Americans: a desire for safety and comfort over freedom, a willingness to ignore the violence inherent in capitalism, and a blindness to how our fetishes exploit the poor and less fortunate. Like…

Classic Review: Moby-Dick

“Moby-Dick reads like a textbook. There’s the chapter classifying the different types of whales. There’s the chapter(s) on whale anatomy. There are lots of chapters about whale oil. Moby-Dick is more manual than novel, right down to the instructional guide on turning the skin of a whale’s penis into a jacket.” Jamie Leigh reviews the classics.

Better Than Before

I’ll Keep the Bad Habits

“At this point in my life, I’m far more interested in exploring what my vices have to teach me than in eradicating them. Procrastination is most often my body’s cue that I need rest and spaciousness. Craving chocolate ice cream tells me it’s time to celebrate. Biting my nails lets me know I’m stressed and need to take some down time for myself. And staying up late means my inner rebel seeks freedom. Indulging it makes life more fun.” Cyndi Briggs wants you to embrace your bad habits.

December 7, 2015
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Classic Review – Women in Love

“If only man was swept off the face of the earth, creation would go on so marvellously, with a new start, non-human. Man is one of the mistakes of creation—like the ichthyosauri.” OUCH. D. H. Lawrence holds back his criticism of neither man nor dinosaur in Women in Love, so I’m not going to bother with reverence either….

September 2, 2015
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A Review of Empire of Deception

“Like a moth to a flame, Koretz had seen the light, but did not know the extent of the darkness that would consume him—and those he loved.” Lauren Jonik reviews Dean Jobb’s new book, Empire of Deception, about Leopold Koretz – an idealistic, generous swindler from the 1920s.

April 7, 2015
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Classic Review: The Lord of the Rings

So there’s this hobbit. You may have heard of him. He is unwisely chosen to venture beyond the gates of hell to destroy a powerful ring on which the fate of Middle Earth depends—a quest that should ABSOLUTELY kill him but doesn’t. He’s joined by a few burdensome, incompetent fools, mainly to emphasize that these are unlikely heroes (like most British protagonists), and…

March 3, 2015
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Classic Reviews: “The Pilgrim’s Progress”

The full title of John Bunyan’s 1678 masterpiece is The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come; Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream; Wherein is Discovered the Manner of his Setting Out, His Dangerous Journey, and Safe Arrival at the Desired Country. It has been translated into more languages than any book, ever, except for…

February 2, 2015
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Classic Reviews: “Vanity Fair”

Vanity Fair, published in 1847, follows the adult lives of two women opposite in breeding, personality, ambition, hair color, and pretty much everything else. Becky Sharp is a 19th-century Mean Girl, unleashing her inner sociopath at every opportunity, while Amelia Sedley is a naïve wallflower who barely provokes an opinion of any kind. I, for…

July 20, 2014
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Classic Review: 1984

“Like so many sci-fi authors and Tarot card readers, George Orwell sat down one day, combed out his half-mustache, and pondered the fate of humanity.” Jamie Leigh kicks off Classic Reviews with 1984.

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