Category Archives: C

Read one of these books only if you have a pressing ulterior motive (e.g. the friend who gave you the book as a gift will be violently insulted if you don’t read it, etc.).

The Theogony

Hesiod

If The Theogony has any real value today, it’s as a reference work. If ever you find yourself wondering who Hephaestus’s parents are, or if he has any brothers or sisters, this is the place to go…

The Crow

James O'Barr

O’Barr wrote The Crow as a way to deal with his girlfriend’s death at the hands of a drunk driver, and it kind of reads and looks like emotion spilled all over the page. It could really have done with some serious editing by someone who wasn’t emotionally involved…

Dune

Frank Herbert

Dune is about the new messiah come to Akkaris to save the planet. They call him muad’Dib (non-language creators at it again! Man, are they terrible!). Everything about the planet is cool (e.g. they spit at each other as a sign of respect, because water is so precious); everything about muad’Dib and his army and his plans is terrible…

Silas Marner

George Eliot

Silas Marner is about an old miser named Silas Marner (I wish to note here that I initially picked the book up because I thought the title read Silas Mariner. You can imagine my disappointment) who spends all day counting his money, until one day a little girl wanders into his hovel and warms his heart (he finds her mother dead, and so logically assumes that the child is now his to raise)…

Sanctuary

William Faulkner

I wasn’t ready to read Sanctuary when I did, and I imagine that I’m going to have to give it another shot. Despite that, I can safely say this one isn’t Faulkner’s best…

Sing Down the Moon

Scott O'Dell

Sing Down the Moon is a junior high school book about a young Native-American girl whose tribe comes into contact with the Europeans…

The Quiet American

Graham Greene

The Quiet American is your typical Graham Greene book (some dude, love triangle, bitter despair, tragicomedy, etc.), except this time it takes place in Vietnam…

The Kitchen God’s Wife

Amy Tan

I didn’t choose to read this book…

The Cat Who Went to Heaven

Elizabeth Coatsworth

The Cat Who Went to Heaven takes place in Japan, and is related to Buddhism, not Christianity (something one definitely would not guess, given the title, which doesn’t seem appropriate). It’s about a painter who takes in a cat, even though he can barely afford to feed himself, and who then, by a stroke of good luck, is commissioned to paint a portrait of the Buddha for the local temple…

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

So, I’ve heard that one of the reasons why this book is considered so great is because it’s written in the 30s, and Huxley predicts the everyday use of the helicopter. Fantastic. Now that you know this, you can cross Brave New World off your reading list, and read something much more worthwhile that this book is supposed to be better than…