REPOST: Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya

The news of the death of Rudolfo Anaya hit today. He was not only a world-renowned author, he was also a dear and cherished friend, mentor, and counselor. I was fortunate to have met him 20 years ago and we developed a wonderful friendship. He encouraged my writing, persuaded me to attend graduate school, and … Continue reading REPOST: Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Well, I had to, didn't I? It's October. What other book could I possibly blog about other than The Exorcist, that classic tale of demonic possession, faith, and terror? I'd never read the book, though I've seen the movie many times, especially in October. The film hasn't lost its shock value, though it's not as … Continue reading The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis

In honor of Easter Sunday, I decided to reacquaint myself with The Last Temptation of Christ, a book that has a very soft spot in my heart. This is the book and movie for which I was kicked out of Catholic school back in 9th grade. I didn't get kicked out because I was a … Continue reading The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

A very magical and whimsical book ostensibly written for children, it also translates beautifully for adults. Haroun and the Sea of Stories is, at its heart, a poignant treatise on the importance of words and stories and language and not censoring either your imagination or your voice. Written by Salman Rushdie, whose seminal work The … Continue reading Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

One Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights) as retold by Hanan al-Shaykh

I don't know about you, but when I think of One Thousand and One Nights, or as it's more commonly known, The Arabian Nights, what comes to mind are exotic tents in the desert surrounded by turbaned thieves, camels with tasseled saddles, beautiful dancing girls draped in veils in emerald green, ruby red, and turquoise blue, … Continue reading One Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights) as retold by Hanan al-Shaykh

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Both a novel of psychological suspense and genuine supernatural horror, A Head Full of Ghosts is head case of a book.....pardon the pun. I love a book that cleverly uses meta-fiction, and this one definitely refers back to itself in such a funny way, by use of social media. (Speaking of which, there is a … Continue reading A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

In terms of medieval books, The Canterbury Tales is right up there with Dante's Inferno as my top favorites. Unless you're a trained medieval scholar, however, I would strongly recommend reading a more modern English translation of the book, since the medieval English of Chaucer is quite difficult to read. The entire book essentially revolves … Continue reading The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Thanks to TB for the photography. This is one of the funniest books I've ever read, and I've read it several times. Though it's a very irreverent re-telling of the life of Jesus, I didn't find it at all disrespectful. It is a fictional retelling, of course, but very much grounded in historical research and … Continue reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Photography by me. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I never liked Death Comes for the Archbishop, probably because it was required reading when I was in the 6th grade. Anything forced is never something I want to do, even when it comes to reading. Isn't it amazing, though, how different it can … Continue reading Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

Thanks to TB for the photography. This book took me five years to read, but not because it's particularly long or boring. No, My Name is Red is one of the most entertaining and complex murder mysteries I've ever read. The book is told from 12 different viewpoints, including the murder victim himself - a … Continue reading My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk