Tag Archives: neil gaiman

Gaiman’s readers swim in masterful prose from newest publication

Photo credit: Goodreads
Photo credit: Goodreads

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

 5/5 stars

This masterful web of magic and mystery has to be one of my favorites by the famed fantasy author. Gaiman shocks and surprises once again with the 2013 publication showing readers that the child’s mind still remains the most viable and open to the unknown, even after aging long into adulthood.

The story follows a Sussex native returning to his childhood home after a funeral where he decides to visit former best friend, Lettie Hempstock. From there both he and the reader are fully immersed in flashbacks to a whirlwind battle between good, evil and the great beyond.

With a telling dedication, “For Amanda, who wanted to know,” Gaiman airs on the side of the clandestine, cloaking the novel’s overture in slowly-revealed secrets. The pacing keeps the reader engaged and entertained, making the text nearly impossible to put down.

This short story turned novel is filled with decadent description, charismatic characters and memorable quotations, an ocean for any rabid reader to devour. The work may be a quick read, but it’s one you’ll want to pick up again and again. I highly recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane to readers of all ages.

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Update: 30-Day Book Selfie Challenge

Day 7
Day 7

Day 7: Book with the best male lead- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Day 8
Day 8

Day 8: book with the best supporting characters- The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Favorites include: Alice, Janet and Eliot

Day 9
Day 9

Day 9: the book you would recommend to anyone, ever- Sextrology by Starsky and Cox

By far the best, and most accurate, astrological account I’ve ever read. Continue reading Update: 30-Day Book Selfie Challenge

A modern take on Hemingway’s “list for a young writer”:

Hemingway's reading list  Photo credit: Open Culture
Hemingway’s reading list
Photo credit: Open Culture

Though I’m still very much a young reader and writer, this list was inspired by “Earnest Hemingway’s reading list for a young writer,” on Open Culture.

The list is rather indecipherable as Hemingway’s handwriting doesn’t exactly lend itself to the eyes of the reader, however, the author was kind enough to transcribe it, and I’ve posted it below.

  • “The Blue Hotel” by Stephen Crane
  • “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  • Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  • Hail and Farewell by George Moore
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Oxford Book of English Verse
  • The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
  • The American by Henry James

Now, most of these are on Collegeboard’s recommended reading list for prospective college students and included on the Goodreads “English Major Reading List” shelf.

But, what if you’re not an English major, or you find literature boring and outdated– what should you be reading? Continue reading A modern take on Hemingway’s “list for a young writer”:

Happy Halloween: 4 stories you wouldn’t expect to scare you senseless

1. “The Black Cat”  By Edgar Allen Poe

Cat lovers beware! This grisly tale by Edgar Allen Poe has all the

Halloween fixin’s from dismemberment, to arson, alcoholism and death by hanging.

Photo credit: Creative Commons
Photo credit: Creative Commons

The story is told in first person by the former owner of the cat from his cell in prison. Though the narrator may be unreliable, the story

still strikes a nerve with any animal lover.

I wouldn’t suggest reading this story around children due to the graphic themes and gory details. It was enough to upset me in high school, so be cautious who you share it with.

And don’t worry, the cat gets revenge.

Available here on Librivox, here on OpenLibrary, and here on Librophile.

Continue reading Happy Halloween: 4 stories you wouldn’t expect to scare you senseless