Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Review

Don’t expect a text that exists primarily to inform or tell a coherent story, because that’s not what Franklin was setting out to do with his autobiography.  It was instead intended originally for his son, and eventually for a wider audience of the burgeoning America, as a moral guide, an example and explication of how it might be possible to live a moral, productive, and well-regarded life, such as Franklin himself led.

Foundation Review

It was actually a television adaptation of Foundation that prompted me to realize how long it had been since I last read this science fiction classic, and that it was probably time for a revisit.  My wife and I recently watched AppleTV’s interpretation of Asimov’s novel, and so I decided it was an opportune time for a reread.

Epic of Gilgamesh Review

We’ve posted a few times about how sometimes it is what is left out of a story, as much as what is put in, that can make it compelling, and how that void can fire the imagination.  If that is a measure of how compelling a story is, that we keep thinking about it and imagining what was not explicitly told after we have finished it, then the Epic of Gilgamesh certainly qualifies.  If only its omissions were more intentional.

Poetics Review

Despite the title, Poetics should not be thought of as applying exclusively to poetry.  Rather, it is equal parts literary criticism, and one of the world’s earliest “how to write fiction,” books.  Much like Art of Rhetoric, there were pieces that have become outdated, but much has remained surprisingly relevant to modern literature.  All that is required is a bit of translation.

The Castle of Otranto Review

is how it came to be added to my reading list. However, to be more specific, it is one of the earliest works of Gothic horror, more a precursor to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein than it is to The Lord of the Rings. That is not a genre that I tend to favor, but the idea of reading an early work of speculative fiction was intriguing to allow me to look past that element.

A Christmas Carol Review

I love A Christmas Carol. I'll read most things with "Charles Dickens" on the cover, but I love A Christmas Carol. It's a feeling that I inherited from my dad, and I have for several years now been in the habit of re-reading this classic Christmas tale every year around the holidays. This is in addition to frequently attending whatever stage adaptation happens to be around, listening to the Patrick Stewart audiobook version several times (often while running), watching at least one movie adaptation (I like the Muppets version and the Patrick Stewart version the most), and for several years participating in a radio play adaptation for a fundraiser.