No. 1 With a Bullet: Un-Su Kim’s The Plotters

No. 1 With a Bullet: Un-Su Kim’s The Plotters

Reading Un-Su Kim's The Plotters, I really thought there'd be more assassinations. The book, which was originally released in 2010 and eventually translated into English in 2019, tracks the adventures of Reseng, a contract killer. Abandoned by his parents and raised by an assassin, Reseng falls into a life of murder and though he commits [...]

A Simple Truth: Meaghan O’Connell’s And Now We Have Everything

A Simple Truth: Meaghan O’Connell’s And Now We Have Everything

Meaghan O'Connell's slim memoir, And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready should probably be required reading for every millennial considering having children and for most who already do. O'Connell's unpretentious prose demystifies and de-romanticizes the pop culture vision of pregnancy: This is not a book about feeling glowing and radiant or [...]

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi Was Written Just for Me

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi Was Written Just for Me

I've never met Susanna Clarke, the reclusive British author best known for her massive and wonderful 2004 historical fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and so she can't knowingly have written her most recent novel, Piranesi, just for me. But it sure feels like she did. Piranesi is an epistolary novel told through the [...]

The Interesting Question Raised (and Left Unanswered) by Dan Brown’s Inferno

The Interesting Question Raised (and Left Unanswered) by Dan Brown’s Inferno

The explosive success of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code made him unfathomably wealthy but it also indirectly made him a punching bag for a certain type of literary snob. Yes, that includes me. It's not interesting, especially in 2020, to note that Dan Brown's prose is stilted and awkward, that his descriptions of female [...]