Monday, June 24, 2013

She felt the nameless fear which precedes all emotions, joyous or sorrowful, inevitably as a hum of thunder precedes the storm.


  1. "Object Lessons:" the Paris Review
  2. L' 'Étranger
  3. 100 Essential American Poems
  4. Sylvia Plath's Collected Poems (wrapping up) 
  5. Burning the Days: A Recollection 
  6. The Crossing (REREAD!)
  7. And, if I can find them: An American Childhood
  8. So Long, See You Tomorrow
  9. Wheeling Motel (poetry) 
  10. I hate to see the evening sun go down 


Outliers: The Story of Success
Being the fanatic fan of fiction that I am, I did not originally expect to love Outliers as much as I did. Several pages in, I was sucked in by the heart disease anecdote, and continued to be mind-blown throughout as Gladwell revealed the stunning correlations between the success of hockey players' and their birth dates, ethnicity and math finesse (, and culture and plane crashes.

Gladwell reveals to us, within a span of 309 pages, the truth about success - that it is never a one-man-journey or even solely a luck-dependent opportunity. There are no true 'outliers' on the graph of success that succeed 'against all odds' because each and every one of those outliers - Bill Gates or The Beatles, for example - will always have some kind of special advantage, whether it be linked to culture or ethnicity, that gives him/her one foot forward on the long and winding path to success.

I finished this book with a pile of statistics and logically accurate theories all plunked above my cranium, so am infinitely thankful for Malcom Gladwell (and my friend who got me this book for my birthday). Gladwell writes in a clean and uncomplicated prose (although I've heard that he was criticized for the latter) that renders this book nearly universally accessible and perfect for a quick, delightful and ultimately unforgettable read.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

What a crazy (appropriately so) book!

It's summer so my access to the school library has been barred - I'm working my way through my birthday-present-books (thank you, lovely friends).

Set in a mental asylum run by a indomitable nurse, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is at once dystopian and fanatical. Its protagonist, the egregious McMurphy, is determined to distort the prudently-maintained equilibrium of the ward and restore the spirit of revolution to the forlorn patients who have been subjugated under the hegemony of the unrelenting, macho nurse Ratched for too long.

The writing may seem to run away at times and the plot may seem wildly paced, yet Kesey does a swell job of squashing Nurse Ratched's inherent feminism and magnifying McMurphy's innate eccentricities.

Narrated by the furtively astute Chief Bromden, One Flew over the cuckoo's nest is ultimately and inevitably humorous, yet darkly satirical.