Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hag-Seed // A Blogging for Books Review

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood is a re-imagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Its main character, Felix, is a theater director who has staged many of Shakespeare's plays but is dismissed from his job as a rival co-worker vies for his position. Over the course of more than a decade, Felix remakes his life, and begins to direct felons in his plays as a form of rehabilitation, both for himself and the convicts. As he plots his own revenge, he directs the prisoners in The Tempest, a play itself that is all about revenge and fantasy. The play therefore mimics Felix's own life, and Hag-Seed is a retelling of the classic play in a new and original way.

Atwood is successful in creating a depth and range to her characters that is usually only present in a theatrical setting, and she uses humor and magic to re-imagine The Tempest in a clever and satirical way. While I don't naturally gravitate towards Shakespeare's work (especially his dramas), I read this book in only a few days as it retold a classic in a modern way. Despite the heavy subject matter, this book read easily as a parody, and Atwood's writing was enchanting, as always.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Things We Lost in the Fire // A Blogging for Books Review

Things We Lost in the Fire is a collection of short stories written by Mariana Enriquez. These stories are dark and macabre, and while all of these stories have a touch of the supernatural, the inclusion of of unreality served to illuminate the truth in the stories. My favorite story from the collection was No Flesh Over Our Bones. Read on a dark night, it had just the right amount of eeriness to make me look twice at every stray noise in my apartment.

Scary stories aren't normally the type of stories that I typically choose, but the stories in Things We Lost in the Fire were right up my alley as they didn't lose themselves in the occult and didn't seem too far from reality. While the stories included aspects of paranormal plots, the overall themes of the stories had a basis in real life, and the suspenseful writing was chilling because it wasn't trying too hard to be scary. Books that try to hard to be frightening are usually just the opposite, but this collection of stories took the time to play with the emotions associated with being scared. This subtlety was unnerving, and I would love to pass this book on to a friend who has a fascination with dark stories because this book is just that--dark.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weapons of Math Destruction // A Blogging for Books Review

As a big math nerd, I jumped on the opportunity to read and review this book, and although it took me a good 4 months to read, this was at no fault of the book itself--I just have not had much time for leisure reading recently.

That being said, I found this book to be fascinating. It is all about how today's day and age is all about the algorithm. Whether we are aware of it or not, most of the day to day dealings that we have revolve around the use of a mathematical algorithm, and this book seeks to highlight how in this case, math is not being used for good as many of today's algorithms are predicting human behavior in detrimental ways. From something as mundane as how much we pay for health insurance to your credit score, algorithms are all playing a part in this numbers game, and consistently, these numbers are based on seemingly irrelevant factors.

This book was so deep that I am even having a hard time articulating everything that I want to say about it, but that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I learned a lot, and my eyes have been opened to one of the different ways that math can be exploited. I would recommend this book to anyone because this books contents apply to everyone.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.