Author: Nicholas E. Barron

What would happen if every American read Toni Morrison’s Beloved? Maybe we’d be a little more understanding. Maybe we’d be a little more appreciative. Understanding and appreciative of what? How about understanding of slavery’s residual impacts. Perhaps appreciate of the benefits we, those of us not belonging to a race that was enslaved, enjoy through…

Read More What Toni Morrison’s Beloved Can Teach Us About Privilege

Reading Hero of the Empire triggers this question: How is writing impacted by how we today consume information? Surely, there’s an impact. Prevailing advice for writers is to be readers. This implies reading affects writing. If true, then how we read must impact writing as well. So what can we expect of writers in the world…

Read More How “Hero of the Empire” Is a History Book for Today

A photo of Mt. St. Helens. A photo of Mt. St. Helens.

When you climb Mt. St. Helens’ south side, the rocks and small boulders over which you’ve traversed give way to volcanic ash. Attempting to progress in the ash is difficult. You place your feet ahead of you, only to have gravity and ash collude in pulling you back near where you previously stood. Every step…

Read More Reviewing the pretty prose in Pride and Prejudice

Photo of an open book on a wooden table below the words "30+ Books to Read in 2017." Photo of an open book on a wooden table below the words "30+ Books to Read in 2017."

Update: Four books have been added to the 2017 reading list. Find out what it’s included in the 38 books to read in 2017 list. Tis the season for new endeavors and an annual reading list fits the bill. Below is my 2017 reading list. Maybe you’ve always kept a yearly list of books you want to…

Read More 2017 reading list: Time to have an accomplished year

Photo of an open book on a table with eyeglasses resting on the book. Below the book are the words, "30 books read in 2016." Photo of an open book on a table with eyeglasses resting on the book. Below the book are the words, "30 books read in 2016."

There were classics and there were new books. There were two weeks in China in which books about China accompanied me. There were authors newly discovered and previously read authors revisited. More than anything, 2016 was the year in which I rededicated myself to reading. Halfway through 2016, I realized my folly. Actually, Stephen King helped…

Read More The year I got serious about reading

“The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things” (affiliate link) by Courtney Elizabeth Mauk is about a family coping with loss. Carol and Andrew Bauer’s adult daughter, Jennifer, is missing. She was last seen leaving a New York City club with a man. Andrew, Carol, and their other child, Ben, are coping with her disappearance. Title: The…

Read More Book Review: “The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things”

Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories” (affiliate link) is a short story collection cloaked in masculinity. The stories cover lion hunting and boxing and other “manly” activities. And if you’re looking for strong female characters, you should move along. Title: The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories Author: Ernest Hemingway Genre: Fiction…

Read More Book Review: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories”

David Machado’s “The Shelf Life of Happiness” (affiliate link) isn’t an uplifting book. But what can you expect from a novel born out of the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis? The story follows Daniel, a husband to Marta and father to Flor and Mateus. Daniel’s lost his job in Lisbon, Portugal. Marta and the…

Read More Book Review: “The Shelf Life of Happiness”

It could be some time before I read another book as powerful as Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” (affiliate link). Cora is a third-generation slave. She backs into fleeing Randall, the Georgia plantation where she lives. But once on the run, Cora embraces her freedom, even as it takes various forms throughout the book.

Read More Book Review: “The Underground Railroad”

Patricia McCormick’s “Never Fall Down: A Novel” (affiliate link) takes you through a real-life nightmare. The book’s protagonist is Arn Chorn-Pond, an 11-year-old Cambodian boy. The story is a true one, as best as McCormick can make it based on research and in-person interviews. It’s written as a first-person novel from Arn’s perspective. Title: Never…

Read More Book Review of “Never Fall Down: A Novel”