A 2020 Update

I haven’t been posting as much as I planned to lately. I kept a pretty decent pace for most of the year but a few developments have kept me away from devoting time to this blog the past month or so, and I’m afraid I’m not going to have much time to find for awhile.

The main reason being that I have started a second graduate program. I am currently pursuing an MBA in Management. I finished my MFA in Writing about three years ago and my ever-inquisitive mind has dreamt up interests that made getting an MBA a logical decision. I am already learning a lot and enjoying the program. I hope to complete the degree by the end of 2021.

Since I have to spend a large amount of time studying and reading for my classes, I have had little time to read for pleasure and therefore have not been writing any book recommendations. I picked up a book of short stories since I figured short stories would be easy to read with my new schedule. The collection is The Best of Gene Wolfe and I am enjoying them so far. I first read Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun series and found his writing interesting. I’m glad to find I am really enjoying his short fiction. I had a feeling I would like his work and I will likely continue exploring more of his stories. I think he is an interesting person as well. He may very well be the next installment in my On Authors series.

I have been completing house projects like my secret bookshelves leading into my new office. We are doing a few other larger house projects since our planned vacation was canceled due to the pandemic. It has been a crazy year and I have been staying sane by continuing to read and learn and try to take care of myself by focusing on the good things. Honestly, one thing that has helped is The Great British Baking Show. The show is an a sincere, relaxing, wholesome experience you wouldn’t normally find in a competition show. It isn’t a cutthroat competition like you would typically find in most competitions shows. Everyone is just trying to do their best while still helping others when they can, which is probably the best trait of the human race. The show has also made me want sweets every time I watch it and it also makes me want to delve into baking myself, which I intend to do perhaps when I’m finished studying.

It seems like everything is unstable and the world is a mess, but the day-to-day is mostly unchanged. Technology has given us a wide, constant view of the world. All the bad and the good. It just seems like the bad is more prominent. We must persevere and do what we can to look out for each other. Continue doing good and good shall prevail. Keep doing what makes you steady, healthy, and rejuvenated. Keep your balance and we will make it through.

An Alphabet of Authors

Inspired by @WS_Bookclub’s post of alphabetical fantasy authors. I decided to do an Alphabet of Authors myself. These are authors I have read and I was surprised to see several gaps in letters, so please give me some recommendations if you know of any.

I made this list mainly by perusing my bookshelf so it may very well be incomplete. I’ve also only added the authors whose work I have enjoyed (of course) because I figured you may want to read them if you haven’t yet. If you want a specific book recommendation for any of these authors, peruse my list of recommendations I have posted here. Anyway, here we go:

An alphabet of authors (by last name)

A – Douglas Adams with Honorable Mentions: Isaac Asimov, Margaret Atwood, Ryunosuke Akutagawa

B – Ray Bradbury with Honorable Mentions: Edgar Rice Burroughs

C – Ted Chiang with Honorable Mentions: Orson Scott Card, Raymond Carver, Albert Camus, Ernest Cline

D – Philip K. Dick with Honorable Mentions: Emily Dickinson, Anthony Doerr, Alexandre Dumas

E – Cary Elwes with Honorable Mention: Matthew Eck

F – Raymond E. Feist with Honorable Mentions: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Carrie Fisher, Victor Frankl

G – Neil Gaiman with Honorable Mentions: William Gibson, Arthur Golden, Helene A. Guerber, The Brothers Grimm, Malcolm Gladwell

H – Frank Herbert with Honorable Mentions: Robert Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, Aldous Huxley

I – Dave Itzkoff with Honorable Mention: Kazuo Ishiguro

J – Robert Jordan with Honorable Mention: Diana Wynne Jones

K – Stephen King with Honorable Mention: Franz Kafka

L – Ursula K. Le Guin with Honorable Mentions: Stanislaw Lem, Ann Leckie, Tom Lloyd

M – John Marco with Honorable Mentions: David Mitchell, Cormac McCarthy

N – Garth Nix with Honorable Mentions: Phong Nguyen, Patrick Ness

O – George Orwell with Honorable Mentions: Joyce Carol Oates, Nnedi Okorafor

P – Terry Pratchett with Honorable Mentions: Gary Paulson, Robert M. Pirsig, Gareth L. Powell, Edgar Allen Poe

Q – Recommendations Please (I do want to read Matthew Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook)

R – Patrick Rothfuss with Honorable Mentions: Ayn Rand, J.K. Rowling

S – Antione de Saint-Exupery with Honorable Mentions: V.E. Schwab, Snorri Sturluson

T – J.R.R. Tolkien with Honorable Mention: Karen Traviss

U – Recommendations Please

V – Kurt Vonnegut

W – Tobias Wolff with Honorable Mentions: Gene Wolfe, Martha Wells, Danny Wallace, and Andy Weir

X – Recommendations Please

Y – Recommendations Please (I do want to read Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life)

Z – Yevgeny Zamyatin with Honorable Mention: Timothy Zahn

An Office, A Bookcase, and A Secret

So this happens to be my 300th blog post, which is crazy to think about. I’ve just been plugging away and here we are. This post is actually not necessarily about books or writing (ironically). This post is about a house project I have been working on for a while. I’ve finished moving my home office. This included building new bookshelves, and, to my childhood satisfaction, a secret door!


With a secret book lever.

Bookcase Open

Bookcase DoorBookcase Entry

And into my new office.


With a reading corner.


And of course a new, large bookcase so I can buy a lot more books.


And I can close the bookcase doors to focus on my work.


That is what I have been working on over the past several months, and I am really happy with how everything turned out.

International Cat Day

International Cat Day was last week and I haven’t posted anything for a while so…..here are some pictures of my cats. Unfortunately, I am also in a few of these.

freya1merlin2freya-and-memerlin1me-and-freya Freya has been helping me when I work from home. I’m back in the office and things have been busy. I’ll try to post more content soon. I hope the cats will satisfy you for now.

Beyond Gender: Exploring Ursula K. Le Guin’s Thought Experiment in The Left Hand of Darkness

Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Left Hand of Darkness has been used to progress the discourse on gender and sexuality since its publication over fifty years ago. Many critical responses to the novel center on these topics despite their function as a veil to Le Guin’s original intention. Gender and sexuality are barriers the reader must push beyond to fully understand the novel’s triumph. There is no doubt that this book raises questions and makes us rethink our preconceptions about gender and sexuality, and this confirms one success of Le Guin’s thought experiment, but the primary intention was to go beyond gender and sexuality to reveal a human characteristic. Continue reading