Ben’s Winter Break Reading List

The semester is coming to an end. Josh and I are finishing up our last assignments and grading final papers. This week, we’re using this space to talk about the books we’re excited to dive into over the winter holiday. Review posts will continue as usual starting next week.

11/22/63 – Stephen King

I’m a little over halfway through King’s newest novel, which follows high school English teacher Jake Epping’s journey through a time portal in a diner to attempt to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The premise, admittedly, is a bit hokey, but the time travel conceit is really just a means to an end. The story is much more about our relationship with the past, with each other, and the fragile nature of time. King’s books have been hit or miss for the last couple of years (*cough* Under the Dome *cough*), but 11/22/63 has me hooked.

Perdido Street Station  – China Mieville

I stopped in the middle of Perdido Street Station to start 11/22/63, and I’m excited to get back to it. It’s a sprawling, enormous novel that takes place in a grotesque, surreal fantasy world called Bas Lag. New Crobuzon is a central city in this fantasy world (home of the eponymous Perdido Street Station), and it is populated by all manner of strange creatures, races and species all commingled together in a grimy, filthy city that is like Victorian England mixed with H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a strange, strange novel that I’m having a blast reading. Mieville’s narration is lucid and erudite, with a startling large (sometimes overly so) vocabulary and a crystal clear descriptive lens.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K Rowling

Josh and I are going to be doing a Harry Potter reread on the blog here. We’ve split up the books so that we’re each responsible for three, with both of us jointly tackling the final book. I’ve read the Harry Potter series a few times now, and it’s one series of books that, for a multitude of reasons, I can’t get out of of my head. I’m excited to dive back into this world.

What about all of you? What will you be reading?


2 thoughts on “Ben’s Winter Break Reading List

  1. I’m spending my winter break reading books on writing. I’m currently alternating my book selection between Maps & Legends by Michael Chabon and Story by Robert McKee.

    McKee is regarded as one of the best teachers on the subject of screenplay writing. Story is a great examination of both the artistic and technical sides of script writing.

    Michael Chabon’s Maps & Legends is a great look at writing from a pop culture side if the craft. He talks about comic writing and the authors who have inspired him throughout his creative life.

    Both are excellent books and definitely deserve a read.


    • I’ve dipped into ‘Maps and Legends,” but stopped because I hadn’t read several of the things that he was talking about. I really love Chabon; he’s been a vocal champion for writing in genres outside of what’s talked about in typical lit classes. As for ‘Story,’ there’s a professor here who based an entire course in prose around it. I have a hardcover copy sitting on my shelf, unread.

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