Mini-Reviews: The 5 Best Novels I’ve Read This Year (So Far!)

Do you ever have so many books that you want to talk about that you can’t figure out which one to write a post on? Enter the mini-review, my favorite cop-out that I actually find more enjoyable to read and write than full-length reviews!

I was planning to list my favorite books I’d read since January 2019, but I couldn’t narrow it down. So after excluding non-fiction and kid lit because I felt as if I were comparing apples to oranges, I came up with a list of the 5 best novels I’ve stumbled across this year.

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Surprised by Loss: Three Atypical Modern Epics

Hey, everyone! Long time no see. Sorry for the long break. My last year of high school has been crazy! But now that I’ve been accepted to college, my thesis has been written and defended, and I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL (!)—I can get back to blogging.

Today, I’d like to talk about the genre of the epic. No, I’m not going to talk about the Aeneid or The Divine Comedy or Paradise Lost (though you can bring those up in the comments if you want). I’m going to tell you about three of my favorite books (of which there are many), all of which were written in or after the 20th century.

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Tolkien's Faerian Drama is the Tabletop RPG

Tolkien’s Faerian Drama is the Tabletop RPG

“Tabletop RPGs are our modern day Iliad. It’s communal storytelling at its finest[.]” -Marisha Ray

“Enchantment produces a Secondary World into which both designer and spectator can enter.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

In my recent exploration of that fascinating narrative form, the tabletop role-playing game, I have found myself wondering what J.R.R. Tolkien would think of the phenomenon. Dungeons and Dragons, the best-known RPG system, draws heavily on Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth; the first edition of D&D even allowed player characters to play as a “hobbit” before they changed the race name to “halfling” for legal reasons. I can’t help but wonder: what would Tolkien think of this unique way to tell stories, that voice actor and D&D player Marisha Ray calls “our modern day Iliad”?

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20 Questions Book Tag

Remember last Wednesday, when–uninvited and unannounced–I did the How I Choose My Books Tag? Well, I’m back this week with another book tag and a little more propriety, since Holly at Nut Free Nerd actually did tag me for this one. I love Holly’s blog–she reviews a wide variety of books, including classics (my favorite!) and talks about her adventures studying abroad at Oxford–so you should definitely give her a follow if you haven’t already!

Now then, to business.

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Mini-Reviews: All the Books I Read for Literature Class This Year (Part 2) + 1-Year Blogiversary!

Good morning! Last week, we went over the books I read for the first semester of my literature classThe Great Divorce, The Iliad, The Aeneid, and a whole lot of Plato. This week, let’s take a look at my second semester line-up! Once again, I’ll examine the content of the books and then the edition/translation I used.

This semester was fun because the books we read were from the late Roman empire, medieval, and Renaissance periods, and we read them in chronological order. So my class was able to examine the progression of view on matters such as free will and humanism over the years. Let’s start at the beginning, with…

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Mini-Reviews: All the Books I Read for Literature Class This Year (Part I)

Remember back in August when I posted a list anticipating the 7 books I was reading for literature class this year? A few of you wanted to know what I thought of them once I was done. Well, I took my literature final yesterday, so I’m officially done with this year’s literature class, and I can tell you about all the books I read this year! I’ll talk about both the content of the books and the edition/ translation I read.

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