An Impromptu Blog Post: Book Review Hiatus

I have come to make the difficult decision to stop writing book reviews and posting them on this blog. I started what began as The Past Due Book Review, and later changed to The Past Due Review, in an attempt to continue writing after graduating from college. I used it as a sort of living portfolio in order to build up experience to facilitate finding a job in writing. As I’m sure many of you know, it is difficult to get even an entry level writing job without any prior professional experience, so The Past Due Review was my answer to that problem. I am proud to say that I have begun working where I am able to write and put my skills to use; however, that means this blog has served its original purpose for the time being.

This has all come about at a good time for me because I was beginning to get book fatigue; I was continually checking what page I was on, how it would affect my editorial calendar if I gave myself another week, and I was no longer enjoying the experience of reading. When I did find myself engrossed in a book, I realized how much stress taking my time with it was causing, so I began to consider making this change. With accepting this writing position, I am afforded an opportunity I cannot pass up. I will continue to post Music Mondays for the foreseeable future, but consider this an indefinite hiatus from all book and movie reviews; What the Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong will be my last book review on the blog.

However, I have decided to continue blogging, albeit through a different name and purpose. I am currently planning content that is more personal and lets you get to know me as a human being a little better. If you came here mainly for reviews, I appreciate all of the time you have given me and wish you the best. If you would like to know my story and thoughts about life, love, and the occurrences therein, look forward to some upcoming posts. A huge shout out to my fellow blogger Amy for unintentionally inspiring me to follow this new path; anyone who enjoys reading enthralling and honest writing should go follow her and read her posts.

I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to read my blog; I started this over two years ago with no idea the trajectory it would take on. I have had such an incredible experience being part of this comforting community. As a small token of my appreciation, here is a picture I snapped of Nina sleeping on my legs one afternoon. Rest assured, she woke up shortly after and ran off to chase some imaginary thing in the other room.

Sleepy Nina

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” – Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White

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What the Hell Did I Just Read – Review

What the Hell Did I Just Read By David Wong (pen name of Jason Pargin)

Published in 2017

Pages: 371

Genre: Horror, humor

“It rained like we were a splatter of bird shit God was trying to hose off his deck.”

If you think that the above sentence uses profanity unnecessarily, then this isn’t the book for you. What the Hell Did I Just Read is the newest book by author Justin Pargin, written under the pen name David Wong, who is the protagonist of the novel. Covering everything from seemingly immortal government agents, a drug called Soy Sauce, and the mystery of why John ordered so many silicone butts while under the influence of Soy Sauce are just a few of the plot points that will have the reader chuckling and blowing air out their nose with nearly every page. You want to hear a story? Well buckle the eff up! Continue reading “What the Hell Did I Just Read – Review”

Steppenwolf – Review

Der Steppenwolf (Steppenwolf) by Hermann Hesse

Published in 1927; first published in English in 1929

Basil Creighton Translation

Pages: 218

Genre: Fiction

“This book contains the records left us by a man whom, according to the expression he often used himself, we called the Steppenwolf.”

Metaphysical and internal speculation abound in a tale of struggle between man and metaphorical wolf. Written by German author Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf is a tour-de-force of poetic prose, hallucinatory description, and internal conflict that speaks to any who feels at odds with the world and society in which they live. Following a mysterious man who refers to himself as the Steppenwolf, the story twists and turns into the fantastic, forcing the reader to wonder what is real and what is in the man’s mind. Continue reading “Steppenwolf – Review”

When You Are Engulfed in Flames – Review

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

Published in 2008

Pages: 323

Genre: Creative nonfiction

“My friend Patsy was telling me a story.”

Stories are what elevate much of the human experience, and it is the mark of a masterful storyteller to help their listeners or readers forget their problems and escape into a different world; this is true not only in fiction, but creative nonfiction as well. When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris, is a collection of creative nonfiction essays that cover everything from coming out as a gay man in order to avoid an awkward hitchhiking situation to arguing the validity of different unknown artists with his parents as a child. The collected stories make for an entertaining read that gives the reader a look into a perspective different than their own. Continue reading “When You Are Engulfed in Flames – Review”

Norse Mythology – Review

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Published in 2017

Pages: 293

Genre: Mythology, Norse mythology

“It’s as hard to have a favorite sequence of myths as it is to have a favorite style of cooking (some nights you might want Thai food, some nights sushi, other nights you crave the plain home cooking you grew up on).”

The above sentence is probably not what one would expect to introduce a collection of Norse myths. Those intimately familiar with Neil Gaiman’s work will not be surprised that he jumped at the chance to retell the myths he loves most from Norse Mythology. The aptly titled Norse Mythology is his love letter to the tales of the Vikings, which feature not only action and suspense, but love, lust, poetry, and shapeshifting tricksters. In an attempt to pay homage to the stories that so deeply affected him, Gaiman succeeds in creating an accessible book to guide a new generation of readers into the nine realms. Continue reading “Norse Mythology – Review”

The Mark of the Horse Lord – Review

The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff

Illustrations by Felix Miall

Published in 1965; 2017 Edition by The Folio Society

Pages: 288

Genre: Historical fiction, children’s literature

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

 

Part I: The Story

“In the long cavern of the changing-room, the light of the fat-oil lamps cast jumping shadows on the walls; skeleton shadows of the spear-stacked arms-racks, giant shadows of the men who crowded the benches or moved about still busy with their weapons and gear; here and there the stallion shadow of a plume-crested helmet.”

The above sentence describes a scene that could most likely have been taken from a historical account of a gladiator’s life. The Mark of the Horse Lord, by Rosemary Sutcliff, follows one such gladiator from gaining his freedom to becoming a central figure in a conspiracy to reclaim a tribal throne in Northern Scotland. Filled with swordplay, interesting characters, and intricate descriptions that cause the reader to become immersed in this ancient world, The Mark of the Horse Lord is entertaining in its character driven storytelling. Continue reading “The Mark of the Horse Lord – Review”

Dracula – Review

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Published in 1897; 2011 Barnes & Noble edition

Pages: 399

Genre: Horror, supernatural

3 May. Bistritz. – Left Munich at 8:35 P.M. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late.”

One would not suspect such a beginning to the most famous vampire story in the world, but it is the nefarious tendency of the undead to sneak up on their victims that this introduction replicates. Dracula, by Bram Stoker, follows the conquest of London by a melodramatic lord of the undead. After purchasing an estate in England, Count Dracula travels by ship to begin his malicious intent, only to be challenged by friends of the very man who helped him with the financial transaction that put his plan in motion. Told through the correspondence of the brave souls who stand up against this dark malice, Dracula created the template for the vampiric menace and kick-started a golden age for tales about the creature of the night. Continue reading “Dracula – Review”