Review: Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson

David Guterson’s, Snow Falling on Cedars, is a quiet, contemplative book that depicts both the isolated life of the San Juan Islands and the racism Japanese immigrants experienced before and after World War II.

The novel revolves around one major event: the death of Carl Heine. Carl is a World War II veteran, a fisherman, husband, and father. He’s quiet with a gruff disposition. Moreover, Carl is strong, handsome and respected by the community. When he was a boy, his family owned a large strawberry farm on San Pedro Island; however, after his father’s death the farm was sold by his mother. At the time, Carl, was away at war. One could say that Carl represents the status quo or ideal of the island. He’s white, he stays out of other people’s business, he works hard, and lives clean. (more…)

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Review: Chronicles of the Black Company – Glen Cook

The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose Glen Cook’s Chronicles of the Black Company, the three novel tome which contains The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and the White Rose were not created following the classic fantasy formula. Instead, Cook has taken the perspective of a troop of mercenaries known as the Black Company and ostensibly recognized by readers as “the bad guys” and proceeds to dismantle the common theme of a prophetic orphaned child embraced by a rebellion who overthrows an evil empire. While not as morally complex as George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, the characters in these novels fall along a spectrum of good and bad, where history is relative and the winner has the last word. (more…)

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Review: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg

Habits have a profound influence over our lives. Before reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, I had never paused and reflected on the habits in my life. How are habits formed? What causes them to take root? Most importantly, why are they so hard to stop? (more…)

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