Notes From the Shire

Notes From the Shire by Andrew: Underground Dogs



Diego de la Corte works construction, goes home to his flamboyant roommate Harvey, and spends most of his free time chasing beers at one bar or another with Darius or listening to his best friend Ketrick go off on some old philosophy rant or another, all while trying to ignore the mess that the world has become. He's more or less comfortable with his life, even as the reformed United States and the military - via the new Enforcers of Democracy military branch that is getting more and more involved in civilian security - makes itself increasingly intrusive. If this sounds like a setup similar to V for Vendetta, you're not far wrong. The Underground Dogs by J.C.D. Kerwin tackles many of the same themes. A fascist government makes its citizens trade liberty for security; a lone radical plans to subvert it; and a regular citizen protagonist is given the chance to effect real change. 

Mysteries Make Great Beach Reads

Notes-From-The-Shire.png are reclining in your lounger being shaded by a palm tree with the white sand, blue sky, turquoise ocean, a vista stretching out in front of you. In one hand you have a Mai Tai with one of those paper umbrellas in it.

What could possibly be missing from the other? Well, a fast paced novel with murder and intrigue of course! 

Analyzing Books: Overrated?

    The majority of English classes are focused on reading books and analyzing them critically, with the goal that students will know how the language works, and how to use it, when they are done. Lessons on proper grammar are sprinkled in here and there so that no one forgets the proper use of a gerund (I still have no idea). There’s nothing inherently wrong with using books to teach, in fact it can be quite beneficial, but this method can be exploited to become counterproductive.

Adventures in Spring Cleaning

It’s Spring Cleaning season!’s practically Summer Cleaning season, but I’m not the police. I won’t tell if you’ve gotten off to a late start. To be honest, so have I. Luckily there is an amazing smorgasboard of books on shelves now that will help kick-start those cleaning bursts!

The Modern Gothic Novel

The Gothic Novel genre is a unique one, dictated as much by the feeling it invokes as any particular subject. A quick search for a definition will most likely bring you to something like - “an English genre of fiction popular in the 18th to early 19th centuries, characterized by an atmosphere of mystery and horror and having a pseudo-medieval setting.” I would say the horror is usually more than subtle, suspenseful kind that sets the hairs on the back of your neck upright and makes you just a little afraid of the dark for a while after reading.


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