The Yellow Wallpaper / Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Paper tells the story of a young woman’s psychological collapse. The narrator has been feeling down–probably because she is married to a physician named John who is “practical in the extreme.” Her husband, being practical and all, decides that the best thing to do for her “condition” is to hole her up in … Continue reading

Tender Buttons / Gertrude Stein

I’m not going to lie: Tender Buttons, despite its brevity, is challenging. Reading it is like doing yoga or Pilates. It is a deceptively hard workout.  But, maybe the fact that the title alludes to a French slang term for “nipples” will make it worth all of the effort. The slim volume, to which all … Continue reading

Wuthering Heights / Emily Bronte

Last Tuesday, laid down by the stomach flu, I buried myself under ten pounds of blankets and passed the time sweating.  I couldn’t move.  I just lay in my stinky little nest, pitting out my sheets and my favorite Hanes t-shirt.  My hair matted to my forehead.  My breath reeked of regurgitated Reese’s peanut butter … Continue reading

“Lady with the Dog” / Anton Chekhov

If you want to get on the slow reading bandwagon, but slow reading sounds just, you know, too slow, then start with some classic short stories.  Short stories are usually less than 30 pages and focus on only a single episode or character.  So, they won’t demand too much of your attention, but they will … Continue reading

Mathilda / Mary Shelley

Mathilda / Mary Shelley

Mathilda is a sad case. Her mother dies when she is born, and her father, overcome with grief, flees and abandons her to his spinster sister, a woman “totally incapable of any affection.” Her childhood is spent poking around the “desolate country” of her English manor, which, the way she describes it, is not totally … Continue reading