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Dana Johnson

Book-obsessed twenty-something with a passion for poetry, hiking, and being happy with what I have.

Post in Which I Rave About “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

I finally read Ernest Cline’s first novel Ready Player One, and was instantly sucked in to this modernized depiction of planet earth. The novel takes place in year 2044 (which doesn’t seem too terribly far away, frankly), when larger cities are crawling with “stacks,” structures of trailers stacked haphazardly on top of each other and housing several families in each. Half the human population is starving, cities are riddled with crime, and nearly everyone finds escape in a digital world known as the OASIS.

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September Reading Wrap Up

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Sci-fi! Fantasy! Comics!

September was a fairly leisurely reading month for me, as I continued to step outside of my comfort zone into the literary world of sci-fi and fantasy. I finished rereading the Harry Potter series, enjoyed a good comic, and got my first taste of the fiction of Robin Hobb. Let’s dig in!

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My Weekend at the Pygmalion Literature Festival Book Fair

Successful day at the #pygfest book fair.

A post shared by Dana (@johns6dl) on

I spent last weekend driving 5 hours to (and then from) Champaign, Illinois to attend a book fair in a poorly lit bar downtown. This probably says a lot of things about me, not the least of which is the fact that I find remarkably nerdy ways to use up all my gas money.

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August Reading Wrap Up

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August was a self-indulgent, leisurely reading month for me. Remember when I said I don’t read much fiction? That all changed this past month. I reread the first five books in the Harry Potter series, indulged in a couple of best sellers, and finished the month with an excellent poetry collection. Overall, an exciting–but totally out of the ordinary–month.

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My Impressions of Moby-Dick (+Tips for Reading!)

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When I picked up Moby-Dick a month ago with the intent of finally reading it, I wasn’t intimidated by its complexity. I was intimidated by its length. Coming in at over 600 pages, there’s no doubt it’s a big book. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to devote the amount of time this novel required and deserved. But by taking my time and reading consistently, I was able to finish in exactly a month.

To state what is probably obvious, Moby-Dick is like nothing I’ve ever read before.

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July Reading Wrap Up

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What a month! I read Moby-Dick for the very first time (more posts on that to come, I’m sure), finally got my hands on Saga Vol. 4, and read some damn good poetry collections. Let’s dig in!

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Easy to Read Classics Recommendations

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It should be noted that “easy-to-read” is a subjective descriptor, so you really should take this post with a grain of salt. Just the same, as a reader who was always intimidated by classic literature, I’ve found these classics to be quite approachable. Classics no longer intimidate me, and I probably have some of the books below to thank for that. If you’ve ever been intimidated to pick up a classic, try starting with these and see where they take you.

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June Reading Wrap Up

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I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the majority of June reading primarily for enjoyment. I read 4 poetry collections, a poetry chapbook, and several comic books. I was able to knock out 3 books that were on my poetry TBR back in April, and am excited to report some of my hits and misses. Everything I read this month was pretty short, so there are a lot of books to cover. Let’s dive in!

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On “Guilty Pleasure” Reading

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In my everyday life, I never experience book-shaming or reader-shaming firsthand. Of the few times that coworkers or friends have ventured to bring up the topic of books, they speak unabashedly about Stephen King, John Green, and Mary Higgins Clark. Quite frankly, no one around me seems particularly ashamed to be seen reading genre fiction or YA novels.  And why should they?

But hop on the web, and it seems that everyone feels the need to defend their decision to read purely for pleasure. No one wants to be seen reading Twilight on the subway or Fifty Shades of Grey at Starbucks. And what’s more, we feel ashamed for the books we haven’t read (Moby-Dick, anyone?).

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