We read this contemporary collection of short stories (2019) for our book club. Kali Fajado-Anstine’s stories feature narratives of Latina and Native American women in Colorado, mostly in Denver. Though none of the stories explicitly share characters, they are set in the same world and capture the same tragic sense of being let down by the antiquated promise of the American West. Her characters wrestle with poverty, domestic violence, gentrification, death & illness, and more — often with grace and humanity.

As a native Californian, I’ve definitely internalized the belief that the West is imbued with a certain opportunity for…


“What’s your favorite book?”

For the last few years, my answer to this difficult question has been Love in the Time of Cholera, which I read in college. Recently, I realized that I could no longer precisely remember why I had loved the book so much. I’ve read so many wonderful books recently that I needed to verify that this was still my favorite. Upon re-reading this intense love story infused with magical realism, I was reminded of my younger, naïvely romantic self. I see why this book spoke so directly to me then, but I also see how much…


I found this book in a “Free books” bin that Lydia and I walked past. I have yet to read any of Rilke’s poetry, but after reading Letters to a Young Poet, I am quite eager to. In the first decade of the 20th century, a young Franz Kappus reached out to the popular poet Rilke for advice. The ten letters that Rilke wrote in response are gathered in this collection. Because the letters to Rilke are omited, this work felt like the poet was speaking directly to me as the reader. …


I first heard about Rachel Held Evans on the NYTimes Daily Podcast in light of her sudden death at age 37. She, through her blog and writing, spoke directly to people like me — people who were raised in but now feel estranged from the church. We feel estranged for a variety of reasons: conflicting ideas of what’s true, socio-political differences, unanswerable doubts, and more. And yet, we cannot deny that at the root of faith there is a tiny something that seems divine. Even if most of what we humans do is selfish, unjust, and in error, something deep…


Saunders’ debut collection, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1996), is not as masterful or charged with emotion as his later works like Tenth of December or Lincoln in the Bardo. However, it was great to recognize the seeds of the author’s future prowess in this less-polished early effort. This collection of stories was very dark, which was fitting because I read most of it during our power outage. The premises of the stories were incredibly creative — the title story takes place in a Civil War reenactment facility, a setting already laden with meaning and satire. …


This is the first novel I’ve read this year that was originally written in another language. Even when considering only books written in English, I am overwhelmed by all the books I have yet to read — so it’s bewildering to consider that every country has its own contemporary writers, publishing novels from their specific perspectives. It’s exciting to consider the unbounded nature of our collective human imagination. I hope that by reading some novels originally written in other languages, I can broaden my understanding of recent Literature.


In the news recently, we‘ve seen many photos of Black Americans whose lives were taken by police officers. Their names include but are not limited to Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Bettie Jones, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Terence Crutcher, Eric Garner, George Floyd, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, and Botham Jean. When I see their photos, it is difficult for me to wrap my head around the enormity of it all: their complex inner lives, the many relationships they had, the experiences that made them who they were, and the institutionalized racism that killed them. …


For the months of July and August, I’ll be living at my childhood home in San Jose with my entire family: my parents, my four younger siblings, and my grandpa. In what may prove to be a silver lining of this COVID-induced world of uncertainty, we are getting a chance to live together as a family again for, perhaps, the last time. The weight of this “final opportunity” is amplified by the pandemic that induced it, a pandemic that is reminding us how ephemeral life is. …


Whoa. This book was bonkers. We read this with our book club and had much to discuss: the almost unfathomable premise (to use medication to try and sleep for an entire year), the loathsomeness of the main character, the spectrum of feelings we had in reading this book against the backdrop of current events. We wondered what Moshfegh’s other works were like because this one was so out there. We found the book to be despicable in many ways — our ultimate verdict on the book hinges on whether the writer did this intentionally (super badass) or unintentionally (eek). …


This novella is a tiny peek into the world of Auri, a minor character in the Kingkiller Chronicles (my reviews). Rothfuss writes two letters to the reader that bookend the novella and serve as asterisks. He warns the reader that this work is bizarre, unconventional, and ephemeral — much like Auri herself.

I found The Slow Regard of Silent Things to be a beautiful, intriguing description of Auri’s world. To call it a “story” would be a little misleading as the narrative doesn’t move in the same linear way as we, as readers, expect from a “story.” Instead, much like…

Michael “MK” Kim

Trying to figure out who I am so that I’ll, one day, be able to write “a short bio”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store