Dec 132011

This site,, is a portal for the interests and ramblings of Robert Hume.  Explore the library, browse through my ramblings, and check out the links at the top.

The Secret Piano – A Guest Review

 Posted by on July 22, 2014  Non-Fiction
Jul 222014
The Secret Piano - A Guest Review

The following review is written by my brother, William Hume, a classical pianist.  Check out his website, As a classical pianist, I am especially intrigued by the power of music to unite others.  Zhu Xiao-Mei’s story of hardship and destruction during China’s Cultural Revolution highlights the endearing capability of music and the arts.  Despite the brainwashing, propaganda, and discrimination that divided friends and family, Zhu Xiao-Mei was always able to draw inspiration and comfort from the piano. As Zhu Xiao-Mei explains, art is rich with human emotion and thought, and this is precisely why the Communist regime sought to [Read More…]

The Lies of Locke Lamora

 Posted by on July 7, 2014  Fantasy
Jul 072014
The Lies of Locke Lamora

There is little that I love more than a scheme: the plotting, the deception, and the high-stakes execution.  Even better is a scheme that comes unhinged – one that threatens to peel itself apart in mid-flight, threatening lives and even world stability.  Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch’s protagonist in his debut novel, is a schemer.  And he’s a damn good one. The Lies of Locke Lamora is the first chapter in a planned series of seven that will tell of Locke’s tumultuous life – his ascension from a childhood spent in poverty as an orphan as he becomes a leader among [Read More…]

May 122014
On "The Personal Statement" - Elizabeth Samet

Earlier this year, my critical thinking class had the pleasure of hosting Professor Elizabeth Samet as a guest lecturer. Professor Samet’s lecture targeted the “personal statement,” a key component of post-graduate scholarship applications, often the most difficult component to complete. The personal statement helps a selection committee see an individual as more than a GPA, a list of extracurricular activities, or a major. As such, it requires careful thought and numerous drafts before its completion. Professor Samet’s lecture helped us frame our attempts at writing a personal statement as lessons in self-discovery. The personal statement, she argued, was not a [Read More…]

Rules of Writing

 Posted by on November 24, 2013  Book Talk
Nov 242013
Rules of Writing

It begins in English class.  The teacher tacks posters to the walls: “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition,” “Use the active voice,” “Don’t split infinitives.”  These are the simple rules. Every so often, I see a newspaper article or an interview with an author, talking about “rules of writing.”  These rules are more complex.  They usually refer to tips for authorship – methods for developing characters, polishing a story for publication, or simply maintaining the willpower to write despite difficulty. A 2010 article by The Guardian collected rules for writing fiction from assorted authors.   My favorite list of dos [Read More…]

On Poetry, and the Irony of Abandonment

 Posted by on November 11, 2013  Book Talk
Nov 112013
On Poetry, and the Irony of Abandonment

While most of my reading time is spent on novels, I always enjoy finding and reading good poetry.  Poetry is a unique form of art; it distills emotions and experiences into a compact form.  Poems are the most musical collections of words in our language – an amalgam of letters that fiddle with rhyme, rhythm, and meter in search of the perfect balance of sound and meaning. I recently leafed through a black leather Moleskine journal on my shelf.  I haven’t written in the journal in almost a year.  I tend to get easily distracted from one project, going off [Read More…]