Pulitzer Prize Good News

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded last Thursday to Kazuo Ishiguro, which is good news. Ishiguro writes literary novels that defy genre boundaries and garner popular appeal. Here's the New York Times online story about the award. And here's a Times 2015 interview with Ishiguro that explores his reading opinions and related reflections. … Continue reading Pulitzer Prize Good News

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Reading Recommendations

After a recent speaking engagement, I was asked for some book recommendations. Having expended a great deal of mental energy into the talks I'd just given, I felt a little brain dead and came up with only a few favorites. I did recall and mention, however, this earlier post that includes a variety of nonfiction … Continue reading Reading Recommendations

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Does the concept of popular literature seem like an oxymoron? Can a book sell well in today's pop culture, while still displaying a high degree of literary quality? The answer is a resounding: Yes! This week I read a newly released book by prolific author Sigmund Brouwer that evidences excellent literary quality and is sure to skyrocket … Continue reading Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

Lit! An elliptical book review

You say you're not a reader? Readers are made, not born. Like anything else, we learn to do it through practice. You read a lot or you want to read more, but you feel like you need direction? Look to the light of Lit! by Tony Reinke. The title is a clever play on words that intentionally … Continue reading Lit! An elliptical book review

Telling the story eclipses intention and audience

Compressing everything I learned during my intensive Glen West workshop into brief blog posts seems impossible. But I can give you a taste through small samples. Last Friday, I focused on the first day and wrote about beginning to write by writing. Two of the many literary terms we discussed on subsequent workshop days were intention … Continue reading Telling the story eclipses intention and audience

Literature or fiction?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what makes a novel rise above the level of merely well-written fiction to become a literary work. A novel can consist of technically flawless writing, but be as bland as a piece of white toast. So it must tell a good story. It's also true that a novel … Continue reading Literature or fiction?

The Help, book review

BOOK REVIEW by Glenda Mathes  The Help by Kathryn Stockett © 2009 by Kathryn Stockett Berkley Books: New York, NY, 534 pp.   While The Help tells about black domestics working for white housewives in Jackson, MS, during the 1960s, it also shows how a young woman loses her naiveté and her place in Southern society, … Continue reading The Help, book review

Reader Research: Jr Hi girls

On this wonderful Wednesday, I wonder about many things. Most of them are research questions related to the NaNoWriMo novel I began yesterday. In three hours, I wrote 3,193 words. That couldn't be considered a terrific sprint, but it was a very satisfying beginning that put me 693 words above yesterday's scheduled goal. This is what I discovered: … Continue reading Reader Research: Jr Hi girls

Reformation resources

You won't see John Calvin bobble-heads or Martin Luther window clings in the seasonal aisle of your local discount store, but Reformation Day is right around the corner. Many Reformed churches sponsor conferences this time of year, which recharge adults' Reformed batteries, but what about the kids? How does your family or church jumpstart children's … Continue reading Reformation resources

Secret of Chimneys

Mysteries were my standard reading fare during the long summer breaks between my highschool years. Ever since I've equated summer reading with mysteries. And although I now have several favorite authors, my first favorite mystery writer--and one who remains a favorite despite some criticisms--is Agatha Christie. Last night I read The Secret of Chimneys, one of her … Continue reading Secret of Chimneys