1) The Shining by Stephen King From Goodreads.com Why this book? Alright... it would have been really, REALLY easy to for this entire countdown to be nothing but Stephen King books. In all honesty, I don't read a ton of horror, but when I do, it tends to be from Mr. King. So when I… Continue reading Sometimes the Monsters Win
2) The Thief of Always by Clive Barker From Goodreads.com Why this book? Similar to Coraline, this book's premise is very much "Be careful what you wish for." However, it goes further by not only examining the divergence between what we think we want and what we actually, but also by reminding all of us… Continue reading The Fragility of Time
3) Coraline by Neil Gaiman From Goodreads.com Why this book? Did you ever wonder what Alice in Wonderland would have been like if it was written by Edgar Allan Poe? No? Well, in case you're curious... that's basically Coraline. The theme is a classic one: Be careful what you wish for. After all, unlike most… Continue reading Careful What You Wish For
Which sentence grabs your attention the most? (1) I wasn't sure which way would lead me home; I just knew that I had to keep walking, putting distance between myself and... them. (2) He wasn't sure which way would lead him home; he just knew that he had to keep walking, putting distance between himself… Continue reading Who’s Telling the Story?
Raise your hand if you've been doing some vicarious living during the pandemic. Which means: Have you been doing a lot of reading? And I mean A LOT. That's been me. I may be stuck at home, but at least, with a good book, I don't have to feel like I'm at home. I'm flying… Continue reading 2020’s Best Vicarious Living
Not long ago, I came across a book entitled How to Read Literature Like a Professor. As someone who minored in English (and only didn't major because I was told again and again that I wouldn't be able to find a job otherwise), I can definitely see the allure of such an idea. What voracious… Continue reading The Good News and Bad News About Reading Like a Professor
If you're a writer, chances are you've experienced one of these scenarios at least once: (1) The blank screen taunting you. The idea in your head is bursting to come to life, but there's just one problem.... How do you start the story? You type, then delete. That sounded cliche. Type again; delete again. That… Continue reading Perfection Doesn’t Exist (But That Doesn’t Mean Writers Won’t Try)
"Okay... tell me a little about yourself." "Um... how am I supposed to do that?" "Hmm.... good question." How does a writer get to know their character? It's a bit like interviewing someone with amnesia. You have some context, but they know nothing about themselves, so you have to try and fill in the blanks… Continue reading Tell Me a Little About Yourself
If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that the world is weird. We've faced impending doom in the form of murder hornets, carnivorous rats, thieving monkeys, and even UFOs. (I'm just now realizing how much strangeness has been animal-related....) Of course, that's just the bizarre news... I'm not even counting all of the other headlines… Continue reading When Does Weird Work?
A question: You're going on a trip. (I know that's hard to imagine in 2020, but just do your best.) What do you do? (A) Check out every book from the library on your destination. Search the web for tips and reviews. Map out your exact route and come up with an itinerary of "must-dos."… Continue reading Let’s Say You’re Going on a Trip….