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Archive for the ‘Literary works’ Category

Cover of "The Awakening: And Other Storie...

Cover via Amazon

Nathan Bransford, Author.

I agree with this article but there is a big misconception about authors.  There are good authors who are not recognized because their work is not mainstream popular reading.  The decisions to read and study certain literature in a canon is determined, in my opinion, by political and cultural preferences.  Whatever is popular now is what people want to read about.  There were books held back from the public (like Kate Chopin‘s The Awakening) because of people in power found their work offensive.  Literature is a fickle thing.  I don’t know a lot of people that can actually agree about what should be studied in college literature classes or read as entertainment.  As a society we are like a leaf apt to go where the wind blows us.

The new writers and authors are flooding the market with self-published books and e-books.  There are all kinds of writers.    Sure we don’t have a lot of Mark Twains or Edgar Allen Poes’ anymore.  But shouldn’t we find some that are still worthy to quote?  Obviously the Noble Prize in Literature is still finding candidates to hand out the award to.  Even the Newberry Award is given out every year.  So there is still some talent out there.

Mark Twain statue

Mark Twain statue (Photo credit: stevebkennedy)

People will read what they want to read.  As writers we just need to write what we feel.  Whether it will make it into a canon or not is up to those who select it.

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Oh my heck! This is great. Now all my books I read and buy on Amazon will be linked to Goodreads. I already have an account with Goodreads and share my reviews with readers everywhere. This is big news for book lovers everywhere.

Nathan Bransford, Author.

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Children’s books can have a deep effect on us as readers. Whether we read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series or books by C.S. Lewis, our depth of understanding comes from what we read and learned. Now years later, looking back I have noticed I missed reading some classics. Not Black Beauty or Charlotte’s Web but books by other authors.

Here are a few examples:

Series were not high on my list of books to read.  Now I see I have some catching up to do.  Books should capture every young heart and start them down a path of reading.  If we didn’t have books to read then what would we do with ourselves?  What would occupy our minds?  What would we be learning?  Nothing but facts according to Charles Dicken’s Hard Times.  That sounds pretty boring.  Imagination is a freedom we should all savor.

Anyone else have a list of books they want to read?

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FrankensteinFrankenstein by Mary Shelley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mary Shelley is profoundly an inspiration to writers that came after her. Reading Frankenstein was hard to understand with the words she used. It is written in comparison to something Charles Dickens wrote. There was prose and style of the time era. Imagination wasn’t closeted to just a small area but encompassed a whole theology of religion and philosophy of the universe. She brought about the question of where a soul comes from. The horrors in the book grip you until the very end when you sigh with relief it is over.

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Be on the lookout for a feature story.  Starring (hopefully) someone from this writing world ….  famous-authors

Also the news on e-books doesn’t look great according to some.  Authors could be hit with the crazy price cut of their ebooks by companies who want to sell used e-books.  Is it possible?  Could readers really tell the difference between used and new digital books?   Read the full article here:  Used e-books  or  at  What the…

Three children, with bare feet, stand waiting on the hot sand. My middle-grade fictional book is now ready for editing.  Hunting for the right editor at the right price is a gamble. Anyone who knows a good editor for children’s literature, please shoot me a line.

Editing, illustrating and writing tirelessly on my picture book.  I am getting closer to  self-publishing, or cutting the cord, with this baby.

th

 

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The Graveyard BookThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A book is good when you finished reading it quickly within a couple of days. But a book is great when after falling in love with the main cahracter you are sad to see him leave you. Nobody Owens is one of those characters who leaves you wondering. Wondering about life, people, and whether you lived life to it’s fullest. One of my favorite quotes is near the end of the story and is said by Liza, “Truly, life is wasted on the living, Nobody Owens. For one of us is too foolish to live, and it is not I. Say you will miss me.” (“The Graveyard Book”, by Neil Gaiman)
This story is beautifully written and poetic to the end. It is obvious why this book won the Newberry Award. Literature is not dead, and is found in “The Graveyard Book”.

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Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas, #5)Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoy reading a Dean Koontz novel. And I especially enjoy the Odd Thomas series. Except for this last installment. There was no humor like the first books so this novel left a bad taste in my mouth. It was dark and dreary. Which I can understand just from reading the title. But there was no real happy ending, just a chapter closed, and the bad guys dead. The character Annamarie is still not resolved in this latest book. And Odd keeps hinting at the fact that we are reading his memoirs. So is he dead? When do we come to the conclusion of this monumental event?
The literature side left me wanting. I know I have seen some better writing and there were a few good lines in the book when Odd was reflecting on his situation and became philosophical. But overall the language of the bad guys and the few parts of the dialect were poor at minimum.
The plot was interesting but hard to understand until the very end when Koontz explains in more detail what the heck is going on. It took me longer to read because of a slow start and Odd always reflecting back to the past. Skip those parts and get right to the meat of the book. I wish I could have liked it more.

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In John Grisham‘s novel “The Litigators” he takes the dark world of lawyers and brings some light to it.  While reading other Grisham novels, they all feel the same, but this one stands above the rest.
It starts with the main character, David Zinc who finds himself suffocating at the law firm he works for.  He arrives at work one day and immediately leaves.   David discovers himself drunk at a bar when he hears a wreck down the road.  He notices some lawyers running to the scene and then fighting over the victim.  This somehow gives him the inspiration to switch to a small boutique of ambulance chasers.
At Finley and Figg, David sees that Oscar Finley is ready to retire and just counting the days and Wally Figg seems to find the most unlikely cases.  They handle everything from divorces to estate settlements.  The two lawyers “fight like a married couple” or two drama queens.  The secretary they have in the office and the dog, who barks when an ambulance is coming, add humor at all the right moments.
David left a huge law firm where they made millions.  But he worked more than 70 hours a week.  With no time for his new wife and a job where he was drowning he felt that F&F was the answer he was looking for.
Money is running low and now all three lawyers are feeling the pinch.  Until Figg discovers a class-act against a drug company.  He talks his partners into signing up and taking on cases in the Chicago area.  The drug company they are up against doesn’t play nice though.  The other class acts in Florida and other areas drop out when they hear about stipulations against the lawyers.  Now with Finley in the hospital and Figg on a bender it is all left up to David. When some say they have a hero most people think of superheroes not lawyers.  David Zinc was a hero that day.  He opened a door which led him to present evidence that the defense could not dispute.  Even though they lost the case, David had made a name for himself.  With their first litigation case behind them and Finley saying he is retiring now, David announces that he has another litigation case against a toy manufacturer.  The toy company though doesn’t want the publicity of the damage the toy caused to a young boy.  So they settled out of court with David and the family.  The heartbreaking thing was that the boy died days before the papers were filed.  The President of the toy company amazingly said he didn’t want anything to change and would still give them the money.  It is nice to see in a novel the bad guy do the right thing for once.  This small family went through so much and David had promised them that even if they didn’t win he would still help them with medical bills.  David and his wife later had a baby and named him after the boy who died.  David expanded his law firm and has no problem litigating cases.

Grisham uses a lot of lawyer jargon but doesn’t dumb it down to help you understand.  Readers of all levels can read this novel without feeling that they were talked down to.  The story is believable enough to be a non-fiction novel.  Something that could be seen in the news or read about is drugs that have class-act law suits against them.  Grisham’s characters were not over the top or too dramatic either.  At first I thought there was no way a lawyer would leave a big law firm where there are company perks like cars, vacation pay and a fixed salary.  After reading David’s problems about working more than 70 hours a week and having no time with his wife you start to understand why he snapped one day.

This novel brought tears and laughter, which makes it to the top of my list.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/360371749

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Goodreads | Jessica Wilson’s review of The Kite Runner.

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Goodreads | Jessica Wilsons review of Hard Times.

Even though Charles Dickens makes for heavy reading it is also thought provoking.

 

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