I’m a writer, podcaster, and bookseller whose ultimate goal (besides being a roadie for the E Street Band) is to make reading, writing, and books in general as popular in Texas as high school football. It may take a while.
The Vocal Creator’s Lounge is a Writer’s Refuge
It should go without saying that writing is a lonely business. I only say it now for those who aren’t writers; the writers already know. We spend countless hours in front of a blank page or blank screen, valiantly striving to somehow move the images and voices in our heads into the more mundane “real” world. We fail most of the time. And unlike with many endeavors, we nearly always fail alone.
Why You Should Write Flash Fiction
This article is a brief one, and intentionally so, because I want to introduce you to a literary sub-genre that’s most appropriate for an era in which we communicate in 280-character tweets and have the attention span of a cocker spaniel with ADD. That sub-genre is flash fiction.
Myths About the Titanic
This past week marked the 109th anniversary of the tragic sinking of RMS Titanic in the early morning of April 15, 1912. More than 1500 lives were lost in the most famous maritime disaster in history. And almost since the moment the great ship slid beneath the waves rumors, myths, and outright lies have surrounded the event; many of these myths have only been further magnified by the success of the 1997 James Cameron film “Titanic.” Where does truth end and myth begin? Let’s take a look.
Why “The Haunting of Hill House” is a Great Adaptation
Adapting books to film or television is always a risky business. Sometimes the result is amazing (“The Godfather,” “High Fidelity,” and “Doctor Zhivago” come immediately to mind), but most of the time it’s a disaster (“The Great Gatsby,” “The Hobbit,” the “Percy Jackson” series, and more). When you set out to adapt one of the greatest horror novels of all time into a TV series, the chance of success is quite low, which is what makes the Netflix adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 classic “The Haunting of Hill House” such a pleasant surprise.
Some Thoughts on Re-Reading Books
A few weeks ago I reread Helene Hanff's wonderful book “84 Charing Cross Road” (you can read my review of it here). After I was finished, a thought occurred to me: why did I just read a book (slim though this volume is) that I've read at least ten times before, when there are so many other books out there I haven't read yet? Have I gotten lazy in my reading habits in my old age?
Hemingway in Paris in the 1920s
There has been renewed interest in Ernest Hemingway since the release last week of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary on the legendary author, with much of it focused on his early career in Paris. This makes it the perfect time to dive a little deeper into the life of the literary icon, his work, and Paris at a critical and transformative period both for literature and history itself. The following books cover Hemingway’s years in Paris, from his arrival in December 1921 until he moved to Key West in 1928; they include both fiction and non-fiction and should be a part of everyone’s library.
The World’s Most Beautiful Bookstores
Every bookstore is beautiful in its own way, because each one contains books, booksellers, and book lovers; it’s the great reading trifecta. However, some bookstores are, objectively speaking, more beautiful than others, at least architecturally and aesthetically. Without slighting any other bookstores in any way, the following are without question the most beautiful in the world and indispensable stops for the literary-minded traveler.
What If JFK Had Lived?
Myths and conspiracy theories are common when it comes to historical figures, but perhaps none more so than those surrounding U.S. president John F. Kennedy. In the nearly six decades since his assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963 a cottage industry has grown up around the myriad conspiracy theories about his death. There are simply too many of those to cover in one article, so today I will instead address a single question that has persisted since the assassination, one that has led to many myths and much revisionist history: what would have happened if Kennedy had lived?