Entries Tagged as 'books & writing'

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Wings of Fire

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There were aspects of Alma Alexander’s “Wings of Fire” that I enjoyed, while there were others I did not. Unfortunately, the latter outweighed the former.

To its credit, the book offers an international and flavorful smorgasbord of mythology and fantasy, faith and ritual as its characters take us along on a story of adventure and discovery through space and time. Maori spirits? Got ’em. Irish selkies and Russian monks? Those, too. But wait … you also get rusalkas, hunters and healers, fallen angels and more.
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books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Making the Rounds

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I did not realize this until recently, but I have been waiting for someone to write a series of stories around the adventures of a Jewish wizard divinely sentenced to an extended life of servitude applying his wisdom and his wit – and added abilities possible only through God’s power and indulgence – to help His Adamic Brood through a bizarre array of problems … no matter how far they have strayed from His path in the course of causing those problems.
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books & writingcreative writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Speculative Story Bites

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My experience with LibraryThing has added a LOT of different works to my e-bookshelf, and that’s led to a diverse array of reading experiences for me, and reviews for the books.

Some were great, others not-so-great-but-alright … there were titles that registered somewhere in the middle of the ‘meh’ meter … and one that left me scrambling to find words that adequately expressed how odorous I found it.
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animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Now that Amazon is offering audiobooks for dogs, top ten audiobooks for dogs

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10. In Cold Bloodhound

9. Slaughterhouse Canine

8. The Bitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

7. The Hound and the Fury

6. Jane Airedale

5. The Picture of Dorian Greyhound

4. Barkness at Noon

3. The Great Dane Gatsby

2. Love In the Time of Collie

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Hound
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Kentucky Kaiju

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I was a total neophyte in just about every way as I opened my e-copy of “Kentucky Kaiju.” Graphic literature (comic books, back then) was not allowed in my home when I was young; I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting the state of Kentucky and enjoying its culture; AND, I have never encountered a Kaiju … though that last might be a good thing, judging by the creatures presented to me in this book.
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art & entertainmentbooks & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Dreamweaver: Book 2 of the Dream Cycle

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“DreamWeaver” is a good enough read for fans of swords-and-sorcery and other stories that fall within the realm of ‘fantasy fiction.’ I read my e-copy from cover to cover, and I enjoyed the experience. But I can’t help but think there’s something familiar about it … something that I’ve read somewhere and somewhen else, by someone else.
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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingbooks & writing

Top ten classics being made into superhero movies

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10. Little Wonder Women

9. Of Human Torch

8. The X-Man Cometh

7. Daredevil and Daniel Webster

6. Kiss of the Spider-Man

5. Doctor Strange and Mr. Hyde

4. Anne of Green Lantern

3. Of Mice And Superman

2. The Naked and the Deadpool

1. The Groot Gatsby
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writingcreative writing

Back and Broke in Philly

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Back in Philadelphia was when I first saw my father as weak, as dependent, and as a guy who didn’t like working. Despite his lack of funds he seemed insistent on this last point—he would avoid work entirely unless he found what he considered to be his proper position. This was when I first saw that he’d possibly risk getting booted onto the street rather than take any job. In 1991 we were in the heart of the first Bush’s recession, and it didn’t seem like there were many of those idealized white-collar management positions around. My father was overweight, unemployed, under massive debt, and for the first time in my life, I saw him as old. He hadn’t had a full-time job since 1987, and I could see he wasn’t looking forward to searching for it. He knew the companies didn’t want him anymore, at least not for any kind of lucrative position. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

An Interview With Rebecca Schuman

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Rebecca Schuman’s new memoir is a fast read with a long title: Schadenfreude, A Love Story. Me, the Germans, and 20 Years of Attempted Transformations, Unfortunate Miscommunications, and Humiliating Situations That Only They Have Words For. The book offers an engrossing look at the author’s adventures in the liberal arts, graduate training, and much more. Schuman’s memoir takes us from the Pacific Northwest to college back East, and then on multiple excursions to Germany where she has a chance to be reminded that her literary love, Franz Kafka, wasn’t German even as she immerses herself in a language that bamboozles her in comic, yet thought-provoking, ways. The book grabbed this reader, and I was eager to return to it every chance I got. Toward the end the narrative moves to graduate school and the anguish of an extremely competitive academic job market where we know that well over a hundred applications can greet each new tenured slot, particularly in the humanities. Since completing her PhD and failing to land such a dream job, Rebecca Schuman has built a substantial online readership writing about academia for Slate. More recently, she has returned to Germany as a subject “in the accusative case” in spunky columns at The Awl. In the middle of Schadenfreude, it occurred to me that it would be fun to interview Rebecca Schuman, and the author was kind enough to respond to these questions. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingliving poetry

Top ten favorite lines for a Valentine’s Day poem

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10. A Valentine that finds us far apart.

9. Though distance can’t dilute your brilliant Light.

8. I Love you very much, with all my heart.

7. And soon we two will finally reunite.

6. And nevermore will I be far from you.

5. And pleasing you will be my only aim.

4. Then nevermore shall we be rent in two,

3. United in the all-consuming flame!

2. Our path was fated since before Creation:

1. A Love forged in a Twin Flame Conflagration!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingliving poetry

Top one reason today’s Top Ten will be delayed 24 hours

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1. Because it’s called “Top ten favorite lines for a Valentine’s Day poem” and tomorrow, somehow, just seems more appropriate.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writingcreative writing

Excerpt from Auggie’s Revenge

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In 2016, I was lucky enough to have a second novel slip out of the apartment and onto a publisher’s list. Here’s an excerpt you’re welcome to share and enjoy. If it leads to a few sales, I’m grateful; if it doesn’t I won’t sulk. Or, not in public anyway.

from Auggie’s Revenge, chapter 9, “Uncle Sam’s Blood Money”:

But the thought of murder, like most others, drifted away, and I resumed my daily grind. Taking attendance and grading papers. Designing lessons. Lecture or discussion. In class, expounding upon the poverty of philosophy, or at the very least the philosophy of my poverty. Making a jackass of myself in front of undergrads so certain they wouldn’t wind up like the sloppy joker in front of the room.

One afternoon while strolling to the street corner after classes, in the middle of my muddled thoughts on philosophy, Auggie, humanity, murder, et al., I spied a thick wad of bills. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places

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In the course of a prolific career that traversed a wide variety of genre, British writer Arthur Conan Doyle created – for me, at least – three singular characters. Over time, those three have achieved varying degrees of popularity and shelf-presence.

I have read all of Doyle’s stories of detective Sherlock Holmes, and almost all his stories of Brigadier Etienne Gerard. In contrast, I have read only one of his Professor George Edward Challenger stories … but what a wonderful story it was! And I am not at all surprised that it provided much of the foundation for “Professor Challenger: New Worlds, Lost Places” a collection of short stories inspired by Doyle’s brilliant, headstrong and physical academician.
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books & writingcreative writing

The Writer’s Parents

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“They were like all other parents. My mother liked to feed us. My father liked to take pictures.”

from The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

Recent news of Lionel Shriver donning a sombrero to protest identity politics in the creative-writing world reminded me of Jenny Zhang’s Buzzfeed response to white poet Michael Derrick Hudson’s use of the Chinese pen name Yi-Fen Chou to wiggle his way into a Best of American Poetry collection.

I ignored the controversy over cultural appropriation but “took” from the Zhang essay to compare and contrast her parents’ fear of a child’s future as a writer to my own parents’ feelings about my choices. [Read more →]

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Tesseracts Eighteen: Wrestling With Gods

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Don’t let the title of Wrestling with Gods, a collection of short stories and poems assemble by Liana Kerzner and Jerome Stueart, fool you. It DOES provide an overlying theme for this latest installment of the Tesseracts series … but it provides only a hint of what the reader will find inside. [Read more →]

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion

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I am told J.P. Wagner covered a lot of ground and a lot of topics in the course of his career as a journalist. Having ‘been there, done that’ myself, I suspect it left him with an appreciation for a broad range of interests.

That certainly appears to be the case in his first published novel, Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion. Fantasy, action and adventure, swords and sorcery? Check, check, check. Steampunk, royal court intrigue, love story? Check them all off as well. [Read more →]

books & writingrace & culture

Added to my e-bookshelf … Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews

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WARNING: Reading Phyllis Chesler’s book “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews” may be hazardous to your sense of well-being. It could lead to increased levels of skepticism. This, in turn could lead to a variety of side-effects … a willingness on your part to question what we are told about the world around us, to make an extra effort to gain more information. You may even find yourself rejecting what ‘everybody knows and believes,’ in favor of a view that is more complicated, more detailed … and perhaps more truthful. [Read more →]

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … “Dominions”

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Like many other Library Thing contributors, I found myself diving into Dominions, Volume 2 of the “Bladesmith” series without first having read Volume 1. In my case, that did not pose any problems with my enjoying this book … though it HAS left me wanting to go back and read Volume 1, as well as other books by James Hetley/Burton. [Read more →]

books & writing

Added to my e-bookshelf … “Downtime”

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In her book “Downtime,” Cynthia Fleece offers us a love story and a science fiction story … maybe it’s the guy in me, but I wish there could have been a little more ‘science’ in the story. [Read more →]

books & writing

(NOT) Added to my e-bookshelf … “The House of Fox”

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As I sit down to review S.J. Smith’s “The House of Fox,” I have in mind a line one hears in televised cooking competitions, where the judge has sampled a contestant’s offering and says something to the effect of ‘I admire your conception, but your execution left a lot to be desired.’

That’s exactly how I feel after finishing “The House of Fox.” [Read more →]

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