THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by JD Sallinger
THE ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN by Mark Twain
LORD OF THE FLIES by William Goding
THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD by Harper Lee
OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck
FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury
THE HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling
These are my favorite books. All these books are in my bookshelves even as I type. These are the books that made me fall in love with reading and eventually, writing.
THESE BOOKS HAVE ALL BEEN BANNED.
Nathan Bransford said it so eloquently here, I am going to defer to him.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Finally had the chance to finish James Patterson's THE POSTCARD KILLERS this weekend and was reminded once again why he is my favorite author. Also, loved the European flavor of co-author, Liza Marklund and the bad guys...well, let's just say they take the word, 'twisted' to a whole new level. Highly recommended!
Monday, September 20, 2010
SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson.
SPEAK is about a young woman who keeps quiet after being raped. It is a Young Adult novel and many people are up in arms about the subject matter for young readers. Yes, it is an ugly subject. Yes, it is written for 14-21 year olds. Yes, it is something we pray these young people NEVER have to deal with, but the cold, hard truth is they sometimes, tragically, do.
Think for a moment of a young person who has suffered a brutal attack. Think for a moment that this young person has no one to go to. Think for a moment if this young person has read this book and found within its pages the strength to seek the help they would so desperately need. Now, think for a moment, if this book were banned and this person hadn't read it.
It is as Ms. Reid said, in an ideal world, we wouldn't need this book. In an ideal world, our young people would never have to suffer such atrocities. But, sadly, we do not live in an ideal world.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I’ve been thinking a lot about monsters lately. As a paranormal writer, I spend a great deal of my time with them. Terrible monsters, monsters that maim, kill and would steal your very soul. Zombies, werewolves, vampires, these are the monsters we trust. Wait a minute, you are thinking, did she just say trust?
Yes, I did. The monsters from our books, movies and televisions are monsters we know are monsters. We recognize these beasts with their jagged teeth and howls at the moon. We know they are evil, repugnant and vicious. But the scarier monsters are the ones we don’t know, the ones with human masks and non-human hearts.
Nine years ago, we came face to face with a hideous fiend. One so vicious he could have been plucked from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD or NOSFERATU. No, one who was plucked from the deepest, darkest pit of Hell. One who killed our brothers and sisters, one who terrorized our children, one who stole our innocence. A mortal, yes, but not a man. He was and is the worst kind of beast…one we didn’t see coming.
Since that day, the day the sky fell, I have seen other monsters. Monsters like hate and despair and prejudice. And worse yet, I have seen them in me. I have allowed these dark emotions to fuel my rage at the injustice of it all. I have allowed them to enter my most precious sanctuary, my heart. And the beast won all over again.
But today I start anew. Not with a heart full of wisdom or understanding or even forgiving…at least not yet, but one that will not be hardened by evil any longer. I will not allow the beast to take my goodness from me.
I will give rest to the tired. I will feed the poor. I will shelter the huddled masses. I will lift up my lamp and illuminate my beloved homeland to those who seek refuge and welcome them with open arms. I will love where the beast hates, because as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Okay, I may be a bit of a masochist, but I thoroughly enjoy reading The Query Shark. Janet Reid is a literary agent with FinePrint Literary Management and, I think quite graciously, spends her 'spare' time critiquing writer's query letters. FOR FREE! Going by her alter-ego, THE SHARK, she picks apart sample letters and offers advice on how to change them. Sounds great, right? Yeah, to me as well, but there are some who have the nerve to actually complain about the bites she takes. Unbelievable!
I plan to post my query letter on this site in the next few weeks and believe me, I'm scared to death. (Which is why I've ordered my steel suit) Will she rip me to shreds and feed on my mangled remains? Perhaps, but as I am being stitched up, I will take in her sage wisdom and make every change to my query she recommends. She does this for a living and if anyone should know what it takes to hook the right agent, it should be her.
So, come on, people, don't bite the helping hand offered you...leave that to the SHARK! (Dun-da, Dun-da...)
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Pouring my coffee and reaching for my first scone as I entered my new favorite pink clubhouse, excitement filled me when I saw today's blogger. One I had been anxiously awaiting and I was not disappointed. Judy's post was full of the fun, positive thoughts I expected. Check it out and make a list of all the things YOU want to learn.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Ellen Meister, has done it again with her second novel, THE SMART ONE. Much like her debut novel, SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA, she has beautifully navigated the treacherous human waters in which we all tread. Waters with dangerous predators like love and hate. Waters filled with the riptides of lust, envy and deceit. Our familial waters.
How we feel about our families is a complicated thing and the characters in this novel could be any one of us. No, I dare say, have been each and every one of us at one time or another. And not since the days of J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield have I fallen so deeply in love with such deliciously flawed characters.
So, thank you, Ellen, for once again setting the bar higher for intelligent women’s literature.