A few odd news articles have come to my attention lately: A California man convicted of attempting to sell a grenade launcher to an undercover federal agent was sentenced to write a book report; a Brazilian prison has offered to reduce prison sentences of inmates for reading books; and a woman in South Carolina is given the penance of reading the Bible after being convicted of injuring two people while driving drunk.
Recently, I was having a conversation about people who, when they don't manage to achieve their goals when they originally expected to, tend to heap the blame on external factors.
Coming up on this Father's Day, I found myself thinking about the relationship between fathers and daughters, and sometimes I wonder exactly what my own father has expected from me during the course of my life.
Over the past few weeks when I worked at the bookstore, about the only book people have been buying (or ordering, as the store continuously sells out of it) is "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James, an erotic novel about a young woman in a sensual love affair with a wealthy and handsome billionaire.
Why is it that so many authors and filmmakers love to depict deteriorating futures in which our daily lives become worse and worse? And why are we so entertained by franchises that promote these themes?
The first book in Rothfuss' "The Kingkiller Chronicle" and also his debut novel, "The Name of the Wind," sets the stage for the life-epic of the enigmatic Kvothe, who at the start of the novel is an innkeeper living a secluded life in a quiet town.
Since this week's Off the Shelves review coincides with Earth Day, I was reminded of some of the books that taught me the importance of living in harmony with Mother Earth.
I often wonder if it is right for me, as an adult, to review a novel intended for children. The adult brain can be too demanding, or too scrutinizing of a novel that is simply meant to be fun, which is truly all a young reader would care about.
Back in 2003, Dennis Lehane, author of "Mystic River" and "Shutter Island," spun a beautiful narrative with an engrossing voice. He captures the era of 1917 with such vividness and atmosphere that you do not feel so much as if you have been transported to another time, but that you have been a part of that time and history.
Florida has served to be the backdrop for many of the most bizarre adventures in the realm of literary fiction, including two of my favorite: "Swamplandia!" by Karen Russell and Tim Dorsey's "Pineapple Grenade."
With the progressive dependence on what computers and electronics do for us - in business, recreational and social interactive aspects - the novel I read this week came across as bone-shiveringly plausible.
A few months ago, I reviewed Tim Dorsey's criminally entertaining novel "When Elves Attack," a Christmas caper that featured some of the most gruesome, and laugh-out-loud hysterical murders that I have ever read.
As much as I hate to admit there is a genre of literature that often gets under my skin, modern teen fiction is it (I refuse to acknowledge anything involving sparkly vampires and relationship-sadistic girls).
This week's book review is a little different from what I normally do. Lately, I have been reviewing either new releases, or sharing my lists of favorites in a particular theme.
In the newly released "The Thirteen Hallows," a collaboration between the "Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" series author Michael Scott and award-winning playwright Colette Freedman, the novel's heroine is 21-year-old introvert Sarah Miller.