Darien Gee's newly released novel, "Friendship Bread," compiles the accounts of the various residents of small town Avalon, Ill., and how they are brought together through an "edible chain letter" called Amish Friendship Bread.
Our world is not a perfect place. If it were, we would always help our fellow man in need without a moment's hesitation, without placing stigmas on those lacking the same privileges and luxuries as we have.
While the Internet allows us access to information and communication worldwide, it is arguable it has also contaminated our ability to interact with others in person. The Internet is a place where we can choose to remain anonymous, and even create imaginative alter-egos. Thus we can live out secret fantasies, speak openly without negative repercussions and share private friendships, even romances, with people that may or may not be what they claim.
One of the things I love about writing book reviews is I can encourage people to pick up a literary treasure they would have passed over or never heard about. That is why I feel a little disappointed I'm essentially telling readers not to bother with this week's novel. And it is particularly disappointing that it is from an author whose first novel was such a success and so highly praised.
Karen Russell's debut novel, "Swamplandia!," is unlike any story you're familiar with, and it may be an odd literary confection that many readers would have to acquire a taste for. However, once you venture into Russell's mystical menagerie of the Florida Everglades, there is an ecosystem of blossoming prose and vibrant imagination. It all weaves together into a mesmerizing gothic portrait of love, death and the loss of innocence.
"The Lost Gate" by science-fiction master Orson Scott Card is a fairly standard fantasy fable. Thirteen-year-old Danny North discovers he has an unusual magical power that has been outlawed by the mage clans for centuries.
It's interesting to think about the different ways that Christmas has been depicted throughout the decades in movies and television shows. For many of us, holiday movies such as "A Christmas Story," "It's a Wonderful Life," and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" are part of our Christmas tradition.
What is the nature of genius? Is it something naturally inherent, or something that can be cultivated by environment and tutelage? Does it mean someone has a mind that can go beyond the normal human limitations, or someone who could be classified as having a mental disorder?
I have, unfortunately, missed a valuable opportunity in this past year - twice. Earlier this summer, a local Atlanta author was doing a book signing for his new novel at the store where I work, and because I hadn't read the book yet, I passed up the chance to meet and talk to this author. This past weekend, I missed it yet again because I was unable to attend the Dahlonega Book Festival where this same author was present. So even though I can't tell the author himself, now at least I have the opportunity to encourage a few ...
It is amazing to think about how much our world has progressed in the last century. Things we take for granted nowadays were novelties or preliminary ideas in the beginning decades of the 1900s, particularly in the realm of science, chemicals and elements that were considered cryptic or inexplicable were more thoroughly experimented on.
To kick off Halloween month, I chose a book that I felt might have the perfect balance of fantasy and macabre; a re-imagining of a classic tale from my childhood, only this isn't the watered-down Disney cartoon.