Book Reviews In Brief: Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga Contemporary fiction fans will want to read and re-read Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations curled up with a cup of tea (I like oolong with jasmine), or with a glass of white in one hand. Her characters have heart, even during hard times. Noga uses multiple connected narratives to reach her readers; at least one of the stories is likely to resonate with you.   The Gist: Sparrow Migrations‘ multiple narratives begin with Robby and his parents Linda and Sam on a ferry in New York. Robby has autism, and Linda and Sam are still struggling to come to terms with what it

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Book Reviews In Brief: Sparrow Migrations by Cari Noga Contemporary fiction fans will want to read and re-read Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations curled up with a cup of tea (I like oolong with jasmine), or with a glass of white in one hand. Her characters have heart, even during hard times. Noga uses multiple connected narratives to reach her readers; at least one of the stories is likely to resonate with you.   The Gist: Sparrow Migrations‘ multiple narratives begin with Robby and his parents Linda and Sam on a ferry in New York. Robby has autism, and Linda and Sam are still struggling to come to terms with what it

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Posted in Book Reviews

Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations, makes the case for reading more, and maybe even writing contemporary fiction. She makes multiple narratives and difficult stories look much easier to tell and enjoy than we’ve known them to be in the past. Get a taste of Cari’s carefully chosen words at her blog–we like this post about signs and her son, check out our Book Review in Brief or just ask Amazon for a free sample of the new edition of Sparrow Migrations. Trust us–it’s worth a read or few. What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to be a book, could even be the label on your breakfast cereal, I suppose). After a long wait on my local

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Cari Noga’s debut novel, Sparrow Migrations, makes the case for reading more, and maybe even writing contemporary fiction. She makes multiple narratives and difficult stories look much easier to tell and enjoy than we’ve known them to be in the past. Get a taste of Cari’s carefully chosen words at her blog–we like this post about signs and her son, check out our Book Review in Brief or just ask Amazon for a free sample of the new edition of Sparrow Migrations. Trust us–it’s worth a read or few. What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to be a book, could even be the label on your breakfast cereal, I suppose). After a long wait on my local

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This is an essay by Elizabeth Simons. Gazing winsomely from the cover of Growing Up, Russell Baker has an air of self-confidence with just a bit of vulnerability peeking through. Sporting his best suit and tie, with his hair slicked back and severely parted, he looks the picture of quintessential boyhood. The twinkle in his eye invites you to spin your yarns, and the truth will be sorted out later.

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This is an essay by Elizabeth Simons. Gazing winsomely from the cover of Growing Up, Russell Baker has an air of self-confidence with just a bit of vulnerability peeking through. Sporting his best suit and tie, with his hair slicked back and severely parted, he looks the picture of quintessential boyhood. The twinkle in his eye invites you to spin your yarns, and the truth will be sorted out later.

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Posted in Books, Lessons

This is an essay by Sheila Hageman. Reflections on Maya Angelou and Speaking to Universal Truth “I wasn’t thinking so much about my own life or identity. I was thinking about a particular time in which I lived and the influences of that time on a number of people . . . I used . . . myself—as a focus to show how one person can make it through those times.”–Maya Angelou   These are Maya Angelou’s words from an interview about why her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings resonates so deeply with its readers. This is not a book simply about one woman’s plight (although it is

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This is an essay by Sheila Hageman. Reflections on Maya Angelou and Speaking to Universal Truth “I wasn’t thinking so much about my own life or identity. I was thinking about a particular time in which I lived and the influences of that time on a number of people . . . I used . . . myself—as a focus to show how one person can make it through those times.”–Maya Angelou   These are Maya Angelou’s words from an interview about why her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings resonates so deeply with its readers. This is not a book simply about one woman’s plight (although it is

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Posted in Creativity, Learning

Harrison Scott Key is a funny guy. Don’t believe us? Check out this piece in Outside magazine. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a Southerner, and your father never forced you to crouch in a tree and eat cheap processed meat in pursuit of woodland creatures–Key’s true-life tales are hilarious, surprisingly relatable and may just make you grateful for (and more forgiving of) your family’s particular brand of crazy. What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to be a book, it could even be the label on your breakfast cereal, we suppose).  Technically, it was the question I am answering, which you typed into an email and which I had to read

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Harrison Scott Key is a funny guy. Don’t believe us? Check out this piece in Outside magazine. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a Southerner, and your father never forced you to crouch in a tree and eat cheap processed meat in pursuit of woodland creatures–Key’s true-life tales are hilarious, surprisingly relatable and may just make you grateful for (and more forgiving of) your family’s particular brand of crazy. What’s the last thing you read? (It doesn’t have to be a book, it could even be the label on your breakfast cereal, we suppose).  Technically, it was the question I am answering, which you typed into an email and which I had to read

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Posted in Author Interviews

Book Review: The World’s Largest Man by Harrison Scott Key Even the most reluctant memoir-readers will enjoy these tales from an even more reluctant southerner. His witty, but often uncomfortably honest portrayals of his family life and upbringing in Tennessee and Mississippi are sure to make you guffaw in public. The Gist:  The World’s Largest Man is a collection of vignettes and stories centered around the author’s father, Pop, a larger-than-life last-of-the-true Southern-men sort of character. Pop is the kind of old-school country boy who insists making his sons into “real men” through hard work, hunting, playing football, and hates the fancy neckerchiefs forced on boy scouts. There are hilarious anecdotes

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Book Review: The World’s Largest Man by Harrison Scott Key Even the most reluctant memoir-readers will enjoy these tales from an even more reluctant southerner. His witty, but often uncomfortably honest portrayals of his family life and upbringing in Tennessee and Mississippi are sure to make you guffaw in public. The Gist:  The World’s Largest Man is a collection of vignettes and stories centered around the author’s father, Pop, a larger-than-life last-of-the-true Southern-men sort of character. Pop is the kind of old-school country boy who insists making his sons into “real men” through hard work, hunting, playing football, and hates the fancy neckerchiefs forced on boy scouts. There are hilarious anecdotes

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Posted in Book Reviews, Books

This article was written by Sarah L. Webb. I’m addicted to reading with a pen in my hand. So addicted, in fact, that I have to have a pen even when I’m reading on my Kindle. Not only am I addicted to reading with pens, but I’m also a pen pusher. My goal is to turn my adult students into pen users just like me (which is a lot harder than pushing pens to youth readers). I wasn’t always this way.

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This article was written by Sarah L. Webb. I’m addicted to reading with a pen in my hand. So addicted, in fact, that I have to have a pen even when I’m reading on my Kindle. Not only am I addicted to reading with pens, but I’m also a pen pusher. My goal is to turn my adult students into pen users just like me (which is a lot harder than pushing pens to youth readers). I wasn’t always this way.

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This is an essay by Chris Ciolli. Books and movies needn’t compete for our attention and affection. They’re two very different mediums, and they’ve got, as explained in an Williesha Morris’ earlier post , different needs and goals and use different tools to do the same thing—share a story with the world. In fact, although many readers and writers may loathe to admit it, movies and the books that inspire them enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship in which one feeds off and grows from the other. Less than convinced? Let me explain.

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This is an essay by Chris Ciolli. Books and movies needn’t compete for our attention and affection. They’re two very different mediums, and they’ve got, as explained in an Williesha Morris’ earlier post , different needs and goals and use different tools to do the same thing—share a story with the world. In fact, although many readers and writers may loathe to admit it, movies and the books that inspire them enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship in which one feeds off and grows from the other. Less than convinced? Let me explain.

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Posted in Books, Reading

This is an essay by Erika Dreifus. A funny thing happened as I immersed myself in the study and practice of writing: I found myself appreciating stories and poems about writing—works in which central characters are writers or central themes or actions involve aspects of craft, process, or business of writing—more and more. I say that this is “a funny thing” because the more I hear from other writers, the more it seems that I’m in a decided minority in my enjoyment of these works. Take the perspective articulated by Roxane Gay,

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This is an essay by Erika Dreifus. A funny thing happened as I immersed myself in the study and practice of writing: I found myself appreciating stories and poems about writing—works in which central characters are writers or central themes or actions involve aspects of craft, process, or business of writing—more and more. I say that this is “a funny thing” because the more I hear from other writers, the more it seems that I’m in a decided minority in my enjoyment of these works. Take the perspective articulated by Roxane Gay,

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Posted in Writing

This is an essay by Rhonda Kronyk. The list of categories we can choose reading material from is endless. Yet, as busy people, we often choose to read in the genre we write in and forget that all writers can learn from reading outside their genre. I admit that I’ve been guilty of letting my fiction reading slide this year as I work on my freelance writing and editing business. I miss reading novels, but never seem to make the time to fit them into my schedule. That is until my son introduced me to the Game of Thrones television series. I rarely read fantasy fiction, and I never watch it on

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This is an essay by Rhonda Kronyk. The list of categories we can choose reading material from is endless. Yet, as busy people, we often choose to read in the genre we write in and forget that all writers can learn from reading outside their genre. I admit that I’ve been guilty of letting my fiction reading slide this year as I work on my freelance writing and editing business. I miss reading novels, but never seem to make the time to fit them into my schedule. That is until my son introduced me to the Game of Thrones television series. I rarely read fantasy fiction, and I never watch it on

Read more

Posted in Books, Lessons, Reading