Famous Literary Fathers
Latest Posts , Opinion / June 21, 2015

Happy Father’s Day to all. While moms get much literary and live love, and rightly so, father’s are no slouches either. The media gave fathers a reputation for being bumbling, grown up kids, but we all know that’s not true, even though some of us have lovingly embraced the stereotype. This Father’s Day I thought I’d do some mental exercises and come up with 5 famous fathers in literature. Bob Cratchet – At first Mr. Cratchit comes off as a weak man who is not able to stand up to his boss, Ebeneezer Scrooge in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. However, when you have several mouths to feed you sometimes, most of the time, have to shut up, grin and bear some of life’s challenges. This is especially true in the when society has no social safety nets. Vito Corleone – Don Corleone, from Mario Puzzo’s Godfather books might not be a model citizen but he certainly loved his family. Loving his family didn’t stop him from putting them in harm’s way of course, but that’s what makes him so memorable. Otto Frank – Mr. Frank survived the Nazi occupation of Europe, the only one of his family and thanks to him future…

When Book Bloggers Disagree
Latest Posts , Opinion / January 7, 2014

I see many bloggers get up in arms, and justifiably so, when an author goes ape-shit because of a bad review, but here we are finding that we are just as petty/sensitive as those we write about.

Are You Intimidated By Classic Books?
Latest Posts , Opinion / October 17, 2012

Classic books are intimidating, I know because they intimidate me. One has to get over the issue that we were forced to read them. Who wants to read a book that you hated in high-school? Hated it because you were too immature to understand it. Hated it because you couldn’t wrap your hormone riddled head around the petty lives of characters who make a big deal out nothing (so, you’re a bastard – big deal). Hated it because it wasn’t relevant to you and your trivial problems. Hated it because it wasn’t “cool” to like it. Or simply hated it because you were forced to read it. My advice – screw them, you’re not in high school anymore, get over it. You have to get over your fear of legitimately hating a classic. Are you not smart enough to like it? Are you not intelligent enough to understand the complex undertone of humanity involved? Maybe you simple don’t have the right vocabulary to enjoy it? And maybe, just maybe, it’s a crappy book – classic or not. My advice – Don’t worry about it. So you didn’t like a classic. Guess what? Nothing will happen and no one will think…

FeedCat – A New RSS Provider
Latest Posts , Opinion / August 20, 2012

I found out two weeks ago that Google might, or might not, shut down Feedburner. Since we don’t know, I’d go with the assumption that it will. I have had my issues with Google, in which I blogged a bit in the past, and still cannot get access to my account – even if it’s just to transfer information out. Google has dropped support for Feedburner and closed its Twitter account, I know many bloggers rely on this service, unfortunately we can no longer reliably do so. In my search for an alternative I found a few good ones, all have their merits and several are much better. I chose FeedCat.net, if you notice the RSS button on the upper right hand side of the screen. I feel comfortable enough with my move, I think it was the right decision. I might move to a paid service, but that depends – right now I don’t have access to my old Google account to transfer the subscribers. Google is pushing everyone to go on Google+, maybe that’s why they are not supporting Feedburner anymore – they see it as a redundant service. To be honest I used G+ (until my account…

Literature in the Olympic Opening Ceremony
Latest Posts , Opinion / July 30, 2012

When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very real As I was watching the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies I couldn’t help be impressed with the presentation, scope, audacity and vision of the program. While some of my friends didn’t care for the program I thought it was brilliant. The ceremony was not meant to glorify the Olympic Games but for the English to boast about their country, promote tourism and welcome nations while navigating the viewers and guests through exciting numbers which include history, culture and literature all set to a wonderfully rich soundtrack. It was heartwarming to see the program recognize the great contributions to literature which have come from England. Starting with J.K. Rowling reading a favored selection from Peter Pan mentioned above (and doing a beautiful job, by the way) to Danny Boyle, the director, including many children’s books in the segment. I recognized characters from Lord Voldemort – main villain in the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Mary Poppins – heroine of the books by P.L….

Love of Reading
Latest Posts , Opinion / May 14, 2012

I bought The Puppy Place #22: Bella by Ellen Miles (website) as part of the nook Daily Find, which I check out daily…being an owner of a nook. My daughter, 7, loves dogs and have been begging for one for years. One day we’ll get one. Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic for­mat through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account More Books in The Puppy Place series Combined my daughter’s love of dogs, love of reading, price deal and the title of this book which happens to be her nickname, how could I pass it up? I didn’t and I’m glad I bought it. Even though my daughter had an amazing improvement in her reading during first grade (going from level 1 to chapter books and top of her class in mere four months) she brings home books because she “has to” not want to. Of course we make a big deal about books and her reading, but it seems more like a chore. Her school is part of the LINKS program; the students must bring a new book every night and read it with the parents. This is not only important for the children, but has the added benefit of…

President Clinton’s Favorite Books
Latest Posts , Opinion / December 21, 2011

President Clinton stopped by the Today Show yesterday and talked about the books he likes to read.  I was surprised and delighted to discover what the President read and to discover that we share the same taste. Image from http://clinton2.nara.gov/WH/kids/html/bill.html Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore President Clinton says: “Truly a biography of the city“ Lincoln by David Herbert Donald President Clinton says: “A book you could read if you wanted to read a novel… an astonishing book“ The Way of the World by David Fromkin President Clinton says: “[A] one volume short history of civilization” Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow President Clinton says: This is a book for “anybody who really wants to understand how we started should read“ And I agree President Clinton also likes to read fiction, crime fiction nonetheless. His favorite fictional character is Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon and I must admin that it is mine as well. Check out Daniel Silva’s Amazon Page. I can recommend any of the Gabriel Allon books, but if you’re new to the series try to start at the beginning. As well as Gabriel Allon, President Clinton also said he enjoyed the Alex Cross series as well as books by…

The Problem with Bookstores
Latest Posts , Opinion / December 17, 2011

Image from http://zerotoinfinity.tumblr.com/post/718216792 A whole lot of hoopla has been raised the past two weeks with Amazon’s strong arm tactics giving $5 off any product you scan with your smart phone in a brick and mortar store, the Slate article which justified it and a whole bunch of others which didn’t. While I agree with some things in the article, I don’t agree with the spirit of it, but that’s another issue. I have been an Amazon customer for many years, to be honest I don’t have much to complain about. I get my orders in a reasonable amount of time, the price is good and the selection is unbelievable. What can I say, I love the ability to buy any book that was ever published at a reasonable price. I am also all for supporting your local businesses I, selfishly, also like to eat and have a roof over my head as well as give my children the holiday present they’ve been craving. Yes, Daddy will turn on the heat. But just for one day! Happy Holidays!! Enjoy!!! That being said, I cannot possible pay twice the price for a hammer at Mr. Cunningham’s Hardware Store than I would…

Dumb is Cool, It Starts Early – A Venting Post
Latest Posts , Opinion / December 14, 2011

I am very proud of my son (4.5) and daughter (7). They are both wonderful children. This year my daughter started first grade and she took on reading like a hurricane, she even participated in an Author Q&A segment on her old man’s blog. In four short months she went from reading books with three words on a page to reading chapter books. Both my wife and I are amazed and are thankful for her wonderful teacher as well as content in seeing our labor (we take homework very seriously in our house) bearing fruits. This has been a tough year and the way our daughter is loving her school, teacher and classmates as well as being popular is one of the brightest spots in our lives currently. Yesterday my wife picked up our daughter and her friend from school. Our daughter proudly opened up a book and her friend made a nasty comment. Of course my wife intervened immediately but that has gotten me thinking (a dangerous past time…). Something really has to be done to make “smart” cool. I remember in my high-school when someone readily admitted to getting a “D” but the “A” students were embarrassed to…

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