An incredible American hero – “Shifty” By Chuck Yeager
Latest Posts / September 14, 2013

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I have a great appreciation and interest in World War II. Please read and share this post with everyone you know. And think of the media circus, flags at half staff, and all the things that were said of Whitney Houston when she died and Michael Jackson when he died. . This hero died with barely anyone’s notice. “Shifty” By Chuck Yeager Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them. I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle,” the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat. Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He…

Guest Post: On Writing Unlikable Places
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / September 10, 2013

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy to three (3) winners of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment–to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. On Writing Unlikable Places A few months back, like many writers—and women writers in particular, I suspect–I followed the literary debate over “likable” characters with some interest. For those who might have missed, it all started with an interview Publishers Weekly sat down to with novelist Claire Messud, and their guileless assertion that Nora, the unambiguously furious main character of Messud’s novel The Woman Upstairs, wasn’t someone they’d “want to be friends with.” As Jennifer Weiner later put it in Slate in her thought-provoking response to the exchange, Messud all but “flipped the table”: For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends,…

Author Q&A with Jason Mott
Author Q&A , Latest Posts / September 7, 2013

Jason Mott, author of The Returned and newly minted New York Times best seller list has been kind enough to take some time out from his successful career and answer a few questions for this blog.

Limited Edition Bookish Tee (for Charity)
Latest Posts / September 5, 2013

“The merchandise was not the thing, and neither, for that matter, was the nostalgia. It was all about the neighborhood, that space where common sorrow could be drowned in common passion as the talk grew ever more scholarly and wild.” Represent for Brokeland in this limited-edition tee by Michael Chabon. Authentic vintage-label flavor meets a spiral groove sampled from the New York Times bestseller Telegraph Avenue (now out in paperback from HarperCollins). Check out my thoughts on Telegraph Avenue. Brokeland: it’s a record store, it’s a neighborhood, it’s an independent, if fictional, state of mind. All profits to be divided between 826 National and The MacDowell Colony. Get your LIMITED EDITION Tee Today!

Top 15 21st Century Novels Destined To Become Classics
Latest Posts / September 5, 2013

While visiting the blog River City Reading, I noticed a post about 21st Century Novels which were destined to become classics published by The Inquisitr (original post). As with any list, it is a point of contention and debate. I don’t feel that reviewers decide what is or what is not a classic, but the people do as well as time. After all, many books which we consider classics these days were serialized adventure stories in newspapers (The Three Musketeers for example). But first – here is the list: 15. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen 14. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 13. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver 12. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin 11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini 10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett 9. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron 8. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon 7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman 6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling 5. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 4. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett 3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold 2. The Road by Cormac…

Guest Post: If You Know the Enemy You Need Not Fear the Result of a Hundred Battles
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / September 4, 2013

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle” – Sun Tsu Recently I had the pleasure of reading the novel, The Pilgrimage, by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho—also the author of international best seller The Alchemist. In the novel, Coelho’s fictional self takes on a physical and spiritual quest to find his mystical sword on a pilgrimage from the south of France to a small town on the west coast of Spain called Santiago de Compostela. I’m going to paraphrase a huge lesson that Coelho learned while on his journey. The only way to deal with our physical enemy or the enemy that lives within, is to accept him as a friend and listen to the advice and lessons that he teaches us, never allowing him to dictate the rules of the game. But if we are to keep the enemy from dictating the rules of the game, it is first necessary to know what you want and then to…

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