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Archived Since:January 22, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Los Angeles in the '70s: The Place & Time That Won't Behave

Los Angeles in the '70s: The Place & Time That Won't Behave by Joel Drucker What happens when you take two phenomenon that fail to conform to standards of time and place? You get Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Gold...Show More Summary

The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom

By John Pomfret Chapter One A New Frontier The year was 1776, and the American colonies were seized with revolutionary fervor. But in New Hampshire, a twenty-five-year-old student studying to be a missionary dropped out of Dartmouth College and shipped out with the Royal Navy on Captain James Cook's third and final voyage. Show More Summary

Too Real: My dystopian YA novel is actually happening

Every morning since the election, I have woken up, checked the news and experienced a surreal feeling: scenes from my book, The Ones, are being reported as real life events. Not just any scenes, mind you, but scenes of horrifying injustice, bullying and intolerance. See, my novel is often placed into the "dystopia" genre. Show More Summary

The Best Self-Published Books of 2016

Every year readers are faced with "best of" lists of books, from outlets ranging from "GoodReads Choice" to NPR. And every year they all pretty much feature the same titles (this year they include Colson Whitehead's THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD,...Show More Summary

The Devil Is In the Details of Grisham's THE WHISTLER

Book Review - Jackie K Cooper THE WHISTLER by John Grisham If the Devil is in the details then he certainly had a hand in the creation of John Grisham's latest novel THE WHISTLER. Just about everything you get in this well planned out story is detail. Show More Summary

Writing, Suffering, and the Privilege to Learn Who We Are

If you're a regular reader of these essays, you may have noticed that I often write about my many years spent working as a waiter. It is a rich source of material. I met a lot of people during that time, both coworkers and customersShow More Summary

A Look Into The NYC That Was Never Built

For Architectural Digest, by Nick Mafi. It's almost impossible to imagine New York City without such landmarks as Central Park. Yet, were it not for a mid-19th-century bill enacted by the state legislature calling for more than 750 acres to be allocated for the grounds, New Yorkers would've never been able to experience the spoils of the iconic park. Show More Summary

The First Christmas of the War: An Interview with Alan Simon

Over the holidays, millions of Americans will pick up and read a book. I'm more of a non-fiction guy, but as an author I try to pay attention to literary trends. One of the most interesting is the growth of historical fiction. I was curious about what such a book looked like. Show More Summary

Alan Hollinghurst: The Secret Life of a Poem

An inspiring conversation with the award-winning English novelist Alan Hollinghurst - noted for his novel 'The Line of Beauty' - about being a sort of puppet master to his characters and being characterized as "a gay writer." "I read...Show More Summary

Ghosts and Demons in the Consulting Room: Psychoanalysis and the Specter of Trauma? Essays edited by Adrienne Harris, Margery Kalb and Susan Klebanoff

While I don't usually review specialized or academic books, two recent volumes written mainly by psychoanalysts are fascinating and topical for many reasons; --they require close readings, but are well worth the effort. "Ghosts in the...Show More Summary

Once Again, Bruce Springsteen Inspires Hope And Courage

Once again, as our nation deals with Trumpism, Bruce Springsteen's poetry and prose can bring courage. When returning to the United States in 1982, I was stunned by the way the Reagan administration had sped up deindustrialization, expanded the arms race, escalated the dirty wars in Central America, and ignored the first signs of AIDS. Show More Summary

Good Girls Marry Doctors Anthology Unveils South Asian Women's Fraught Lives

This review was first published at Wear Your Voice Magazine. Growing up South Asian American without any representation in film, television or even mainstream books, you become an expert at seeing yourself in the stories of other cultures and races -- you don't have any other choice. Show More Summary

Smart and Sexy Romance with Author Nicola Rendell

Nicola Rendell sprang onto the romance scene this year with a fresh, funny and intelligent voice that immediately captured the attention of romance readers. Her debut novel, Professed, is the story of determined Yale student Naomi Costa and her professor Benjamin Beck. Show More Summary


There's something very special about VIZ Media, and the people who work for them. Not only have they catered to my addiction to all things Sailor Moon, but they've also helped me expand my appreciation for the world of manga and anime as a whole. Show More Summary

Book Review: Reaching the Finish Line (A Practical Guide to Discovering the Champion in You)

If you are ready to discover the champion in you, then you need to take the first step. And this is exactly what "Reaching the Finish Line" will help you do. So, are you ready for the race of your life? If your answer is yes, then you need two things: motive and motivation. Show More Summary

8 Innovative Books to Get You Out of Your Reading Rut

By Erica Nelson | Off the Shelf Every once in a while, I need a shake-up in my reading list--something that's exciting and energizing, and simply unlike anything I've read before. That's when I turn to storytellers who are challenging the way we all read. Show More Summary

The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia

By Andrew Harding Abdirizak Fartaag is a Canadian Somali who returned to Mogadishu in 2009 and worked in the prime minister's office in charge of public finances. He was the man who had authorized Tarzan's first official check in 2010. In 2011, Fartaag was quietly relieved of his duties. Show More Summary

'The Blazing World': A Provocative And Intelligent Narrative Puzzle

By Elizabeth Breeden | Off the Shelf The Blazing World calls to mind the best of the "zings": its stage amazing, its structure mesmerizing, its arguments tantalizing, and its heroine magnetizing. But the title may be the most illustrative...Show More Summary

"The fact remains, there is no medium more important to civilization than the written word"

Excerpts from my remarks to the Writers' Trust Gala November 23, 2016, Toronto, Canada I recently co-chaired the black-tie gala of the Writers Trust. My remarks were provocative and many people have asked me to publish an excerpt - I...Show More Summary

Best Films Books Of 2016

It’s been a surprisingly good year for film books. Whether you are into biographies, film history, pictorials, “making of” books, or critical studies, there was something for just about everyone. This year’s list may top last year’s, which was also bountiful. Show More Summary

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