Poor, Poor Me

When I was in my late teens, sittin' around waitin' for my life to begin (while, as Springsteen sings, "it was all just slippin' away"), I wrecked the family car. Drove it off a country road not far from our house on the way to taking my little brother to some kind of music practice.… Continue reading Poor, Poor Me

Write What You Know

Maybe one of the oldest saws in the book-writing book is to "write what you know," something I take as good advice, if not necessarily ironclad. WWYK is something that Stephen King, for one example, clearly has subscribed to over his long and prolific career. He places many of his stories in his birthplace and… Continue reading Write What You Know

On ‘The Mothers’

The best novels, the best stories, stay with you a while, don't they? I finished The Mothers, Brit Bennett's 2016 debut, a few weeks ago, and I thought about it for several days after. It pops up in my crowded head, still, every now and again, whenever I read about an African American church, or… Continue reading On ‘The Mothers’

July, July

The title of this post is the same as a 2002 novel by Tim O'Brien. I saw the book recommended in some list somewhere, the cover looked nice, it wasn't huge like the epic I read before it, so I checked it out of my super-local library. (Yeah ... list, cover, weight of book ...… Continue reading July, July

A mighty author at bat

Five hundred and sixty eight pages is, by any count, a lot of pages. That's less of a book than a marriage vow. When you lift something of that size, when you show you're willing to put in the effort that a relationship like that demands, you're looking for a little something in return. It's… Continue reading A mighty author at bat

Going down

Before I start in on my latest reading escapade, a confession: I bailed on a novel recently. Or, more accurately, I bailed on one finally. This does not make me feel good. I feel, in fact, like a damn failure. Even though I now agree that parachuting out of a book is OK -- there's… Continue reading Going down