Unearthed Facebook: The 15 Book Meme

Another quickie today, folks. I found another “chain letter” meme from my Facebook archives, this one asking us to list fifteen books that “stayed with us.” I’ll drop in later to add some color commentary on each title from the current day, 2020, but for now, check it out. I still adore all the books on this list, even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Continue reading “Unearthed Facebook: The 15 Book Meme”

Review: Slade House by David Mitchell

Imagine Marvel’s Doctor Strange, with all of its trippy imagery, cool psychic battles, and supernatural-bordering-on-super-science worldbuilding. Now imagine that story written by a master novelist with protean-powerful command of first person, and you’d have David Mitchell’s Slade House.

Needless to say, SPOILERS LIE AHEAD!

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Quick Hit: The Secret History of Twin Peaks

One of the myriad pleasures of the classic TV series Twin Peaks is sensing the artistic tug-of-war between showrunners David Lynch and Mark Frost. By now it’s received wisdom that Frost—an alum of more traditional story-driven shows like Hill Street Blues—was a necessary correction for Lynch, the dreamy abstractionist. 

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Quick Hit: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a southern-gothic masterpiece that borders ever so slightly on gonzo journalism—though it falls short of passing into that bizarro realm.  Reading it spurred me to contemplate the border between the two major realms of nonfiction writing; the DMZ between the ordered lands of subject-first traditional journalism and the wild “bat country” of writer-first gonzo. It wasn’t a very long contemplation, of course, as Midnight in the Garden falls into the same tradition of literary journalism as Capote, Junger, or Bowden, though the author’s prominent role nudges it closer to “Thompson” territory than Junger’s or Bowden’s.

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Author Interview: Andi Cumbo-Floyd

Bob here. I met Andi Cumbo-Floyd through Twitter, where she holds weekly discussion with other writers. She’s one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I’ve interacted with, and her writing reflects that. Besides her ongoing pursuit of creative nonfiction, Andi is also a teacher and editor. She recently launched a new online community for writers, and she maintains an artistic commune of sorts on her 10-acre farm in Virginia. I’m delighted to feature her on my blog.

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A Lament for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In this classic book review, Tony Lazlo sounds an extended dirge for the disappointing final chapter in the Harry Potter book series.


The empress is naked.

After 10 wonderful years of books whose release dates arrived with the anticipation of fresh boxes of Wonka bars, we’re left with the disheartening reality that J.K. Rowling couldn’t write a Harry Potter novel set beyond the walls, curriculum and classes of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a stunning disappointment with a great ending — and let me stress: The novel itself has a great ending. The seven-book series doesn’t.

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