• Book Review: The Successful Novelist by David Morrell

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    David Morrell is a genius.

    There’s no getting around that fact. After reading this book, I am more than convinced that this man has more writing talent in his pinky than I do in my whole body.

    I digress.

    When I mentioned on Twitter that Stephen King’s On Writing is one of the most influential books about writing that I have ever read, someone suggested that I look up David Morrell’s book The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing.

    I’m delighted I did.

    This book, like King’s, provides a veritable treasure trove of knowledge regarding the craft and the business of writing. However, Morrell takes a much more practical approach, giving out advice for you to use in your daily writing sessions. King’s book is largely memoir with some practical bits sprinkled in. On the whole, Morrell seems so much more approachable.

    The Successful Novelist is suitable for writers of all skill levels. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been writing for ages, this book is for you.

    It’s also short, succinct, and easy to read and understand. What more could you want?

    Go out and pick up your copy today. This book will change your life.

    Have you read this book? What did you think of it? What book would you like to see me review next?

    P.S. Book Review: Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown.

  • Author Spotlight: Haruki Murakami

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    This post is a feature I’ve been wanting to write for some time. I discovered Murakami and his work about a year and a half ago, via the Selected Shorts podcast, where I first heard his short story “The Iceman” read aloud. Shortly after, I plunged headfirst into the bizarre, engrossing world of 1Q84 and haven’t been the same since.

    Prevalent motifs throughout Murakami’s extensive body of work include cats, dreams and hallucinations, magical realism, androgyny, ears, aliens, fate, and coincidences (that are usually so much more than simple coincidences). Most if not all of these motifs can be seen in his longest work, 1Q84. The title clearly pays homage to Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, but the story is not the same.

    As much as I’d like to write a review on 1Q84, that’s another post for another day. We’re here to talk about some of Murakami’s other work. He is considered one of the foremost authorities on modern literary fiction, having published several different short stories, novels, and nonfiction essays. Some of his most notable works include “The Iceman,” After Dark, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, and Norwegian Wood (the movie adaptation for which is currently on Netflix). His prose is captivating, magical, and sure to win you over from the very first page.

    If you’ve never read Murakami, check out “The Iceman.” And be sure to let me know what you think about it!

    Have you read Murakami? What do you think of him?

    P.S. Book Review: Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews, Book Review: Oleanders in Alaska by Matt Thompson, Book Review: Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown, and Book Review: Morning Glory by Allison Blanchard.

  • Costume Ideas Based on Literary Characters

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    In case you hadn’t noticed, Halloween is close at hand. It’s less than a week away. If you don’t have a Halloween costume yet, there’s no need to panic. I’m happy to help. Here are a couple of ideas based on characters from famous works of literature.

    Hester Prynne

    All you need for this look is a black dress, a white apron, some black shoes, and a scarlet letter. Bonnet and child born of wedlock are optional.

    Jay Gatsby

    Pull off the infamous American Dreamer by dressing in a suit and carrying around a glass of champagne. Be sure to mention Daisy and green lights wherever you go. Also, don’t forget to say, “old sport” as much as humanly possible. Bonus points for hosting a legendary Halloween party without sending out any invitations.

    Big Brother

    Take a piece of poster board and cut out a hole in the middle for your head to fit through. Write BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU in bold letters with a permanent marker. For added paranoia, hide cameras all over your friends and family. And grow some nasty facial hair. By the way, you may or may not actually exist. Keep that in mind.

    Mina Harker
    Here’s another for the ladies. Put on a nightgown, preferably a lacy one. Muss your hair and wear it loose. Apply fake blood to your neck as though you’ve been bitten by a vampire. Faint constantly throughout the evening. Babble incoherently about uninvited nighttime guests.

    I know this post is short, but this should’ve given you a few ideas for your Halloween costume. 
    What do you think? What are you going to be for Halloween?