bookTwenty-five years ago, a pediatrician told my sister that eggs were unhealthy and that she must never serve them to her children. Now nutritionists call eggs one of the perfect foods. Twenty years ago some health experts decried the consumption of coffee, claiming that it was a killer. Today numerous people laud the health benefits of this beverage. Educators have traditionally touted the benefits of homework, yet new studies claim that homework can cause burnout in students and exhaustion in parents.

bookStephanie Storey’s Oil and Marble, which was released this spring, is not only a page-turner but an eye-opener.

bookBack in 1954, when I was a freshman at Western Carolina Teachers College (now WCU), the college’s drama department launched a production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

book“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

— George Orwell, 1984

For the past year, Americans have endured — I use the word deliberately — the charges and countercharges of men and women running for the presidency of the United States. We must now endure another seven months of this ruckus, and as in most American elections throughout our history, mudslinging will be the order of the day.

bookIn this story, I am God. — Frank Lloyd Wright

The title of this nonfiction work, Death in a Prairie House, is misleading since it suggests that it is the latest offering from a crime fiction writer. While the title is appropriate, the actual subject discussed by William R. Drennan is much more. It is one of the most provocative mysteries in the history of American crime: the murders of seven people on August 5, 1914, in Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed “love nest, “Taliesin” in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

bookLent, which extends from Ash Wednesday to Easter, is for many Christians a time of fasting and prayer. Some believers also forego certain pleasures. A child, for example, may give up candy while adults swear off tobacco or alcohol. In recent years, some teens and adults have removed themselves from Facebook or in a more positive approach, set for themselves daily Bible readings.

book“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” 

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Early in this astonishing autobiography, Gabriel Garcia Marquez makes a comment about the problems the he has experienced when writing about the past. He notes: nostalgia colors the way we recall the past because frequently, it has “erased the bad memories and magnified the good ones.”

bookBooks brought home from the library: The Art of Grace; Keep It Fake; The Churchill Factor; The Fellowship; South Toward Home; The Conservative Heart; The Road To Character.

bookHurricane Katrina spawned an awesome number of literary works, and it may be that, given sufficient time to determine the full merits of Jesmyn Ward’s novel, Salvage the Bones, her work may be the most worthy. 

bookIn Withering Slights: The Bent Pin Collection (National Review Books, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9847650-3-4, 186 pages, $24.95), the recently deceased (she died in January) Florence King demonstrates once again why she was one of America’s most biting and genuinely funny social and political critics.

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