Torches: literary lights for dark times
Ever had one of those times when every day brought bad news?
In addition to our boatload of national catastrophes these last two months, the last two weeks brought me one report after the other of the struggles of friends and family members.
‘Love is always stronger than fear’
There are at least three reasons why Nicholas Sparks has sold over 100 million copies of his books and seen 11 of them made into movies.
Book explores past murders in the mountains
“The lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine.”
A walking tour of Paris and the arts
Every once in a while I like to go back and read the classics, especially those that have managed to bypass my attention and my gaze.
Literature as a defensive fortification
It’s late summer, but the song lyrics still work: living is supposed to be easy. So I’m looking for some light reading. No politics, no massive histories or biographies, no novels with tangled plots and emotions, no suspense stories where the protagonist leaves behind a trail of dead bodies thicker than Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs.
Good folks and a wicked man
Years ago, a friend and I were watching some news show like 60 Minutes about juvenile murderers. The point of the report was that these young criminals showed little or no remorse for their shootings and stabbings, and in fact seemed to lack any sort of moral compass that most of us take as a given. When I wondered aloud about a solution, what might be done to change these stonehearted murderers, my friend looked at me and said, “Some people just need killing.”
A quiet place: the book nook
Readers generally look for a special place to sink into their books, to escape the noise and hubbub of the household, to find that sanctuary where they can give themselves over to the reverie and escapism of stories.
A light in our darkness: Michael O’Brien’s The Lighthouse
So it’s a late Thursday afternoon, and I’m sitting on the front porch finishing up a novel when my eyes prickled, and then blurred, and the old saltwater ran down my age-raddled cheeks.
Doubling up: a review of Basil’s War and Bourdain’s World Travel
I’ve long been a fan of Stephen Hunter’s novels, particularly his series about Bob Lee Swagger. Swagger is a sniper, reflecting Hunter’s interest in firearms, and I’ve reviewed several Swagger novels for The Smoky Mountain News. I’ve also recommended the movie “Shooter,” a fine film where Mark Wahlberg plays the part of Swagger.
A story of immigrants gone missing
Asheville’s own Terry Roberts is back again with another page-turner in the form of a brand new novel just released late last month.