The Afghan Campaign

Spielberg’s War of the Worlds is on TV upstairs, and before me here lies another war, this one two millennia old, as interpreted by historical novelist, Steven Pressfield. For those not familiar with Pressfield’s work, “The Afghan Campaign” plows deeper into the now arcane day-to-day of ancient warfare campaigns. His forte is portraying history from […]

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Poets & Writers Shorts

I must have a not-so-sublimated desire to promote Poets & Writers magazine this week, because several items in the July/August issue are worthy of note to readers and writers. First, P&W gives Max Magee, who masterminds one of my favorite book blogs, The Millions, a plug. He’s shown an interest in military history in recent […]

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The Intangibles of Writing

I’ve just finished reading a fairly recent Ha Jin book, The Crazed. As with many books set in exotic locales (exotic to Americans, surely), there’s much to be perceived culturally from this one. The story is fairly simple as novels go: a Chinese college student sits in the hospital at his respected literature professor’s bedside, […]

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Selected Shorts IV

I’ve been trying to synopsize all my advice and that quoted from others in these pages regarding: What draws a person to a book, then to recommend it to others? Lest we become lost in minutiae, readers – above all – want to be entertained. There must be a gripping story, whether it’s plot or […]

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