Taming Literacy in This Age

Is the novel dead? Why do the remaining book readers today prefer nonfiction to fiction? When I had been working as an engineer for some 6-7 years, the Chief Structural Engineer called me in and said, “Bob, I need you to write a letter for me.” What he meant was a scolding letter to a…

A New Ballgame

There are some changes coming in GF posts, one temporary, and at least one permanent. I’ve been hesitant to enter this stage of self disclosure, but my family life with the missus has entered a new phase, one that has ironically drawn us closer together – – she’s been stricken with an extremely nasty and…

Provoking, Informing, and Magazine Success

The Atlantic, March 2014   In a world in which magazines are closing their doors daily, a few have found the key to success, and The Atlantic seems to have that key firmly in its grasp. What makes its mojo work, then? Simple – find a way to entertain as it informs, and do so…

Teaching the Law And Order Short Story/The Millions

If you’re an avid reader, you probably wonder sometimes why movies made from the best novels disappoint. Well, here’s Kevin Clouther’s rationale, and I think it’s a good one: “Good fiction grants you sustained, nuanced entry into a character’s mind that is difficult to achieve on the screen. This is one of the reasons the…

Teamwork Tells the Tale

Empire on the Platte, by Richard Crabb   If this post’s title confuses or leads astray, I’m sorry. Nebraskan Burt Sell, a home-grown historian, provided much of author Crabb’s fodder for this book, by the author’s admission information important to the tale. And a great tale it is. We first follow the lives of the…

The Age of the iPod is Over/The Verge

Time and technology march on, leaving us with drawers full of antiquated gadgets. Still, this is important news for readers and book marketers. The world is all about mobility now, mobile devices that can do more and more. Soon you’ll be able to read books, watch streaming TV and movies, in your car (don’t do this…

Atlantic Ascendant

The Atlantic, January/February, 2014 Perhaps Editor-in-Chief James Bennet has developed the complex touch of a successful pro sports team coach. Or maybe the world is handing him better and better stories. Whatever the reason, this issue of The Atlantic is one of the best balanced, most newsworthy, and downright interesting issues yet. And that’s with…