The Guts and Success of a Writer

What is it that makes a writer successful? Is it her storytelling ability? His elegance in word use? Her trust in an editor and agent in forging her inspiration into a piece of literature? All of this, of course, because turning out a book of essays, a novel, a collection of poetry, in the modern…

Democracy Down, Autocracy Up

Fear, by Bob Woodward To be honest, I was a little disappointed in this book. I had read about the hours of interviews, the digging for facts by this co-exposer of the 1970s Watergate scandal, and, I admit, I was expecting political dirt of the highest order. What the British dossier held. The so-called pee…

Writer’s Tip #2

Despite the growing fame of alternative facts, and perhaps it’s part of the human urge in the early 21st century for meaning, readers crave authenticity nowadays. And the subject matter doesn’t really matter, as long as what’s written is real. Philip Roth, in one of his novels, felt compelled to write a mini-treatise on gloves,…

The Strengths of a Few Good People

I rarely do this, humble creature that I am, but this book deserves not to be lost in the print-pile of so many writerly aspirations out there. WE ARE STRONG BUT WE ARE FRAGILE was written in the run-up to a presidential election, the story a cautionary tale of a society devolved because the wrong…

The Steel of Men and Structure

  High Steel – The Daring Men Who Built The Worlds Greatest Skyline, 1881 to the Present, by Jim Rasenberger Quite often when writers take on a particular slant on history, they leave out the critical human element, i.e., how that particular bit of history affects the people involved. Not so with High Steel. Rasenberger…

If You Fall…Get Back Up!

Rise + Hustle, by Mike Whitfield I’m no longer concerned with the oddities of commercial writing. Besides all the postmodern variations on story structure and purpose, I’ve reviewed a novel to be used for (other) business purposes, so I don’t blush at all to review Rise + Hustle, Mike Whitfield’s book about the promise and…