Nov 09 2015

Harper Lee’s Sense of Place

With all the excitement about the release of Go Set a Watchman I started thinking about To Kill a Mockingbird and what a magical experience it is. I first read the book when I was 11 or 12 years old; it’s one of those books I tend to pick up and reread every now and …

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May 24 2015

The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher

In the not too distant future, Earth has been taken over by aliens (later identified as “Masters”) who travel about in large metal tripods. To control the populace, all humans are “capped” on their fourteenth birthday: their head is shaved and a metallic cap is applied to their head. The cap suppresses curiosity and creativity, …

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Apr 30 2015

Book Lists…

I’m not a fan of the “1,000 things you’ve got to see/eat/do/make before you die” books (1,000 seems a tad ambitious), but I do like lists. I make lists all the time, so when someone else makes a list, I pay attention, especially when that list is about books. Amazon has a list of “100 …

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Jan 28 2015

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks


Throughout middle and high school my friends and I paid a lot of attention to what the others were reading. We didn’t spend much time talking about books, but we noticed what the others were reading and asked for recommendations, something that we, as boys, never asked a teacher. This was before the internet and …

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Jun 10 2013

My Summer 2013 Reading List


It’s looking to be a busy summer for me, but I still have a long list of books I want to read. Here’s what’s at the top of it. The Tripods trilogy by the late John Christopher. These were serialized in Boys Life magazine when I was a kid and it took me forever to find …

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Oct 16 2012

November is National Novel Writing Month

Every November is National Novel Writing Month, an opportunity to write a 50,000 word novel. Sponsored by the Office of Letters and Light, a California-based nonprofit organization which hosts some of the largest literary events in the world, it started in 1999 with 140 participants, and last year had over a quarter million participants in …

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Oct 29 2011

The Accidental Genius of Weasel High by Rick Detorie

All that Larkin Pace wants is a new camcorder, so he can become the next great filmmaker. But he’s too young for a real job, his parents won’t give him money, his older sister exists just to make him miserable, and his arch-enemy Dalton Cooke is trying to steal his girlfriend, who might just not …

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Oct 29 2011

Stuck on Earth by David Klass

Ketchvar III’s mission is pretty simple: take over the body of an average American teenager and determine if the human race is worth saving. It helps, of course, that Ketchvar is an alien from the planet Sandoval IV and is the same size and shape as a terrestrial snail. It also helps that he is …

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Oct 22 2011

King of the Mild Frontier by Chris Crutcher

Fans of Chris Crutcher (which in my experience includes just about anyone who has read any of his books) will welcome this insight into his life and writing. Although he often writes about sports, it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that Crutcher was not athletically gifted as a child. This was his freshman …

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Oct 12 2011

The Boy Who Howled by Timothy Power

Callum isn’t like other members of his family. He can’t run through the forest on all fours, he can’t bring down deer with his jaws, and he’s not covered with fur. In fact, his dad is even thinking about eating him. It’s clear that Callum doesn’t belong with other members of his family, who are …

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