There appears to be a print and vinyl wave in progress if news reports are accurate. Books and vinyl records are holding their own, with print book sales increasing last year according to Quartz. This is good news to me, at least on the books end of things. I love books. I declare I won’t buy another one every time I dust the shelves of books in various rooms of my house. Then I go buy another one. Or two or more. As for vinyl records, I haven’t jumped on that option yet, but I might. The latest report I
I’ve known the writer Dorothy K. Fletcher for years, and we both have tire tracks down our backs from all the author events we’ve taken part in. There were two most memorable events for me—reading with Dorothy at the US Library of Congress in Washington, D. C., and another event that drew little attention but took up a permanent place in my heart.
About five years ago, a professor at the US Naval Academy got into hot water. Why? He included a football poem for students to read in his English class. The poem was about football, it’s true, but like any fine poem, it’s about far more than that. Professor Bruce Fleming’s decision to teach “Kong Looks Back on his Tryout With the Bears” was a blessing to me even though I don’t know him.
Some writers might rest on their laurels once they’d published four nonfiction books and hundreds of articles. Nahid Sewell, however, sought a means of sharing her ideas about tolerance. Born in Iran, Sewell had one foot in Persian culture and another in her experiences as a US college student. Like many other accomplished writers, Sewell came to realize fiction offered an opportunity to share her heritage and her newfound culture.
I first came to know Nahid Sewell through her novel The Ruby Tear Catcher. I read the novel, and concurrently running through my mind were the Iranian expatriates I came to know well as friends in the 1980s. I wrote about her novel for The Writer Magazine. Years after I wrote that story, I saw video Nahid posted of her husband on Facebook where she and I had reconnected. I was blown away again.
First in reviews of recommended summer reads: The Fisherman’s Tomb (John O’Neill) John O’Neill, an attorney best known for his political writing, has penned a fascinating account of a secret mission undertaken by The Vatican. The mission’s modern seeds were sown in 1939 when a Christian grave was discovered beneath the Vatican. The surprise in that find is that the grave dated to pagan times when Christianity was oppressed by the Romans. Another surprise in the outcome of the search is that a woman, Margherita Guarducci, is largely responsible for its success.
The phrase World Book Day is trending on social media, and bibliophiles are not hesitating to advise people to go read a book. In an age where so many read only on digital devices, it’s nice to see those old fashioned reading devices get a nod. Ironically the date for the celebration in 2018 is also the birthday and death date for one of the world’s most influential writers.
Some books, once read, can be donated to charity because you know you’ll probably never read them again. Other books go onto the permanent shelf and remain relevant. Rita Cosby’s book Quiet Hero–Secrets From My Father’s Past is a keeper. Quiet Hero contains a lot of personal narrative focusing on her relationship with her father and her upbringing in general. But the book also contains a lot of straight-up history told in a layman-friendly narrative. Many readers will be introduced to Polish Resistance fighters, and events in the war are recounted in personal terms, often through firsthand accounts. Until I read this book, I always thought
Checking Twitter this morning, I saw a post by best-selling author Rita Cosby. Cosby announced she will co-host Curtis & Cosby on 77 WABC radio in New York City. Cosby’s new gig debuts today at 12 noon. Her co-host is Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels. I’ve met Cosby in person, and she’s built a solid reporting career, but what impressed me most about her was a personal story.
If you write songs, chances are you’ve confronted the same challenges poets confront. How do you make time-honored themes like love and loss or anger and redemption new again? You have to do that if you’re writing a new song—you can’t rely on standard clichés and rewrite the same tropes, even altered, over and over again. I often talk to musicians and songwriters in my personal life, and lately, I find myself recommending the one book I think every songwriter (or poet) should read. The latest person I recommended it to is a filmmaker (Hello, Jared Rush).