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Recent Reviews

  1. There aren’t too many names in sci-fi bigger than Frank Herbert. Dune is his 1965 classic, a landmark in science fiction, and a ground-breaker for many novels to come. I may be fifty years late to the party, but even so, I enjoyed Herbert’s masterpiece, and found Dune a compelling story of humanity, loss, and prophecy that makes for the best sci-fi I’ve ever read. Read on for more: Continue reading »

  2. There are those who say that television rots our brains. Neil Postman would disagree. Rather than rotting our brains, he would say, it removes the necessity to use them. Now, this isn’t some old crank arguing about kids not playing outside anymore, or that the violence on TV will make us murderous. No, Postman argues that the way television presents information is erasing our need to think. Books, he writes, are the solution. As a writer on a book review website, just allow me to adjust my monocle and I’ll tell you why.

    Continue reading »

  3. Reading good books is like throwing grain into the field of your brain. You’re filling your brain with stories, thinking over ideas and concepts that other writers have poured out onto the page. In the past few weeks, I’ve read or read parts of a classic sci-fi novel (Dune by Frank Herbert), a Gothic novel (Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafón), Augustine’s Confessions, a children’s book (Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet), and most of the book of Job. Keeping a large and varied reading list helps me to feel deeply, to learn from other writers, and to come up with new story ideas. Continue reading »

  4. In an effort to chip away at my ever-growing “To Read” list, I sat down the other day and picked up The Lightning Thief, first book in the series of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” by Rick Riordan. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After all, elementary kids these days are crazy about Percy Jackson, which can either mean it’s a really great book, or a really lousy one. As I read through the book almost in one sitting (with a good night’s sleep about halfway through), I found that I was rather surprised by the book. It was a fun and engaging read, and I see why kids love it! But there were many parts that made me question whether The Lightning Thief is for everyone. Continue reading »

  5. College is a tough time. I am faced with deciding what I want to do with my life, forced to spend lots of money and study a smorgasbord of difficult topics, and try to sift through what I really believe. I’m faced with so many questions: how do I find God’s will for my life? How can I be sure I have the right motivations? How can I hear God’s voice in my heart? Philosophy Professor Phillip Cary noticed many of his students wrestling with the same questions, and becoming ever anxious in search of answers. However, as he spoke with his students, Cary realized that the issue was not with the students, but with their bad theology. So Cary decided to write a book showing the good news to those anxious Christians.

    Continue reading »

  6. There was a train station.

    All trains come to where the world all stands. Some people may sit on the roof for a time, but they all come to the gap eventually.

    Scrawled, horrible words cover the walls, the floor, the beams and ceiling. Some tried to paint over, some tried to clean them off, and some tried to fix it with beautiful words. Chaos mingles here with the brushing shoulders of strangers, caking memory.

    But the station still, just barely, quakes when the trains rumble by and when the brakes screech and gravel peppers the station. Continue reading »

  7. Names are always the hardest part of a story for me. A name is a label for a being, and the wrong name can doom a character. I always feel apprehensive when my pen is hovering over a character, waiting to be granted a name. I’ve spent so much energy on a character name for my latest story. Here’s a little more on my thought process for coming up with a good name. Continue reading »

  8. Copics. I’ve heard the word thrown around so much that I thought it was about time I reviewed these pens, 20160428_105258
    so here goes.

    One of the main things that struck me about Copic’s multiliner pens is how light they are. Whilst I think the Sakura Microns are slightly heavier and feel expensive, Multiliner Copics are light, unassuming, and free of bells and whistles when it comes to the pen body. Lids go on and off easily, attaching to the back with no fuss. They’re still a sturdy pen, and thank heavens: the inner tube doesn’t rattle around! Amazing how much of a difference that makes when you spend a lot of time writing by hand.

    Ink-wise I have nothing really to comment on, perhaps except the ink may be a little lighter in tone to the Microns, however that would be splitting hairs. My biggest beef with the Copics is that the nib didn’t last as long as I had hoped. Like its Micron competition, the nib tip went flat relatively quickly with use, and whilst still perfectly functional on it’s end, it does make it frustrating to use at an angle.

    Untitled-2Impressive though, are the sizes that Copics go to. If you’re an artist looking for fine nibbed pens to do intricate art with, look no further. These pens go beyond tiny, with a microscopic 0.03 size that looks like a hair line. The level of detail this pen could achieve in the right hands I imagine would be stupendous.

    Overall, I was quite pleased with my Copic Multiliner experience. Whilst I personally prefer Microns for bulk writing, I will definitely be using Copics for artwork in the future.


  9. The Paris Wife caught my eye several times at the bookstore before I took the plunge. Because it tells the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage, I was worried that the novel would be knockoff Hemingway, stripped to the marrow but without any of the vitality that fills his classics. However, Paula McLain has written an excellent and engaging story; one that stands apart from Hemingway yet clearly is saturated in his writing. Continue reading »

  10. I’m convinced that every story is always partially true. There’s always enough mixed in to make it fiction, but reality is always lurking just behind. Even in fiction, we can see an author’s own life in the cracks of a story — why, for example, we can sense Hemingway’s own wrestlings behind his characters’ troubles. In many places, the line between character and author blurs Continue reading »