• blog,  Book Reviews

    Book Review: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

    *Spoiler Alert* In A Land More Kind Than Home, Cash tells the story of a death that happens in a small church from three different points of view, each person giving different parts of the story. There is Adelaide Lyle who opens the book remembering how much has changed in the tiny North Carolina town where they live. She hints that these changes came about because of the actions or decisions of Carson Chambliss. The book is about a tragic event that changes the town forever. Read more about writing a great beginning with a great hook.  This first chapter is incredibly strong. It follows the full arc of a…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  On Writing

    Book Review: The Art of Fiction by James Salter

    James Salter is one of my favorite writers. His book “A Sport and a Pastime” was one of the most beautiful, evocative and memorable books I’ve read in my life. The simplicity of his language betrays the emotional complexity of his stories and characters. This book was taken from lectures he gave to writing students and so the tone is as if he is speaking to us, personally, about his love of writing. He writes about his successes in writing and his failures, notably the poor reaction and bad reviews of his memoir Burning the Days. The book is short but packed with great details about his own writing as…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  On Writing

    How Pat Conroy Uses Dialogue to Reveal Character in Prince of Tides

    Before I started writing stories and essays, I wrote plays. This was more of a happy accident than anything planned. I loved theatre and loved being in plays, but my performances were hit or miss. Some days, I was full of energy and confidence and would belt out songs in musicals as if I were destined to be Annie on Broadway. I played Charlie Brown in a musical at summer camp and had a lead in the musical “Bells Are Ringing” in middle school. After school, I went to the Pittsburgh Playhouse and studied drama and theatre hoping to ride my success as Chuck into a high school theatre career,…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Pop Culture

    Democrat to Deplorable by Jack Murphy (Book Review)

    Jack Murphy’s book Democrat to Deplorable: Why Nine Million Obama Voters Ditched the Democrats and Embraced Donald Trump has done what media pundits, pollsters, psychologists, political experts and fortune tellers failed to do over the past 18 months—it has put into words a coherent, persuasive and compelling explanation of what so many voters saw in Trump, and not just any Trump voter, but the 9 million voters who crossed party lines, leaving their Democrat label behind even when that meant being labeled “Deplorable.” Using his own personal experience, extensive interviews and a detailed survey, Murphy shows how broken campaign promises, backfiring policy decisions, a complex global economy and a changing culture created…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Pop Culture

    Social Justice Warrior Handbook by Lisa De Pasquale (Book Review)

    In July, I wrote about how we need to support more artists who lean to the right politically. Culture may be downstream from politics as Andrew Breitbart stated, but politics is also greatly influenced by culture.  The intimate relationship between liberal Hollywood and liberal DC politics has been clear for decades. Using artists as media and cultural influencers has been very successful for recent big-name politicians. Efforts to shake up the establishment politicians with the election of Donald Trump need to be supported and reinforced by new and vibrant creative voices. Additionally, in order to shed the outdated and inaccurate image of conservatives as stodgy curmudgeons, we need to let…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Essay

    Book Review: Sallust: Impressive New Translation from Quintus Curtius

    Quintus Curtius is one of my favorite writers. Part of this has to do with who he is as a person. He is one of the last, true Rennaissance Men of modern day. A former marine officer, who then became a lawyer who is also a painter, writer and translator, Quintus Curtius shares his views on discipline, honor, art, politics, philosophy and society on his blog Fortress of the Mind. What is most compelling about Curtius is his ability to blend the intellectual with the everyday. When he offered to send me an advance copy of Sallust, I was thrilled. This translation of  “Conspiracy of Catiline” and “War of Jugurtha” is…

  • blog,  Book Reviews,  Feminism,  Pop Culture

    Book Review: Three Reasons You Need to Listen to the Audible Version of Free Women, Free Men by Camille Paglia

      I’ve been a fan of Camille Paglia since the summer of 1997 when I sat in the un-air conditioned spare bedroom of my grandmother’s house reading Sexual Personae and wondering at her bold, smart and vibrant tone. The ideas she wrote about were new to me and while I enjoyed the book in my early twenties I can’t say Paglia’s subject matter resonated with me or that I fully understood her concepts until the last few years. I am also a fan of listening to books primarily due to being in a constant time crunch. I can listen in the car or while cleaning, or even through earphones while…

  • blog,  Book Reviews

    Book Review: The Pussy, by Delicious Tacos

    Tl:dr This book, The Pussy, is beautiful, stark and hilarious.  If you like Junky by William S. Burroughs; Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson, Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky,  thrill rides, dark humor and aren’t easily offended, you should buy it and read it. What is it about. The Pussy, by Delicious Tacos is a collection of stream of consciousness diaries, short stories, fantasy, and commentary on dating and society. It’s random at times and doesn’t have a clear plot, but what it lacks in direction, it more than makes up for with engrossing inner conflict, revealing social observations and perfectly timed wit. The book is about a man in his late thirties…

  • blog,  Book Reviews

    Go Forth: A Journey South by Goldmund (Book Review)

    Go Forth: A Journey South by Goldmund is a quick and dirty book about his travels to Oaxaca Mexico to “see the beautiful sights and enjoy the beautiful women.” His trip, and the book, do not disappoint as he achieves both. Goldmund’s narrative style is simple and straightforward with impeccable timing when highlighting the irony in female behavior.  His style has an easy-going pace that keeps the story flowing and the imagination on fire.  I couldn’t help but think, many times, that Goldmund’s style as a writer perfectly reflects his style as a player and the similar traits have the same effect on the reader as on the beautiful women he…

  • blog,  Book Reviews

    Free Speech Isn’t Free by Roosh V: Book Review

    Roosh Valizedah’s latest book “Free Speech Isn’t Free“is the story of Roosh’s worldwide speaking tour in the summer of 2015. As a writer for many years, Roosh has built up a significant following. He started his writing career writing books on how to attract, approach, engage and seduce women in various countries. His “Bang” series was successful with men who, similar to Roosh, found that the conventional wisdom offered for meeting and attracting women was not yielding the desired results: sexual and romantic encounters or relationships. Being “nice” and doting on a woman was backfiring as good, kind men saw the objects of their affection and desire traipse off with…