On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Synopsis: Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, Stephen King's critically lauded, classic bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. "Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999--and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it--fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
Brandon Says: If you want to learn more about Stephen King’s life and philosophy for writing stories, this book is for you. In one of the best books on the craft of storytelling, King helps the writer learn how to discover and tell a story. He explains how the uncovering of a story is analogous to a paleontologist digging up a fossil, and by utilizing the tools of language, a writer can fully unearth a story buried in their mind. I found this incredibly useful, along with the concept of “kill your darlings”—which I did for this review.
Brandon's Past Staff Picks
Flowers in the Attic
Synopsis: At the top of the stairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent, and struggling to stay alive… They were a perfect family, golden and carefree—until a heartbreaking tragedy shattered their happiness. Now, for the sake of an inheritance that will ensure their future, the children must be hidden away out of sight, as if they never existed. Kept on the top floor of their grandmother’s vast mansion, their loving mother assures them it will be just for a little while. But as brutal days swell into agonizing months and years, Cathy, Chris, and twins Cory and Carrie realize their survival is at the mercy of their cruel and superstitious grandmother and this cramped and helpless world may be the only one they ever know.
Brooke Says: V.C. Andrews's first novel in her Dollanganger series immediately pulls you into the lives of 4 children. After the first chapter alone, I found myself not only emotionally attached to the 4 Dolls, but also in tears over the tragedy that alters their picture perfect life. And this wasn't the only time the tears flowed. Andrews writes with extraordinary passion as her dedication to her characters, both innocent and cruel, only strengthens. The exposition will draw you in with your tears, the middle will have your face stricken with horror, and the resolution will leave you wanting more, wanting every detail of what happens next. Controversial issues arise that can turn certain readers off of the storyline, but for those who don't mind a bit of psychological horror and cruelty, Flowers in the Attic will become your new favorite addictive series.
Brooke's Past Staff Picks
Synopsis: Decades ago Federal Agent Aaron Falk was the prime suspect in the murder of his friend and classmate, Ellie Deacon, forcing him and his father to leave town under a cloud of suspicion. Only the alibi provided by his best friend, Luke, kept him from being charged with the crime; but now Luke is dead. The evidence points to Luke killing his wife and oldest child before taking his own life leaving Luke’s parents in shock and disbelief. Luke’s father pleads with Aaron to return to Kiewarra to assist with the investigation. Lies are exposed, secrets are unraveled, and Kiewarra is on the brink of destruction if Aaron fails to confront his past.
Donna Says: It’s time to visit the Land Down Under in Harper’s debut novel. This award-winning mystery is the first entry in the Aaron Falk police procedural series. Richly detailed and atmospheric the reader is firmly placed in a hotbed of hostility, lies, and secrets surrounding two tragic events. This series is recommended for readers who enjoy a strong sense of place and a moody detective struggling with his tarnished past.
Donna's Past Staff Picks
Romancing the Duke
Synopsis: As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities. And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one. Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed? This one.
Elizabeth says: This is charming, funny and the perfect light summer read. Can be used in the category of “Historical Romance” in the Read More 2018 Challenge.
Elizabeth's Past Staff Picks
Synopsis: By day, Harper Cole trades commodities from his farmhouse in the isolated Mississippi Delta. But at night, Harper serves as system operator for E.R.O.S., a highly exclusive, sexually explicit on-line service whose clients range from the glitterati of Hollywood to the literati of New York. Shielded by a guarantee of absolute anonymity, these clients pour their secrets into the digital confession box of E.R.O.S. Only "sysops" like Harper - the high priests of the system - know and see all. When six female clients inexplicably drop off the network, Harper suspects that something is amiss. But when a world-famous New Orleans author - and E.R.O.S. client - is decapitated in her mansion, Harper breaks the code of silence and contacts the police. They are as shocked as Harper to learn that all six women have been brutally murdered, each with a different weapon, and in a different city. And each time the killer has claimed the same bizarre trophy. Horrified to find himself the prime suspect in the murders he reported, Harper is swept into a secret manhunt led by the FBI's Investigative Support Unit. While the FBI uses the technology of the future and the psychology of the past to trap the brilliant killer, Harper realizes that he alone stands a chance of luring the elusive madman into the open.
Megan Says: Mortal Fear is a cunning thrill ride. My advice is to buckle up and hang on, the twists and turns will shock and stun. It is also an entertaining trek down tech memory lane. This book was written in the 1990s and includes all the “cutting edge” technology of the day, which when read now, seems cute. However, the archaic tech in no way detracts from this salacious story. It is also a great choice for the Read More category: Book over 500 pages because they will just fly by!
Megan's Past Staff Picks
Murder in G Major
Synopsis: With few other options, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown accepts a less-than-ideal position turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. Stranded without luggage or money in the Irish countryside, she figures any job is better than none. The perk? Housesitting a lovely cliffside cottage. The catch? The ghost of the cottage's murdered owner haunts the place. Falsely accused of killing his wife (and himself), he begs Gethsemane to clear his name so he can rest in peace. Gethsemane's reluctant investigation provokes a dormant killer and she soon finds herself in grave danger. As Gethsemane races to prevent a deadly encore, will she uncover the truth or star in her own farewell performance?
Nina Says: Gethsemane Brown is going to be your new favorite sleuth. She’s sophisticated and sassy, and her banter with Eamon and the living residents of Dunmulluch village keeps a smile on your face. Being set in Ireland, magic is a must, but it never overwhelms the story. Perfect for fans of cozy mysteries and armchair travelers.
Nina's Past Staff Picks
Synopsis: Why do we catch colds? What causes seasons to change? And if you fire a bullet from a gun and drop one from your hand, which bullet hits the ground first? In a pinch, we almost always get these questions wrong. Worse, we regularly misconstrue fundamental qualities of the world around us. In Scienceblind, cognitive and developmental psychologist Andrew Shtulman shows that the root of our misconceptions lies in the theories about the world we develop as children. They're not only wrong, they close our minds to ideas inconsistent with them, making us unable to learn science later in life. So how do we get the world right? We must dismantle our intuitive theories and rebuild our knowledge from its foundations. The reward won't just be a truer picture of the world, but clearer solutions to many controversies-around vaccines, climate change, or evolution-that plague our politics today.
Randall Says: Shtulman, a cognitive and developmental psychologist, reveals why our intuitive theories about our environment so often blind us to science. He divides the discussion into theories of the physical world and theories of the biological world. In each chapter, Shtulman tackles a different theory and explains the root of our common misconceptions in areas such as gravity, heredity, continental drift and illness. Recommended for anyone interested in science or psychology.
Randall's Past Staff Picks