Category: Books

A Cambridge Copycat?

If my last post wasn’t fully convincing, let me offer up another good reason why publishing the Great American Novel might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Kaavya Viswanathan.

Kaavya is a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard and author of the latest entry into the skyrocketing literary genre know as “chic-lit.” Her book, entitled “How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life,” focuses on a high school senior named Opal Mehta and her frantic attempts to get accepted into the school of her dreams and destiny–Harvard, naturally. It was properly feted in the New York Times when it debuted earlier this month, and all seemed well for the Harvard coed who was celebrating a six figure, two book deal and a DreamWorks movie contract.… Read the rest

The Great American Blog

Continuing my theme of the potential pitfalls of blogging, I wanted to point out this interesting article by Sarah Hepola which recently appeared in Slate. Like many, she envisioned blogging as a means of ramping up to “The Great American Novel,” an avenue down which she could stroll as book and movie agents stopped and turned their heads, marveling at the passing of her literary glory. In her reverie, she would soon be besieged with admirers, most of them toting contracts for six figure, two book deals, and of course, the inevitable DreamWorks movie.

To hear Ms. Hepola tell it (in fact, you can hear her here.… Read the rest

You Don’t Mess Around with Oprah

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape,
you don’t spit into the wind.
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,
and you don’t mess around with…Oprah, da do da do…

Ok, I admit that’s not how the song really goes. But if you happened to catch the Oprah Winfrey show on Thursday (I did not, mind you) and saw “A Million Little Pieces”author James Frey face an angry Oprah and a studio audience consisting of mostly p.o.’ed post-menopausal women, you may have caught yourself singing it this way.… Read the rest

Teetering on the Edge of Falsehood

Probably by now most of you have heard about the controversy surrounding James Frey’s number one bestseller, “A Million Little Pieces.” It turns out that Mr. Frey’s book, purported to be a memoir detailing his colorful drug and alcohol-addicted past, has been exposed by The Smoking Gun as being more fiction than fact.

Oprah Winfrey, who featured the book in her Book Club and conducted an emotional interview with Frey on her show, has come to his defense. Calling in while Frey was being interviewed by Larry King, Oprah said fabrications notwithstanding that the story still “resonates” with her and her legions of fans.… Read the rest

Looks Like I’m “It!”

Jason over at Already & Not Yet and Scott at Free Thoughts have “tagged” me in what looks like the opening move of some sort of chain blog, phishing scam. Next thing you know they’ll be offering to send me 100 million dollars like Princess Fayad Bolkiah if I’ll just send them my bank account and social security numbers. Yeah right. Listen boys, I wasn’t born in Alabama, ok?

Oh well, against my better judgement, here goes nothing.… Read the rest

Keep an Eye on Potter? I Can Do That!

I fulfilled one of my week-off vows yesterday and went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. My favorite character in the movie–no real surprise here–was Mad-Eye Moody, the new professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Needless to say, Moody’s large, bulging left eye captured my attention. Immediately I went into differential diagnosis mode: was it uncontrolled glaucoma, a case of unilateral thyroid ophthalmopathy, a retrobulbar tumor or maybe the rare and dreaded cavernous sinus fistula? I know these same questions must have been running through everyone else’s mind too (I told you it was going to be hard to relax this week!).… Read the rest

Remembering Lewis Well

My friend Bill Gnade at Contratimes has written a moving tribute to C.S. Lewis on this the 42nd anniversary of his passing into “a better country.” As Bill points out, Lewis, President John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley all died within a few hours of each other. Author Peter Kreeft took that fact and ran with it, producing the work Between Heaven and Hell in which he imagines the three meeting and debating in the afterlife.

Like Bill, Lewis opened my mind to the possiblity of retaining my Christian faith without giving up on intellect and reason. His works impacted my life in deep ways and also connected me with many other authors who influenced Lewis or were in some way connected to him.… Read the rest

Why Narnia Matters

Haven’t you heard? “Aslan is on the move!”

Unless you’ve been in a sensory deprivation chamber over the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt heard about the upcoming screen adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis. With the movie set to premiere on December 9th, the excitement and expectations accompanying this release are reminiscent of the pre-Passion days of early 2004 which were characterized by a flurry of media coverage, both postive and negative.

In the past week, media attention has focused on the life of C.S.… Read the rest

Interview With a Christ Child

Lestat must be spinning in his coffin right about now. His creator, author Anne Rice, has driven a stake through his heart and turned away from her trademark chronicles of angst-ridden vampires wandering the earth in search of redemption. Having rediscovered her Christian faith, she now turns her attention and writing prowess toward the Redeemer himself.

Rice’s new novel, the first in a forthcoming trilogy on the life of Christ, is set for release November 1st and is entitled Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. Her subject is the 7-year-old Jesus as he relates in his own words the struggle to balance the usual travails of childhood with a growing awareness that he’s “just a little different” than the other kids on the block.… Read the rest