Contemporary Literature: Most Popular Articles
Poetry is many things to many people. Homer, John Milton, Christopher Marlowe, and of course Shakespeare have each given us enough to fill textbooks. Poems from the Romantic period include Goethe's
Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of the characters of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the characters. This is the result of the reader having a greater knowledge than the characters themselves.
While it is impossible to rank the most important authors in contemporary literature, here is a list of ten important (English language) authors with some biographical notes and links to more information about them and their work.
Sherman Alexie, the son a Spokane Indian mother and a Coeur d’Alene Indian father, grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA. Alexie is known not only for his novels and short stories, which debunk the notion of the nobly suffering Indian, he is also a songwriter and film-maker, and the recipient of numerous literary awards and honors.
Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression makes it nearly impossible to define.
Learn more about narrative arcs, also called story arcs, and the four components that make up the chronological construction of the plot.
Tsukuru Tazaki must reconcile his differences with four former friends in order to grow out of an emotionally stunted malaise.
Resolution is the part of the story's plot line in which the problem of the story is resolved or worked out. This occurs after the falling action and is typically where the story ends.
Act One , perhaps the premiere theatre biography, and one of the very best biographies period. Nor is
In 'Blink,' Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. 'Blink' is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem.
The falling action in a work of literature is the sequence of events that follow the climax and end in the resolution. This is in contrast to the rising action which leads up to the plot's climax.
When Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner and an American pilot in World War II, crashes his bomber in the Pacific Ocean, he had know idea that he was about to embark on one of the most extraordinary oddyseys ever recounted.
Atticus Books, July 2011 John Jacobs is bored with his life. He's bored with his pretty but vacuous wife,
Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' is a short and inspirational parable about the importance of pursuing one's dreams. Originally published in 1988 in the Brazillian author's native Portugese, it has since been translated in close to 70 languages and has become one of the best-selling books in history.
The book review falls somewhere between a critical analysis of literature, which tends toward the dry and academic, and the book report, which we associate with the simple book summaries we may have turned in in our younger years. The book review has elements of both of these but is neither. Here are some simple guidelines to crafting a book review.
The Man Booker Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. It is not only one of literature's highest honors but quite lucrative as the winner takes home £50,000. Here are the past ten years' Booker Prize Winners.
In 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7) Voldemort's followers have been released from Azkaban as have the Dementors, who now serve the Dark Lord's purposes as well. The Ministry of Magic, now controlled by Death Eaters, has instituted a campaign against muggle-borns that smacks of Nazi Germany, and Harry Potter is dubbed
In books like The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho speaks of following one's own Personal Legend. In Aleph, Coelho - as the protagonist of this novel - takes his own advice, setting out for a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. But the journey is much larger than even Coelho at first perceives.
'Little Bee' is the story of a tenuous friendship that emerges between a Nigerian refuge girl and a white British magazine editor.
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, Mark Haddon's dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debut novels in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.
Things That Are is a slim collection of nonfiction essays in which Amy Leach turns a playful and poetic lens on the natural world. Leach's writing and Nate Christopherson's accompanying pen and ink drawings are delightful.
In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fourth novel, a young Nigerian woman finds reinvention in America, where she learns what it means to be a Nigerian immigrant.
In Linchpin, Seth Godin traces the evolution of the workplace, discusses how your own brain sometimes conspires against you, and enlightens us as to the nature of art and gifts.
Ann Lamott, the daughter of the writer Kenneth Lamott, wrote her first novel, Hard Laughter, when her father was diagnosed with brain cancer. Lamott's novels tend to be about love and loss and real life struggles that touch us all, and in her nonfiction, she has explored parenthood, faith, and the craft of writing.
Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller, 'The Tipping Point,' has exhibited such enormous staying power on the bestseller lists that one supposes that Gladwell harnessed the very principles of social epidemics that he outlines therein. 'The Tipping Point' purports to answer two questions,
At First Sight needs two grades. The first, 2.5 stars, is for its literary merit. The second, 4.0 for it's appeal to Sparks' legion of fans.
The history of Afghanistan is marked by death, loss and unimaginable grief. And, yet, people find a way to survive, to go on. Ultimately, this is more than a story of survival in the face of what seem to be insurmountable odds. It is a story of the unconquerable spirit of a people seen through the eyes of two indomitable women. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, is a must read for those who wish to understand the modern history (1964 - 2003) of Afghanistan.
A thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London-and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.
Night is Elie Wiesels candid, horrific, and poignant account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elies wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the authors original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets mans capacity for inhumanity to man.
Chilean Author, Isabelle Allende was born on August 2, 1942 in Peru. In the 1960s and 1970s, Allende
: Point of view is the vantage point from which a story is told. In the first-person point of view, the
A woman finds an ancient book that take her down a path of inquiry trod by her father years before. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler of Wallachia, present day Romania, whose gruesome reign Bram Stoker based his legend of Dracula upon. What lies at the heart of the connection between the historical Vlad and the mythical vampire?
The Giller Prize is Canada's largest literary prize for fiction, awarding excellence in Candian fiction - long format or short stories - with a purse of $70,000 to the winner and $5,000 to each of the four finalists.
Rising action is tha series of events that lead to the climax of the story, usually the conflicts or struggles of the protagonist.
'Divine Justice' is the fourth in David Baldacci's Camel Club series of novels that have enjoyed immense popularity. Each novel has asked what secrets the federal government is keeping from citizens? It is not paranoia if there really are secrets, and any one of us who has served in certain governmental agencies is very well aware that secrets do exist, some benign, some malignant.
Ken Follett has created another blockbuster in the vein of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, both of which anchored the bestsellers lists in their time. Fall of Giants is the first book in what Follett has described as
Malcolm Gladwell's phenomenal bestseller 'The Tipping Point' (2000) captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effect; 'Blink' (2005) is about how we think without thinking; and 'Outliers' (2008) considers the role of environment and cultural heritage in the success of high achievers.
Known for sharp social commentary delivered via science fiction or speculative fiction, Margaret Atwood's books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays.
After Toru Okada loses his cat, his job, and his wife, things go from bad to weird. Surreal visitations from beautiful women, gruesome stories from wartime Japan, and an entryway into a different world deep at the bottom of a well combine with the usual lost cats, jazz music and enigmatic characters in Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.
Hyperion, April 2008 Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less time than you
These ten funny books will have you laughing out loud, laughing the milk right through your nose.
A few years ago Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Tony Horwitz found himself at Plymouth Rock
A murder mystery becomes a device to explore the psychological aspects of the interactions between friends at St. Kilda's, a Dublin boarding school.
A review of Nicholas Spark's novel of a life-long bachelor who fears falling in love with a woman who moves in next door.
Nick Flynn met his father when he was twenty-seven years old, working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in Boston. Nick, his own life unsettled, was living alternatively in a ramshackle boat and in a warehouse that was once a strip joint. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City tells the story of two lives, the story of Nick's boyhood in Scituate, Massachusetts, with his brother and young mother who struggled to keep the family together and that of his father who refused to play by the rules.
Sue Monk Kidd is the author of three spiritual memoirs and the modern classic bestseller, 'The Secret Life of Bees,' the coming-of-age spiritual story of a fourteen-year-old girl in the South in 1964 and her black housekeeper.
In Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami delivers a tour de force of metaphysical reality, powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.
It is one of the central ironies of my career that as soon as I got off heroin things started getting
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky tells the story of a single year in the life of Charlie, a 15-year-old boy, through the poignant letters that he writes to an anonymous friend.
Ten books that have withstood the test of time, yet are recent enough to be called Contemporary Literature, these Contemporary Classics are a bare-bones reading list, essentials or must-reads. Any such list is purely subjective, of course, and one must soon choose for him or herself what makes the top ten, but this list would start you on your way to a solid background in Contemporary Literature.
The Unknown University, an 800-page omnibus of Roberto Bolano's poetry, is the latest in a string of posthumously translated works from the Chilean author.
Twenty contemporary literature must-reads, essentials! If you've read all of these, you are well on your way to an honorary contemporary literature degree. This contemporary literature reading list is comprised largely of titles published since 1970. Please visit my Contemporary Classics Reading List for older and more classic contemporary titles.
Mark Helprins Winter's Tale is the story of love, larceny and flying horses during New York’s Belle Epoque,a tale of criminal gangs, indigenous marsh-dwelling tribes and immortal architects delivered inimitably by one of the best storytellers of our time.
In cities around the world, men meet in underground
A sexy assassin steps out of a traffic jam and into an alternative world which is seemingly being crafted by a young ghost writer in love with this shadowy heroine. Dual moons fille the sky, little people emerge from the mouth of a goat, and time and space bend altogether in Haruki Murakami's opus 1Q84.
In Manuscript Found in Accra, Paulo Coelho once again approaches questions of spirit and living.
In 'The Secret Life of Bees,' Sue Monk Kidd wraps a coming-of-age tale around a search for one's mother, plunks it down into the racially-charged South Carolina of the 1960s and sets it all alight with a dose of feminine spirituality. . It is an inspirational feminist tale with strong female characters.
When Mark Salzman is invited to visit a writing class at Central Juvenile Hall, a lockup for Los Angeless most violent teenage offenders, he scrambles for a polite reason to decline. He goesexpecting the worstand is so astonished by what he finds that he becomes a teacher there himself. True Notebooks is an account of Salzmans first years teaching at Central. Through it, we come to know his students as he did: in their own words.
In <i>Blink</i>, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. <i>Blink</i> is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work? Page 2.
Climax is the point of greatest tension in a work of literature and the turning point in the action. In a plot line, the climax occurs after the rising action and before the falling action.
British novelist David Mitchell is known for his non-linear, structurally experimental novels such as Cloud Atlas and number9dream , both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His 2010 novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is an historical novel set at a Dutch East Indies Company trading post in early nineteenth century Japan.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Excerpt
The immensely talented book designed Peter Mendelsund has created a whimsical illustrated introduction to the philosophy of reading.
Set in Waynesville, North Carolina during the depression, Ron Rash's novel 'Serena' traces the story of a wealthy lumber baron and his ruthlessly ambitious wife. Think Lady Macbeth in Appalachia.
The Kite Runner is Afghanistani-American novelist, Khaled Hosseini's best-selling debut novel, a tale of betrayal and redemption that rises above time and place while simultaneously remaining firmly anchored against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.
'He's Just Not That Into You' is not a guide to dating. Aimed at women of a certain class and lifestyle and filling a slim 165 pages, the book serves merely as a calling card for its authors, five-years-out-of-the-dating-pool Sex and the City consultant Greg Behrendt and 41-years-old-and-single SatC] executive story editor Liz Tuccillo.
In 'The Tipping Point,' Malcolm Gladwell dissected the phenomena of social epidemics; and in 'Blink,' he discussed the nature of split-second decision-making. In 'Outliers,' Gladwell, the founding father of pop-sociology, examines high-achieving individuals and questions what makes them different from everyone else.
James A. Levine's standout debut novel, 'The Blue Notebook,' is a difficult kind of fiction. It's the kind of fiction that reveals a truth so painful you hope it remains within the book's pages. It's the kind of fiction that convinces you of a disturbing reality that exists beyond the story itself, even though you wish it didn't.
From the Chatham Isles in 1850 to 1931 Belgium, from the West Coast in the 1970s to present-day England, and from a Korean superstate of the near future to a post-apocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas ricochets it's way through time, space, and literary genres.
In The Almost Moon , Alice Sebold has created a memorable but wholly unlikable character. Helen Knightly
A fusion of magical realism, Southern literature and time-travel, Kiese Laymon's Long Division is a novel like no other and one of the best you'll read this year.
The jacket of my copy of Elmore Leonard's The Hot Kid quotes The Philadelphia Enquirer as follows: "The
Young adult literature is usually characterized by having a young protagonist, a limited number of characters, few subplots, a compressed timespan, and a positive resolution. The YA audience is typically thought to be between the ages of 12 to 19 years, but much YA literature written today, including the Harry Potter books, and Philip Pullman's and Cornelia Funke's work has had crossover appeal to an adult audience.
Zadie Smith, well known for her internationally-acclaimed debut, White Teeth, is the author of three novels and numerous essays and short stories. She lives part-time in New York and part-time in London with her husband, writer Nick Laird, and their daughter, Katherine.
A foil is a character who serves as a contrast to another perhaps more primary character, so as to point out specific traits of the primary character.
As the most celebrated European to explore Asia, Marco Polo was the original global traveler and the earliest bridge between East and West. A universal icon of adventure and discovery, he has inspired six centuries of popular fascination and spurious mythology. Here is the first fully authoritative biography of one of the most enchanting figures in world history.
Internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho's latest novel, The Winner Stands Alone, is like his bestselling The Alchemist, but with a murderer on the loose. In this psychological thriller, the action takes place during twenty-four hours at the Cannes Film Festival, where supermodels, film producers, and fashionistas are all vying for their fifteen minutes of fame. And one man is there to thwart that moment in the spotlight. Read more.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Birth: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born September 15, 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria.
In Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers, it is distinctly Rapture-like when millions of people suddenly disappear from the Earth all at once, and those left behind must account for and deal with their disappearance.
Harper's editor Bill Wasik recounts his 2003 experimenation with flash mobs and later with Internet-based viral culture in And Then There's This, an examination of how nanostories live and die in the blink of an eye.
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Jonathan Franzen's recent novels have been hailed as literary masterpieces. Both The Corrections and Freedom are sprawling, realist novels about the deterioration of the family in suburban, middle class America, as was his 1988 debut novel, The Twenty-Seventh City.
Norwegian Wood (Noruwei no Mori) stands out among Haruki Murakami’s novels not only because it was the novel that launched Murakami into the literary stratosphere, but because it is a straightforward love-story / bildungsroman devoid of the elements of magical realism typical of a Haruki Murakami novel.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
For a laugh, Franzen doesn't hesitate to conjure the most puerile images, such as the walking, taunting
Miriam Toews' darkly funny novel, A Complicated Kindness, is the world according to Nomi Nickel, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of her eccentric family as it falls apart, each member on a collision course with the only community they have ever known. It is a work of fierce humor and tragedy by a Canadian writer poised to take the American market by storm.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón's (The Shadow of the Wind)latest novel, The Angel's Game, is told from the perspective of David Martin, a Barcelona youth who makes his living as a journalist and writer of pulp fiction novels. Martin survives his troubled childhood by taking refuge in stories until — at the age of seventeen — he gets the chance to begin writing his own. Under the patronage of Pedro Vidal, Martin makes a quick rise to fame by telling tales of Barcelona's gritty underworld.
Certainly "Best" is Subjective, but here they are - the best novels published in This Century! 1. The
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel of addiction and recovery, popular entertainment, and tennis has been hailed as a work of genius, one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. It is a long and complex work bearing the labyrinthine threads of plot and stylistic intricacies for which Wallace was famous, and certainly one of the most engrossing novel I have ever read.
Monica Ali is like a magician revealing all her secrets. In a time when every Western country is facing off with its Muslim populations, Brick Lane provides its readers a look at a community that, frankly, frightens them. It is, in short, an education.
Plume, 2005 In A New Earth , spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle ( The Power of Now ) advocates
It is a unique sort of humor that will find as much appeal with me as it does with my mother-in-law,
Haruki Murakami is known for his blending of the fantastic realism in his novels, and it's this magical realism, in combination with his flowing use of language, that gives Murakami's novels an ethereal, dreamlike quality.
Stephen Clarke is an English businessman who was sent to Paris by his company in September 2002. He was
Mark Helprin's epic story of time, love and justice is chock full of quote-worthy passages. Here are a few that I pulled out during my second reading of this masterpiece.
Sarah Blake's debut novel is composed of intertwined stories of three woman during World War II - a Cape Cod postmistress, a radio gal in London, and a young bride who awaits her husband's return from the war.
Julia Scheeres' Jesus Land is an unforgettable memoir of trying to survive childhood. During the mid-1980s, Julia Scheeres and her black, adopted brother, David are sixteen years old and have just moved to rural Indiana, to a racism neither of them is prepared for. At home, a distant mother-more involved with her church's missionaries than with her own children-and a violent father only compound their problems. Scheeres' Jesus Land is a heart-breaking and compelling memoir.
David Mitchell's gloriously ambitious novel follows 60 years of Holly Sykes's life, from 1980 to the 2040, and tells a larger story about mortality and controlling one's destiny.
Lamb is Christopher Moore's irreverent, iconoclastic, and hilarious tale of the early life of Jesus Christ as witnessed by his boyhood pal Levi bar Alphaeus (a.k.a. Biff).
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter 2) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? How well do you recall Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts?
John Updike wrote and published over 60 books, including novels and collections of short stories, poetry, and essays. Throughout his career, he won nearly every literary award available. The Early Stories 1953-1975, a large anthology of the author's short stories published in 2003, won him the 2004 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and in 2006 he was awarded the Rea Award for the Short Story. John Updike died of lung cancer in January 2009. He was 76
In Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller delivers her memory of an African childhood fraught with hardship, loss, and danger. She became accustomed to armed guerrillas and landmine-littered roads; hunger, drought, and malaria were never far off; and her family was both guilty of and victim to the racism that consumed colonial Africa in the late 20th century.
One night Meggie's father, Mo, reads aloud from a book called 'Inkheart,' and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.
The National Book Awards are presented each year to American authors for work published the previous year in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature. These are the past ten years' winners in the fiction category.
A quest is an adventurous journey undergone by the main character or protagonist of a story. The protagonist usually meets with and overcomes a series of obstacles, returning in the end with the benefits of knowledge and experience.
If Alan Hollinghursts new novel The Line of Beauty wasnt so well written and smart, it might feel like
The connection between an abundant coral reef that Charles Darwin explores on his Beagle voyage and recent technological developments such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube might not be immediately apparent. But in his latest book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson builds the compelling case that these disparate aspects of history are more closely related than we might think.
Stephen King's On Writing is half memoir, half instruction to writers, and all love for the craft of writing. As good now in its 10th Anniversary edition as it was when King penned it in 2000, On Writing recounts King's childhood writing efforts and his initial successes, and within its pages, King lays open a toolbox full of advice for writers.
Ken Follett is a master of the engaging tale, and in 'World Without End' there is plenty going on. If you liked 'The Pillars of the Earth,' you'll love this sequel. Follett is terrific at drawing characters who are compelling, funny, sexy, dramatic, and very human. Although the book is set in the fourteenth century, modern readers will immediately identify with the emotions and goals of its characters.
In 'Born to Be Good,' Dacher Keltner marries Eastern notions of kindness and reverence with evolutionary science in order to get at the answer to three salient questions: How can we be happy? What are the origins of kindness? How can we be good? Read more.
: Literally "god in the machine" (or "ghost in the machine" as The Police put it), deus ex machina is
Metropolitan Books 2003 Noam Chomsky's latest book, "Hegemony or Survival," presents a view of American
In The Angel Esmeralda, Don DeLillo collects nine stories that he wrote between 1979 and 2011. Individually taken, these nine narratives are tightly-woven masterpieces, but ordered chronologically, they tell a global tale that is simultaneously about how far we've come and how bad it's gotten.
In The Year of Magical Thinking , Joan Didion's eighth book to make it to The New York Times best-seller
Vintage, 2009 The Collected Works of Billy the Kid was Michael Ondaatje's first novel, originally published
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter 1) - Trivia Quiz. How is your memory of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? How well do you recall Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts and his first encounter with Voldemort since he was an infant?
Audrey Niffenegger's debut novel, 'The Time Traveler's Wife,' is one part science fiction and one part love story. It is the compelling tale of Henry DeTamble, a man afflicted with a genetic disorder which causes him to slip sporadically through time, without warning and naked. It is also the story of Clare Abshire, the woman who loves him. Read the prologue.
In December 2005, adventure-writer Peter Heller joined the crew of the Farley Mowat, a 50-year-old converted Norwegian fishing trawler and the flagship of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, on a quest through the icy waters of Antarctica to find and stop a six ship Japanese fishing fleet from illegally killing hundreds of whales.
The story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a man of letters and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and George Edalji, an unfortunate outsider unjustly imprisoned. In Arthur and George, Julian Barnes delivers a fictional retelling of a true story in which the lives of two most disparate individuals are surprisingly woven together.
Poetic justice is a literary outcome in which bad characters are punished and good characters are rewarded. In its purest form, poetic justice is when one character plots to undermine another and then ends up caught in his own trap.
Roommates Kelly and Chloe are enjoying their lives and their downtown Detroit loft just fine. Kelly is a Victoria's Secret catalog model. Chloe is an escort, until she decides to ditch her varied clientele in favor of a steady gig as girlfriend to eighty-four-year-old retired lawyer Tony Paradiso, a.k.a. Mr. Paradise... Mr. Paradise is Elmore Leonard at home in Detroit and sharper than ever.
British author, Ian McEwan, was born in Aldershot, England in 1948. The son of a military man, McEwan spent his childhood abraod in various locales in Africa, Asian, and Europe. In 1998, McEwan was awarded the Booker Prize for Amsterdam, and his 2001 novel, Atonement, was nominated for the Booker. His 2005 novel is entitled Saturday and recounts a single day in the life of a successful English neurosurgeon.
About half way through this celebration of the power of reading, Pat Conroy devotes considerable space
Lewis Miner is the 30-something graduate of a New Jersey high school who uses his time (that time he doesn't spend masturbating or getting high with his best friend) sending updates to his alumni newsletter. While 'Home Land' is a less than inspiring story, Sam Lipsyte proves to be a master wordsmith in this comic debut.
In Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, readers meet for the first time 11-year-old Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own - nor is her world. In Lyra's world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.
Journalist, satirist, documentarian Jon Ronson takes readers with him in his gonzo exploration of the weirder side of life in Lost at Sea, a collection of previously published articles in which, with signature wit, he explores the fringes of culture.
Conflict is the struggle between the opposing forces on which the action in a work of literature depends. There are five basic forms of conflict: person versus person, person versus self, person versus nature, person versus society, and person versus God.
Graywolf Press, March 2010 I read the majority of Ander Monson's Vanishing Point on my feet, leaning
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Edward Abbey has been long revered as a leading writer of nature and ecology who Frequently challenged the system that destroys the wild he thrusts himself and his readers into. Among his work is 'Desert Solitaire,' a memoir of the time Abbey spent as a park ranger and fire lookout at Arches national Monument, and 'The Monkey Wrench Gang,' Abbey's famous novel about a gang of rebellious eco-warriors.
Charlie Asher is a beta male, one of the countless guys who survive in the gene pool by doggie paddling in the shallow end. A little neurotic, a bit of a hypochondriac, and a whole lot fearful, he doesn't take risks and he seriously hates change. But Charlie's safe life is about to take a really weird detour. On the day his daughter, Sophie, is born, he catches a tall black man in mint-green golf wear at the bedside of his wife -- minutes before she dies of a freak medical condition.
Egyptian author, Naguib Mahfouz, was born in Cairo in 1911 and spent much of his life as an Egyptian civil servant. Mahfouz had a fatwa issued against him in 1959 by Omar Abdul Rahman (later the spiritual leader of the group that bombed the World Trade Center in 1993) for the alleged blasphemy of his novels. Naguib Mahfouz is the author of more than 30 novels and was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1988.
Nine is a much funnier number than eleven, explained Sherman Alexie in a recent book signing for Ten Little Indians, a collection of nine contemporary Native American tales. This much-anticipated work dances the line between banality and classic Alexie brilliance at its best, leaving the reader exuberate at its finish, but almost wishing they hadnt read those first few.
Philip Roth turns his attention to one man's confrontation with mortality. Roth's Everyman is a hero whose youthful sense of independence and confidence begins to be challenged when illness commences its attack in middle age. A successful commercial advertising artist, he is the father of two sons who despise him and a daughter who adores him. He is the lonely ex-husband of three very different women. Inevitably, he discovers that he has become what he does not want to be.
The sequence of events told in a story, plot is also known as narrative structure. There are usually considered to be five elements in a plot line: exposition or background information, rising action (that which complicates the story), climax or crisis, falling action, and resolution.
Ali Smith's Booker-nominated novel, The Accidental, is in fact about a girl. The seemingly harmless stranger named Amber turns up at the door of an English country house and turns out, to crib a line from a Hollywood film, to be the rock that they broke themselves against. The book, about how people break down and the terrifying possibilities of who they might become, is inevitably fractured by the astonishing, dizzying talent of its writing.
Travel books guaranteed to satisfy the wandering minds of wayfaring readers.
Anthony Doerr's language and characters are gripping and pull you quickly into their world as the build-up to World War II looms on the horizon.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind seems born of a different time. An ode to its own genre, a love song to itself, the story of a boy who is shown the power of a book, one so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he loves.
Scribner, 2002 Emergence is the ability of low-level components to self-organize into a higher-level
Houghton Mifflin, 2006 (reprint) Paul Theroux is a vocal proponent of rail travel over air travel, which
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex) emerges with his long-awaited third novel exploring the realities of love and marriage.
Malarky, Anakana Schofield's story of an Irish farmwife's attempt to make the most out of her life was the winner of the 2012 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.
The Pillars of the Earth sweeps through four decades of 12th Century England drawing the reader into the raw, flamboyant middle ages. It is a shining saga of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty. Not-so-noble knights, righteous heroes, valiant heroines and both virtuous and immoral men of God highlight this story. They manipulate, and are in turn manipulated by, the political turmoil and unrest between the reigns of Henry I and Henry II.
In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown combines a murder mystery with a religious historical thriller to create a record-breaking best-seller. While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent phone call: the curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see -- yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
Zadie Smith made a literary splash as a twenty-five-year-old with her debut novel White Teeth. Five years and two novels later, Smith has all but solidified herself a spot among the modern literary canon as one of a handful of truly important young novelists at work today. Smith's latest is On Beauty, a modern twist on E. M. Forster's Howard's End, updated to the still-stiff-collared world of twenty-first-century ivy-league academia.
A speech or soliloquey by a character to an imaginary audience, in which the reader gains insight into the character's personality or history.
In The Good Lord Bird, James McBride follows abolitionist John Brown through the last half of the 1850s, culminating in Brown’s raid of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.