TEN HIPSTER BOOKS (and the drink you should be holding when you brag about having read it)

10) On the Road by Jack Kerouac Paired with: Bloody Mary because you’re probably still drunk and/or nursing a hangover from the night before and are trying to impress a classmate from your 9 a.m. by talking about how transcendental The Beats were. 9) The Circle by Dave Eggers Paired with: Gin and Tonic because … Continue reading TEN HIPSTER BOOKS (and the drink you should be holding when you brag about having read it)

Movie Renditions of Books: Yay Or Nay?

Let’s face it—there was once a time when we read a book and fangirl’d hard, waiting for the movie version to come out for Harry Potter, Twilight, or even books geared toward an older audience like Silver Linings Playbook or The Room. After watching the movie we get flabbergasted by the simple fact that Jacob … Continue reading Movie Renditions of Books: Yay Or Nay?

Can Literature Make Sense of War?

Whenever I read literature about war, I'm left with a feeling I can't quite explain. It's something difficult to reify, or even contemplate. One can envision war, see it dramatized, or listen to firsthand accounts told by a relative. But none of that really does any justice to the true experience. Instead, it creates a … Continue reading Can Literature Make Sense of War?

A Complete, Totally Definitive Guide to Short Story Craft

1. Start the story with an intriguing first line, something that propels the reader forward, captures their attention, makes them feel compelled to read on. Do not start with something boring or commonplace. This is the worst thing you can do. This will make the reader throw your story into a trash compactor and compact … Continue reading A Complete, Totally Definitive Guide to Short Story Craft

Making Those Last Words Count

Hopefully you already read this wonderful piece on first lines in fiction. Those sentences are important because, of course, they color a reader’s perception of the rest of the story. Daniel discusses a “solicitation of trust”—“a chance for the author to communicate that the reader is in capable hands.” And he’s right: I’ve put down … Continue reading Making Those Last Words Count

One Reader’s Not-Quite-Manifesto on Poetry Selection for the Lit Magazine

Magazines have outlines for the kinds of work they want – format, delivery, length, and maybe a few general dos and don’ts (no genre pieces, no previously published, no rhyming, please do rhyme, etc.). Beyond that, the only indication anyone usually writers is to “read our previous issues” – which, while not bad practice, doesn’t … Continue reading One Reader’s Not-Quite-Manifesto on Poetry Selection for the Lit Magazine

Why You Really Should Read Graphic Novels

I mostly read graphic novels nowadays. My mom once asked me accusingly, “Does that mean you read books about sex and porn?!" Sorry to disappoint, but the graphic novels I read have pictures of talking mice, angry spouses, and manic reiterations of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. The history of the graphic novel is both … Continue reading Why You Really Should Read Graphic Novels