Tuesday, 19 April 2016 08:49Brooklyn, NY — Weary of the never-ending influx of writers, Brooklyn has finally said, "Enough."
By Dilly Bettlethrip, for City Examiner and LitLovers.com
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 09:57Written by Cheryl Jones* for LitLovers.
Reading to Young Children
------A Head Start in Life
--------—Ages 4 to 5—
♦ Reading to this age group has a significant positive effect later in life—on reading (language & literacy) and cognitive skills (numeracy & cognition).
♦ Children read to more frequently achieve higher scores on the [Australian] National Assessment Program for both Reading and Numeracy for ages 8 to 9.
♦These differences in reading and cognitive skills are not related to the child's family background or home environment.
Authored by: G. Kalb and J.C. van Ours, 2012
Thursday, 31 March 2016 09:08In case you hadn't noticed, the novel seems to be getting longer and longer, some of them clocking in at 600-700-800+ pages.
I've never met a reader who doesn't like short novels.... For me, the opportunity to sit somewhere for two hours and read a book from start to finish—to submerge myself in it—is a thrilling experience. A short novel makes a straightforward demand: give me this time.Readers don't buy books by the the pound, Jones points out. And publishers should get over their obsession with longer works. "The only thing to be taken into account should be the impact a piece of writing has," says Jones. Amen, we say.
Sunday, 28 February 2016 10:23
|Authors Battle for November Contest
Feb. 28, 2016: Greenville, NC—
|Never this bad
"I've never seen it get this nasty," said Reagan Eagan, awards jurist. "Authors typically behave with greater decorum."
True. Still, it's hard not to feel a twinge of guilty pleasure listening to these Olympiads sling their polished insults.
Charge of elitism
One debate had best- selling AUTHOR Bernie Sandbag calling out rival Hillary Clinchpin.
"You're a sellout. You don't give a hoot for the average reader," Sandbag said.
Tedino Cruz chimed in that people find Hillary's emails a lot more interesting than her books.
|"Pipe down," Tedino. Nobody likes you," Hillary said. "Even your editors don't like you."
"OMG!" said one book critic. "This beats any of their novels. The language is poetic ... the characters so believable.
Another critic agreed: "No one could write this stuff. No one would even try."
Ambrosia Mendelbrot, special to The Daily News and LitLovers.
Thursday, 18 February 2016 10:44We get lots of mail asking for Discussion Questions for mysteries, and there've been a lot of them lately—emails AND new crime novels (all claiming to be the "new" Gone Girl).
♦ Specific questions tend to give away the plot, ruining the element of surprise. Remember, mysteries depend on withholding information.
♦ Bestselling crime novels aren't considered "book club" material. They're all about plot and don't necessarily open themselves up to discussions about character dynamics or weighty social issues. Major serial authors like James Patterson, Michael Connelly, J.D. Robb, David Baldacci write for different reasons and audiences.
So we've got our own questions below. Feel free to use them or access them here.
Questions for Mystery - Crime - Suspense - Thrillers
1. Talk about the characters, both good and bad. Describe their personalities and motivations. Are they fully developed and emotionally complex? Or are they flat, one-dimensional heroes and villains?
2. What do you know...and when do you know it? At what point in the book do you begin to piece together what happened?
3. Good crime writers embed hidden clues, slipping them in casually, almost in passing. Did you pick them out, or were you...clueless? Once you've finished the book, go back to locate the clues hidden in plain sight. How skillful was the author in burying them?
4. Good crime writers also tease us with red-herrings—false clues—to purposely lead us astray? Does your author try to throw you off track? If so, were you tripped up?
5. Talk about the twists & turns—those surprising plot developments that throw everything you think you've figured out into disarray.
a. Do they enhance the story, add complexity, and build suspense?
b. Are they plausible or implausible?
c. Do they feel forced and gratuitous—inserted merely to extend the story?
6. Does the author ratchet up the suspense? Did you find yourself anxious—quickly turning pages to learn what happened? A what point does the suspense start to build? Where does it climax...then perhaps start rising again?
7. A good ending is essential in any mystery or crime thriller: it should ease up on tension, answer questions, and tidy up loose ends. Does the ending accomplish those goals?
a. Is the conclusion probable or believable?
b. Is it organic, growing out of clues previously laid out by the author (see Question 3)?
c. Or does the ending come out of the blue, feeling forced or tacked-on?
d. Perhaps it's too predictable.
e. Can you envision a different or better ending?
8. Point to passages in the book—ideas, descriptions, or dialogue—that you found interesting or revealing, that somehow struck you. What, if anything, made you stop and think? Or maybe even laugh.
9. Overall, does the book satisfy? Does it live up to the standards of a good crime story or suspense thriller? Or does it somehow fall short?
10. Compare this book to other mystery, crime, or suspense thrillers that you've read. Consider other authors or other books in a the series by the same author.
(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 10:03
We love books, and we love movies. And we REALLY love movies that come from books.
Book clubs say, over and over, that a favorite club activity is attending movies based on books—especially if the book is a club selection.
That's why LitLovers has decided to partner with Screen Thoughts.
SCREEN THOUGHTS takes the book-to-movie connection a step beyond. They read the book . . . see the movie . . . then create a 20-minute podcast about their impressions.
Hollister and O'Toole, the voices behind the mic, are smart, knowledgeable, and engaging. They review the films and ask the questions we care about:
♦ Is the film true to the book?
♦ Are the actors right for the book's characters?
♦ Do you prefer the book to film . . . or film to book?
Click HERE for Screen Thoughts podcasts—or go the top of the LitLovers homepage. Listen on your own . . . or listen as a group in your book club—they're sure to spark discussion. Who's right—Hollister or O'Toole? Both? Neither?
Each month you'll find a new book-to-movie podcast. So be sure to listen in.
Thursday, 22 October 2015 12:38
Thursday, 15 October 2015 08:48This just in: A Facebook friend wrote asking about the use of Kindles and other e-book devices in her book club. What's a book club to do—allow or not allow?
A good friend and I are starting a book club, and we already have a group lined up. Someone has asked if she could use her Kindle, and although I don't see a problem, my co-founder says, "Definitely not." What are your thoughts? Any advice would help.
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 07:46It might be time to remove BOOKSTORES and LIBRARIES from the list of endangered species!
Sunday, 13 September 2015 07:39
Ah, Pinterest—all those lists and photos of the BEST PLACES TO READ...inside, outside, in cities around the world. But the novelty's wearing thin.
And that got us to thinking—perversely—about where you DON'T want to be caught with a book. So we put together our own list. This one is about . . .
THE 7 WORST PLACES TO READ
1 — Job Interview
Terrific resume. Great experience. Top-notch references. And there you sit, peering down at a book—just to prove you can multi-task. Gee, how could they not hire you?
2 — Lunar Landing Craft
You wanna screw this up? Your one big shot at making history? The world is watching, so put the book down—now—and land this baby.
3 — Parent-Teacher Conference
You think you're showing off your reading skills—which have rubbed off on your gifted kid. But while you sit there with your nose in a book, the teacher?...well, she thinks differently.
4 — Speeding Traffic
Eyes on the road; hands on the wheel. Do we really need to explain this one?
5 — Tax Audit
That's right, just keep on reading. Nonchalance implies innocence. He'll see right through you.
6 — Real Bedroom
This isn't on Pinterest—because this is LIFE. Picture yourself curling up here with a book and a Pinot. You can't, can you?
7 — Empire State Building
You could accidentally drop your book from the Observation Deck—you would see it accelerate at (32 ft. per sec.)2, hitting the ground in 15 sec. at a terminal velocity of 50 mph. And THAT would crack the book's spine—which everyone knows is a crying shame.
So, dear reader, you tell us...what's YOUR worst place to read?
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