I grew up home-schooled, which I think for most people implies I was an avid reader. This was true. I read a lot. My mom had a rule I read at least 30 minutes a day, which was no struggle. Reading was so normal and common for me, I didn’t think much about it. It was a time-killing activity I would complete with as much apathy as one who watches infomercials late at night. Sometimes by noon, I had finished with my schoolwork for the day. I would camp out in my room and read for 3 hours. I read in the car, before bed, while I procrastinated instead of doing my required household chores… Continue reading
When the magic continues…
What would you say if all your dreams about all your favorite characters come true? What if all your favorite characters gathered together in one interesting story? Probably, you would be happy as an army of Harry Potter fans, having received the long-awaited continuation of their favorite franchise. It’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Let’s inspect this official sequel in the form of the play… Continue reading
All but four of the original sixty Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (also known as the “canon”) are narrated by Dr. John Watson.
You know what that tells us? Watson is not merely a sidekick. He’s not an afterthought. He’s not just the comic relief. He’s not a cardboard cut-out for Holmes to bounce ideas off. Continue reading
What’s your favorite Sherlock Holmes story?
Every Holmes fan has a different answer to that question. My own has always been “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane.” Published in 1926, “Lion’s Mane” is the final installment in the collection entitled The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes. Because the Case-Book was the last Holmes anthology Conan Doyle published, “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” was the last story Sherlock Holmes (in his original incarnation, at any rate) would ever appear in. Continue reading
Sherlock Holmes made an enormous impact on crime literature. His unusual methods (deductive reasoning, observation, and intuitive conclusions) were so different from the Penny Dreadfuls of the day, he became one of the most famous characters in history (only Bram Stoker’s Dracula has had as much fame). But what makes Holmes live on when history has forgotten many other fictional detectives? Continue reading
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you an amazing playwright, a genius mind, the greatest bard of the Renaissance period… William Shakespeare! But you already know who is he and what is he famous for? Well, what we know about the most famous English playwright is really a lot and really… nothing. Why? Let me show you…
‘What’s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet.’ (Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2) Continue reading
In his essay “The Simple Art of Murder,” Raymond Chandler explores detective fiction in general, but especially the hard-boiled kind he perfected. It includes my favorite bit of writing advice: “When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” By which he meant, if you’re not sure what should happen next, make things worse in the most exciting way you can. Which is exactly how his books and stories work—everything goes from bad to worse to the worst imaginable… and then somehow turns out all right in the end. Continue reading
Pretty much everyone loves movies and television. Most people would also add books or music (or both) to that list. But, no matter how popular a piece of entertainment is, we all experience things differently and our favorite stories become part of our identities for unique reasons. Each viewer or reader brings with them separate tastes, and different people can prefer different aspects of the same film or novel. What affects us the most varies from person to person. The Harry Potter series is a massive fandom, but I root my personal connection to it in its use of love. In her Harry Potter novels, J. K. Rowling develops and demonstrates the theme of love in all its forms as a force with power that her characters can use to combat evil. Continue reading
Chaim Potok (1929-2002): New York native. Orthodox Jew. Rabbi. Bestselling author. Clearly a fascinating literary figure, by anyone’s standards. Continue reading
The people we allow into our lives shape us. They become a part of our identity whether or not we realize it. I look back on the teenage me and am amazed at how little I knew of classic literature. Oh, sure, there were lessons in Shakespeare and a truly painful course on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, but apart from that my interests were average. I spent most of my time reading flimsy clean romances. Continue reading