Susanna Clarke's 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell' is no mere fantasy mixed with historical realism. Each page seeps with clever wit, raising poignant questions about our modern relationship with the Otherworldly.
Some critics have called for JK Rowling to stop writing Harry Potter stories. What the what? Why can't she do whatever the heck she wants?
A famous poet and an English critic read 'The Lord of the Rings' and had surprisingly similar things to say about the function of imagination.
Historian Yuval Noah Harari does not believe religion has anything relevant to say about the technological challenges of the future. His argument reminds me of a passage from an award-winning novel that suggests otherwise.
As an aspiring author and dad whose scarcest resource is time, I was motivated by a recent interview with Diana Gabaldon, author of the 'Outlander' series. She speaks candidly about outlining, parenting, and writing at midnight.
Martin Silenus in 'Hyperion' waxes poetic on the unique power of words, and quotes Russell Bertrand along the way: “Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.”
In an economy where substance is abundant but attention is scarce, style can become more important than the substance it conveys. The implications for writers are profound. Featuring examples from fantasy, sci-fi, Calvin and Hobbes, Deadpool, and Borderlands!
We all have stories of stupid things we have thought before, and in our current climate of political division and echo chambers, we all know people (friends, relatives, acquaintances, total strangers) whose opinions we find particularly dumb. Why is that? Why do we seem to have so much bad thinking in our lives and society at large when we have access to more knowledge and education than ever before? That is one of the central questions Alan Jacobs sets out to answer in his book, 'How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds.'
Spoilers: 1. I used multiple book formats, including a lot more audio. 2. Though my overall book count was higher, my average page count per book was lower. 3. I built up some habits focused on quality reading time (i.e., less TV and social media), and in the end these habits were more effective than aiming for a specific number.