Five Surprisingly Banned Books

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As book lovers, we don’t really understand the purpose of censorship. We certainly don’t support an effort to ban any books because we believe that readers should be able to judge for themselves the appropriateness of a given book. But sometimes, even the best books are pulled from the shelves. Some of the following were [….]

Book Endings We’d Like to Change

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It’s happened to you before. You’re invested in a great book, in the flux and flow of a twisting plot, of multidimensional characters that make you mad, make you cry, maybe even make you scream out loud. Then, after all the hours you’ve invested in the book, all the possibilities, the hopes, the resolutions that [….]

OpEd: The Varying Poverties of Now

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The Varying Poverties of Now In the appendix to his brief but radiant 2010 manifesto ‘Reality Hunger’—a supremely confident and practically pedagogical collage of quotations and personal observations published in order to define a perceived new age of literature—David Shields writes with this kind of over-excited, unnecessarily aggressive tone. He’s explaining why those hundreds of [….]

LitStack Recs: The Firefox Book & Three Parts Dead

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The  Firefox Book, by Elliot Wigginton (editor) Perfect for #throwbackthursday, this compendium of customs and rural living practices was published in 1972, and was in its time hugely influential. The local tradition and lore documented in The Foxfire Book comes firsthand from longtime residents of Southern Appalachia. At the height of this book’s notoriety, copies [….]

It’s a Jekyll and Hyde Thing: My Pursuit of the Written Word

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The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”       – Vladimir Nabokov The act of writing is a strange beast. A creature to love and to loathe, quite often at the exact same time. It can [….]

LitStaff Pick: Our Yearly Re-Reads

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Traditions are important. They cultivate in us a continuum of the normal. They give us comfort, remind us of where we have been and how we came to be the people we are today. Some of the most important traditions are ones that we create for ourselves. It can be anything, really; a certain way [….]

LitStaff Pick: The Books That Remind Us of Our School Days

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Labor Day usually marks the end of summer and the return to bells, books and professions that Algebra will never, ever be used in life! It’s back to school time for most of the country and when we think about our time in school, particularly in those formative years when our minds were eager and [….]

Five Great Post 9/11 Novels

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September 11, 2001, I was an undergraduate taking my daily 45 minute drive to my university, listening to the radio, laughing at the morning DJs. Then, quite suddenly, our nation was attacked. By the time I made it to my first class of the day, (ironically, American History), our small college campus exploded in chaos. [….]

LitStaff Pick: Top Two SciFi/Fantasy Stories Every Genre Fan Should Read

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There is something unique about genre fiction. Perhaps it is the notion that great fiction should offer an escape. Perhaps it is with only these types of stories that true escapism can be attained-some small path to temporary nirvana not found in other genres. That’s what we like to believe anyway. In this week’s staff [….]

LitStaff Pick: The Books We Wish We Could Read Again for the First Time

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There’s nothing quite like the first read. Whether it’s a newborn entry into Hogwarts or the initial fright of a truly scary horror or even the first pass of a novel that makes us think and makes us cry, the first read of a great book leaves an impact. This week’s staff pick concerns those [….]