Our Favorite Timeless Plots

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  There are seven stories in the world.   It’s a well used maxim and not necessarily true. (Kipling, for example, claimed there were sixty-nine stories in the world). But the truth remains that various plots have been invented and reinvented since the beginning of the press. Some have been re-imagined so often that they [….]

The Best/Worst Writing Advice We’ve Ever Received

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Everyone has an opinion. Especially writers. We’ve been around enough writers to know that we all have a different approach when it comes to getting a story out. Some like to start at the end, ‘having dessert’ before the main course, (writing your ending before you begin). Some outline. Some would rather cut off their [….]

The Fictional Places We’d Love to Call Home

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Fiction is an amazing tool of escapism. With it, we dive into worlds that exist only in the writer’s mind, breathing air that is clouded by zombie-forming gas or stars that fall from the sky and walk among us. Today we’re discussing those beloved settings that have inspired us, nurtured us, made us jealous for [….]

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 [….]

Best/Worst Surprise Endings

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Some authors love to pull whammies on us. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than an evil plot twist, because, well, who doesn’t love a good surprise? They make us think, have us scrambling back through the pages trying to see how we missed the foreshadowing that led us to the endings we didn’t see coming. Then [….]

LitStack Recs: Realms of This Boy’s Life

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This Boy’s Life: A Memoir, by Tobias  Wolff  (Grove Press, 1989) There is no doubt, that as a staple of the nonfiction genre, the memoir continues to boom. The “official” boom is said to have occurred between 1990 and 2010, launched almost single-handedly by the publication of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, which won a string [….]

LitStack Rec: Beautiful Science and the Chicago Coast

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We are proud to present our very first in a new feature on LitStack. In the LitStack Rec segment we will recommend to you readers some of our favorite books…books we believe are just too amazing to pass up. Sharon and Lauren have two great and unexpected recommendations for you LitStackers today.   Wonderful Life: [….]

“Sweet Children” and Trust

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I remember when I first received my first Harlequin book. I was 13 years old. I don’t remember anything about the book other than it’s olive green cover, but what I do remember is the reason why my mother gave me the book and the feeling has stayed with me since. We were leaving our [….]

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: 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 [….]