Censorship is bad. So every year in America, we celebrate Banned Books Week, (this week!) One week a year when we enjoy our freedom and discuss the value and importance of the First Amendment.
As an author, I cringe when I hear books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World and more recently, Twilight are banned.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if you consider the information unorthodox or unpopular—is the foundation of America.
You would think everyone would be on board, right? Not so fast. In fact, I’m sure if a book on child pornography or pedophilia were put in your child’s library, you’d be up in arms.
If you really think about it, some books deserve to be banned because the content is outrageous, unsettling, or downright illegal. The problem arises when someone decides what is allowed and what isn’t. But, let’s face it, someone should be doing it, especially when it comes to books available for children.
We can only hope that the bad books get banned and people will continue to stand up and fight for the rights of the good ones…That’s what this week is really about.
EDITED: Please note, I believe the “someone” who should be deciding is the parent of that child, NOT government.
The purpose of the book cover design is to grab attention. You want to convey in a quick glance the type of book, the purpose behind it, and convince the audience to purchase it. But it’s more than just getting attention and selling books. It’s an art.
The cover of The Great Gatsby is one of the most celebrated pieces of jacket art in American literature. Rumors are that the cover was completed prior to Fitzgerald finishing the novel, and he was so enamored by it that he told his publisher he had “written it into” the novel.
Some covers amaze and fascinate me, yet others disappoint me. Too many times, I’ve picked up a novel based on the cover and have found the art had nothing to do with the book, whatsoever. The publisher found a design they liked and put it on the book hoping only to help sales, turning an art form into purely a business move.
In the growing new world of independent publishing, some believe the art of jacket copy will die with the increase of Kindles and other e-readers. I don’t believe it. In fact, just as the author has taken back the control of their book, they have also taken control of the cover design. I hope this means that jacket art will become more honest, interesting, and diverse while keeping its artistic qualities.
As a crime writer, I always look forward to the fall television premieres. It’s a chance to get back into my favorite shows as I pray there will be wonderful new shows to add to my DVR.
This year I’m looking forward to the return of “Dexter” (Showtime). Will this be the season he’s caught? Will his sister finally figure out he’s a serial killer? The poster for this season has me so excited.
Although not very realistic when it comes to police procedural, I also enjoy the amusing “Bones,” “Castle,” and “The Mentalist.” They often have interesting crime plot lines. (If you’re looking for a great breakdown of “Castle” episodes, visit The Graveyard Shift)
Of the new shows, I’m looking forward to “Person of Interest.” I’ll probably skip out on “Prime Suspect” and “Unforgettable” as they didn’t seem very believable in the commercials I’ve seen so far.
What are you watching this fall? Any suggestions to add to my DVR?
One of the greatest writers of our time, Stephen King celebrates his birthday
today. The author of such classics as The Stand, Carrie, The Shining, The Dark Tower books, The Green Mile and his non-fiction book On Writing, King’s books have sold more than 350 million copies. I look forward to his next novel, 11/22/63, which will be published in November.
To celebrate his birthday, I have included some wonderful quotes from some of his best works:
“Get busy living or get busy dying.” The Shawshank Redemption
“That wasn’t any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery.” The Stand
“May be she’ll learn something about what death really is, which is where the pain stops and the good memories begin. Not the end of life but the end of pain.” Pet Semetary
“Sometimes there is absolutely no difference at all between salvation and damnation.” The Green Mile
“He who speaks without an attentive ear is mute.” The Dark Tower
“Time’s the thief of memory” The Gunslinger
"She doesn’t like the new book because she’s too stupid to understand what it’s up to." Misery
“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman’s got to hold on to.” Dolores Claiborne
Movies and television have gone digital. With the emergence of Netflix, more and more people are watching television shows and movies on their computer, or streamed through their gaming devices right to their television screens.
Now Amazon is in the works for a Netflix-type service to stream books digitally. Amazon is working with publishers to get books on the e-tailer’s digital platform so users could read an unlimited number for a subscription fee. Books could be sent to your e-reader, including the Amazon Kindle or the Apple iPad.
Pay a fee and it’s a buffet of books. Read as much as you want. Sound dangerous? To some this is a great idea. Others are worrying about the consequences. Just as the e-reader is closing bookstores around the country, book subscriptions could close libraries.
What are your thoughts? Are you still resisting the digital era and shunning e-readers because you love the smell of books. If so, there is a product made just for you. Smell of Books.
Also, I’ve discovered the message Rebecca supposedly wrote on the wall was, “She Saved Him Can You Save Her.” How strange!
Doubts still remain even though the San Diego Sheriff’s have closed the case. The family’s attorney is pushing for the case to be examined as other experts have looked at the autopsy findings and crime scene photos and come to a different conclusion.
A woman in Carlsbad, California was arrested after police suspected her of stealing, of all things…library books. According to the Carlsbad Police Department, the 44-year-old woman was arrested after officers served a search warrant on her Vista home and found more than 2,000 library books and DVDs taken from her local county libraries.
Isn’t it still free to borrow books from the library? I know the hours have been cut down due to budget cuts, but the books are still FREE to borrow as long as you have a library card. (Also free!)
The economy must be bad when you have to steal your copy of FALLING ANGELS, when you could just borrow it from your local library.
So the San Diego Sheriff’s have ruled that the sudden deaths of Max Shacknai and Rebecca Zahau at the Coronado mansion were not crimes. They used science to confirm that Max died from an accidental fall and Rebecca died from a suicide.
But as a crime writer, I know there was more to this story. If not in reality, in a novel there would be answers to the questions I still have…
Zahau’s family is convinced she was not suicidal. Could the fall and death of Max pushed her toward suicide? Did she feel responsible? Maybe the fall wasn’t accidental. Maybe she was responsible for the boy’s death?
The investigators claim that Zahau’s prints were the only ones found on the shirt around her throat and the bindings around her hands and feet. There was no sign of a struggle. Could she have been forced by gunpoint by an unknown assailant?
Still more questions than answers…What do you think really happened?
Today, my blog is about Birthdays. If you’re younger than 21 you think it’s all about getting presents and having parties. If you’re 21-25 it’s about about drinking and partying with friends. If you’re older than 80, you’re just wondering if you’ll make it to the next one.
But between the ages of 25 and 80, it’s a mixed bag. Some hate birthdays, as just another reminder they’re getting older and nothing to show for it. Others complain about time speeding past. As I turn thirty-something, I’ve included below some of my favorite birthday (or growing older) quotes. Enjoy!
Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.
You make me chuckle when you say that you are no longer young, that you have turned twenty-four. A man is or may be young to after sixty, and not old before eighty.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
We turn not older with years, but newer every day.
To me, fair friend, you never can be old, For as you were when first your eye I eye’d, Such seems your beauty still.
For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.
Youth had been a habit of hers for so long that she could not part with it.
One should never trust a woman who tells her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell anything.
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.
Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you have not committed.