Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Table of Contents

BookmarcsOnline BookBlog Front Page

Mincemeat Recipes and Mincemeat History
Traditional mincemeat aka mince-meat was basically a mixture of fruits and spices that are cooked with minced meat and or beef suet and doused with brandy, rum, or whiskey. Mince-meat improves and becomes more moist as the weeks pass and so is generally allowed to mature for at least four weeks before using. If a person is attempting to make a more traditional mince-meat filling for mincemeat pies, . . . more >>

Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Chicana Scholar, Novelist and Poet
Alicia Gaspar de Alba is a scholar, cultural critic, novelist, and poet whose works include historical novels and scholarly studies on Chicana/o art, culture and sexuality. comes from the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, where she lived until age 27. She has a B.A. and a M.A. in English from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Ph.D. in American Studies at . . . more >>

Story Bored, Comics as a Perfect Storytelling Medium
Why can't comics be more like prose? Why can't they be more like film? Well, why the hell should they be? Comics are such a perfect storytelling medium, Nick Locking argues, that they've spoiled him for just about anything else. I think comics are the best storytelling medium, ever. And I'll tell you why. I can't read prose anymore. Now, my too-short attention span . . . more >>

Sarah Cortez: Policing, Poetry, and Prose
Sarah Cortez is a police officer, poet, writer, and editor. Author of the poetry collection How to Undress a Cop (Arte Público Press, 2000), Cortez was the 1999 PEN Texas Literary Award in Poetry, placed as a semi-finalist in the 2000 Fourteenth Annual Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry, and served as Visiting Scholar in the University of Houston’s Center for . . . more >>

Flesh Colored Horror, the early work of Japanese Manga horror writer Junji Ito
Horror, as a genre, is a form that perpetually mutates to reflect the fears of the cultures and individuals creating it. In our modern print and film culture, horror in the West emerged from our collective superstitions (Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy) and, over time and through experimentation, produced true masterpieces in a wide variety of media, including works by . . . more >>

Lucha Corpi, a Groundbreaking Writer of Latina Mystery Fiction
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Club Forteana, a Review by Alasdair Stuart of Elvis Must Die by Neil R. King
Elvis Aaron Presley. If the rock and roll lifestyle has a patron saint it surely must be this man. From his gleaming jacketed youth, through the remarkably long stream of movies and his final, fast food ridden years, Elvis embodies the rock and roll lifestyle. He is the King. He's also intimately connected to Forteana. Elvis is part of an elite group of individuals who have either inspired religious-level devotion or . . . more >>

Oatmeal Pie and Sweet Potato Soup
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Scene of the Crime, a Review by John Fellows
A Little Piece of Goodnight is that rare throwback - a genuine detective comic from Detective Comics. It's also a crime noir with a heart that isn't totally black. John Fellows looks a little closer. There is a line near the end of Scene of the Crime's first issue that threw me the first time I read it. Jack Herriman, our protagonist and the requisite PI of the piece, has just . . . more >>

Guillermo Arriaga, Notable Mexican Author, Screenwriter, Director and Producer
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Berlin: City of Stones, a Review by John Fellows
What are comics capable of? In the hands of a creator as accomplished as Jason Lutes, it seems comics can build entire cities, right from the tallest building to the smallest dream. Wilkommen bei Berlin. Berlin: City of Stones is both the story of a city - a pile of stones - and a comprehensive biography - an amassing of private moments. The city itself is . . . more >>

Sara Paretsky and the Transformation of Female Crime Fiction Detectives
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The Fall by Brubaker and Lutes, a Review by Nick Brownlow
Can comics do short fiction? Are anthologies worth your time? The answer lies in the pages of The Fall, an essential crime noir from the people who brought you Scene of the Crime and Berlin: City of Stones. If there's one genre that doesn't seem to do too badly in comic books outside of superheroes, then it's crime fiction. Ever since Frank Miller's . . . more >>

Jon Scieszka's Time Warp Trio Series, Learning History and Culture can be Fun
The Time Warp Trio is a series of stories written by Jon Scieszka, originally illustrated by Lane Smith and later illustrated by Adam McCauley, which chronicles the adventures of three boys - Joe, Sam, and Fred - who travel through time and space. Scieszka is notable for his ability to attract reluctant readers and this series . . . more >>

Camera Obscura, Writing and Reading with a Pulp Sensibility
Comics may have superseded the written pulp, but there are still plenty of writers out there with a pulp sensibility. Comics could be their natural home - if only someone would show them the way. Pulps. That's where it began. High-speed, serialised in newspapers, generally about something weird and mad. Doc Savage. The Spider. You're all . . . more >>

Blending Forensic Anthropology, Montreal's Québecois Culture, and the Carolinas
Kathy Reighs was born in 1950 in Chicago. She is both a crime writer and professional forensic anthropologist. In her professional work as a forensic anthropologist, Reichs has worked for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of North Carolina and is currently working for the Laboratoire des Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. She is one of only seventy-nine forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board. . . more >>

Vampires in Folklore, How Early Vampire Literature Shaped Today's Vampires, and A Short History of Bram Stoker
Early documented outbreaks of vampire hysteria include late twelfth century England in the cases of the Buckinghamshire Vampire and the Vampire of Berwick. For modern horror fiction, the most influential outbreak of mass vampire hysteria occured in East Prussia in 1721 and in the Habsburg Monarchy (also known as the Austrian-Hungarian Empire) from 1725 to 1734, best known from the suspicions related to the Serbians Arnold Paole and Peter Plogojowitz. . . more >>

Jon Scieszka's Trucktown Series and His Literacy Program Guys Read
Jon Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca and means 'path' in Polish) was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8th, 1954. He grew up in a family with five brothers, an elementary school principal father, and a registered nurse mother. He learned how to make everyone laugh in order to survive the crazy mix of living with five boys in one household. He credits his own unique blend of humor and inventive creativity . . . more >>

Corn Pone, Corn Domestication in the Americas, and Nixtamalization
"Put on one quart of water in a pot, as soon as it boils stir in as much Indian meal as will make a very thin batter. Beat it frequently while it is boiling, which will require ten minutes; then take it off, pour it in a pan, and add one ounce of butter, and salt to taste. When the batter is luke-warm stir in as much Indian meal as will make it quite thick. Set it away to rise in the evening; in the morning make it . . . more >>

V is for Verbal Violence
Jonathan Mills examines how Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta creates a unified language of words and images. A bulky stumbling block in the way of addressing graphic novels as a visual literature is the question: how can words and images be integrated? How can one critical language make sense of the relationship between these two disparate units? . . . more >>

Perceptive and Vivid Accounts of Tudor Era England by Alison Weir
Alison Weir, born in London in 1937, currently lives in Surrey, England. Weir's formal education was in history at a teacher training college, the North Western Polytechnic, and she began her professional life began as a teacher for special needs children. Disenchanted with professional education's attraction to trendy teaching methods, Weir moved on . . . more >>

The Burning of the Library of Alexandria, the Historical Reality Behind the Myths
The Royal Library of Alexandria, more commonly known as the Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was probably the largest of the ancient libriaries. It is also the best and often only ancient library known by most contemporary people here at the beginning of the 21st century. Alexandria was founded in 331 BCE, after Alexander III of Macedon, best known today as . . . more >>

Little Nemo
One of the avowed true classics of comics literature, Winsor McCay's LITTLE NEMO was a wildly innovative newspaper strip whose influence can still be felt today. Zack Smith, writing for Ninth Art, dons the pyjamas for some wonderful dreams. Winsor McCay was a man of many talents, almost all of which were underappreciated during his lifetime thanks to William Randolph Hearst. From 1904 to 1911 . . . more >>

Thumbnail, Hergé
Writing for Ninth Art, Lindsay Duff profiles one of the world's finest comic storytellers, the controversial creator of TINTIN, who faced depression and accusations of treachery as he worked to bring his enduring creation to the world. Hergé, real name Georges Remi, was a Belgian cartoonist and creator of the iconic stories of the boy reporter Tintin. Born in Brussels in 1907, Remi had childhood dreams of being . . . more >>

Jules Verne, the Fitzroy editions edited by I. O. Evans and their Jerome Podwil cover illustrations for Ace Books (part 1 of 2 parts)
Jerome Podwil, aka Jerry Podwil, is an American artist and illustrator born in New York City in 1938. Podwil attended the Pratt Institute School of Art and Design and the Art Students League from 1955 through 1960. He graduated from the Pratt School in 1960. His cover artwork for fantasy and science fiction, as well as westerns and Gothic thrillers , almost exclusively in their paperback . . . more >>

Andalusian Gaspacho, a recipe by Van Wyck Brooks
Gaspacho aka Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup and has its origins in and greatest contemporary associations with the southern region of Andalucía. Gazpacho is widely consumed throughout Spain, neighboring Portugal (where it is known as Gaspacho) and parts of Latin America. Gazpacho is mostly consumed during the summer months when . . . more >>

The Adventures of Tintin in Film
Tintin is a planned motion capture 3-D film based The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Georges 'Hergé' Remi. It will be directed by Steven Spielberg, and the script by Steven Moffat is based on two directly-linked stories published in the 1940s, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure, the latter of which introduced . . . more >>

The Tintin Movie Geared for Sucess with Jackson and Spielberg On Board
Tintin is finally being made into a movie. Tintin is being turned into movie by the dream pairing of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Spielberg and Jackson will actually be making three Tintin movies back to back as Jackson accomplished with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The films will be shot back to back for logistical and financial expediency; they will come rattling off . . . more >>

Important Books in the History of Calligraphy
Before the beginning of the 20th Century little had been written about calligraphy except The Story of the Alphabet (1900) by Edward Clodd (1840-1930) and Sir Edward Maunde Thompson's (1840-1929) fine Handbook of Greek and Latin Paleography (1893) together with his volume English Illuminated Manuscripts, published in 1895 and out of print before 1906. But beginning with the publication by Edward Johnston (1872-1944) of his book Writing and Illuminating, and Lettering (1906), a steady stream of works . . . more >>

Georges 'Hergé' Remi Creator of Tintin, The Final Years
The Hergé Studio was set up in April 1950 in order to lighten Hergé's workload after his second breakdown. He employed assistants such as the artist Bob de Moor to help produce The Adventures of Tintin. This was to be the case for the rest of the Tintin albums where assistants would fill in the details and backgrounds such as the lunar landscapes in Explorers on the Moon . . . more >>

Horse Racing in Literature
Horse racing, the second most-popular spectator sport in America, remains as vital as ever, but its age, high drama, and historical appeal as the "sport of kings" ensure that it also has a place in the history of literature. Countless writers have been drawn, in their search for subject matter, to the romance of the racetrack - the triumph and tragedy of equestrian life. It'd take the endurance of a draft-horse to compile a complete list . . . more >>

Melissa Marr, literary Goth writer of young adult fiction
Melissa Marr is an up and coming author currently writing fantasy horror fiction for young adults. After college and graduate school she taught both Literature and Gender Studies at the undergraduate level. Her earlier diverse work experience includes stints running a biker bar as well as working at an archaeological dig. She is also a rape survivor. Initially she began writing short fiction and poetry for various literary . . . more >>

Chris Grabenstein, whodunit mysteries, thrillers and young adult horror
Chris Grabenstein was born in Buffalo, New York and moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee with his family when he was ten years old because of his father's job transfer. He grew up in Tennessee and also went on to college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he graduated in 1977 with a journalism communications degree. At university he was equally involved in his writing and in his acting with the university's . . . more >>

Beer Bread, a bronze age flavor variation with other ideas
The basic ingredients of beer are water, barley, yeast, and hops. In fact, this list of ingredients is the same as the one listed in the oldest food quality regulation in the world, The Reinheitsgebot. This regulation or law is best known in English as the German Beer Purity Law. The Reinheitsgebot was first put into legal effect in 1516 and stipulated that beer should only contain water, barley, and hops. Yeast was not considered an ingredient because . . . more >>

Jane K. Cleland, amateur sleuth cozy mysteries with a flavoring of ‘The Antiques Roadshow’
Jane K. Cleland is an emerging new writer of amateur sleuth cozy mysteries. Her books feature the recurring character Josie Prescott and some reviewers have made comparisons of Cleland's antiques focused mysteries to the PBS series The Antiques Roadshow. Both the setting and the experiences of her Josie Prescott character is based on the author's own experiences as a one-time owner of a rare book and antiques store . . . more >>

Blood In The Inkwell, the controversy surrounding the Danish 'Muhammad' cartoons
Chances are you'll be sick of reading about the Danish cartoons controversy by now, but indulge me. After all, this is one of those rare occasions that something loosely bearing on comics has been genuinely newsworthy in the outside world. This whole mess has been deeply unpleasant to watch for all manner of reasons. It would have been nice to think that it would at least prompt some serious discussion . . . more >>

Ace Atkins, a satisfying blend of Blues music and noir fiction
Ace Atkins has been published professionally since 1998 with six novels in print. They have been critically well received and have also earned their author an enthusiastic popular following. Atkins attended Auburn College on a football scholarship majoring in screenplay writing and it was here that he began writing short stories as a freshman. He was actually able to complete about half of his first novel while still in school, even though . . . more >>

Take Manhattan, The Real Cities We Know and the Fictional Cities They Inspire
The article which follows is not really about comics. Or maybe it is. I'm not sure. Before writing one of these columns, I usually go back and check the news sites just in case there's something I'm overlooking (or, even better, something obscure yet interesting). As I sat down this week, it struck me that I couldn't remember anything at all happening recently. Mind you, I've been busy, so maybe I just wasn't paying attention. But after going through . . . more >>

Charlie Stella, a master of crime fiction dialogue
Charlie Stella, born Carmello Stella in 1956, is a critically and popularly successful American writer of crime novels. Stella is a New York City native and grew up to become very much the sort of man that many of his characters are, a big Italian knockaround king of guy who could easily be imagined as if not mistaken for a hit man. The style of his books has been compared to those of Mario Puzo and Elmore Leonard. Initially he wrote . . . more >>

Is there truth in art? Does the artist reveal truth?
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot." - (SANDMAN #19)Judging from the context in which that line appears, Neil Gaiman seems to consider it a rather pleasing thought. It's from the 'Midsummer Night's Dream' issue, where Oberon watches the play and politely points out that none of it actually happened. Dream insists . . . more >>

Louise Penny, rural Québecois village life and intricate plots
Louise Penny was born in 1958 in Toronto. Penny began her professional career as a journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Toronto and moved, as part of her job, to Thunder Bay at the far tip of Lake Superior, in Ontario. There, she worked as a radio host and acknowledges that it was here that she learned a great deal about both the business of radio and the art of interviewing, especially regarding the . . . more >>

Jacqueline Winspear, a vivid recreator of Britain between the wars
Jacqueline Winspear is a critically recognized and popular mystery writer. She was born in the county of Kent in England. Her working career includes work as a nanny as well as the publishing industry in England working in sales and marketing, eventually working as a sales and marketing communications consultant for ten years. Winspear emigrated to the United States in 1990 and now lives in Northern California . . . more >>

Richard Matheson, I am Legend and its movie adaptations
Richard Matheson is the author of the novel I am Legend, on which the 2007 film of the same name is loosely based. The book has been used to produce four films, three for theatrical release (The Last Man on Earth, 1964; The Omega Man, 1971; I am Legend, 2007) and one straight to DVD release (I am Omega, 2007). While the straight to DVD release is not particularly important, the three theatrical releases, the difference . . . more >>

Spring Fava Beans, Roman Style
Fava beans that are fresh, small, and tender and direct from the field, are a seasonal Spring treat and a particular favorite in Rome. In choosing Spring Fava beans, remember that those larger than three-quarters of an inch or with a shell that has begun to yellow will be too mature to be eaten fresh because they will be starchy and bitter. Fava bean consumption has been growing in popularity . . . more >>

Texas History Movies, its publishing history and reincarnations
One of the most influential books educating Texans about their own state's history has been Texas History Movies which is not strictly speaking a book in the traditional meaning of the word. Texas History Movies was actually a comic strip series that was initially published in the late 1920s and it achieved its popularity and notoriety by combining simple but effectively drawn cartoon scenes with accompanying explanatory . . . more >>

Front Lines, Comics at War
Outside of the well-worn path of biography and autobiography, non-fiction has traditionally been one of the most frustratingly under-developed areas of the comics medium. But in recent years, more and more creators have set out to explore the potential of the comics form for non-fiction - discovering whole new sub-genres in the process. Perhaps one of the more unexpected, and acclaimed, of these new comics sub-genres . . . more >>

Marjane Satrapi, memories of growing up in Islamist Iran
Marjane Satrapi was born in in Rasht, Iran in 1969. She grew up in an upper-middle-class, fashionably radical household in Tehran where her father was an engineer from where her feminist mother frequently marched in demonstrations against the Shah. Satrapi was ten years old when the Shah was overthrown. It is only after the Shah falls that she learns that her great-grandfather was the last emperor of Persia . . . more >>

A review of French cartoonist David B's 'Epileptic'
Since the underground comics of the late '60s, biographical strips have formed a large part of the independent comics scene in the United States. From Robert Crumb and Harvey Pekar to Jeffrey Brown and Craig Thompson, and embracing 1,001 small pressers in-between, autobiographical comics have a rich and varied history in the US. But in the last few years it has been European comic creators that have been making the big waves . . . more >>

Joe Sacco, a notable writer of comics journalism
Joe Sacco was born in 1960 in Malta, the son of an engineer father and teacher mother. His family moved to Australia and lived there from 1961 to 1972. The family came to the US when Sacco was twelve years old first to Los Angeles and eventually settling in Portland, Oregon. Sacco went on to complete his education in the US, eventually graduating in 1981 from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon with a degree . . . more >>

Graphic Nonfiction, or the arrival of political history and personal memoir
One of the more innovative areas where reading and comics have merged in the last twenty years or so has been the genre now very broadly labeled the graphic novel. A cousin to this type of book is the similarly published nonfiction comic in trade paperback and hardcover format. Bound comic series have traditionally been made available for the more serious and committed comic book readers and collectors. Nonfiction graphic books . . . more >>

John Updike, part 2: The Bech Books
Bech is a recurring character in Updike's short stories. These short stories have been gathered together into three books: Bech: A Book (1970), Bech Is Back (1982), and Bech at Bay (1998). The Complete Henry Bech (2001) contains all of Updike's Bech short stories, including His Oeuvre (2000). The story of Bech is decidedly lighter than of Rabbit. Henry Bech is a notably unproductive writer living his life within and around literary Manhattan. In some ways he functions . . . more >>

Michael Hague, part 1: The Illustrated Children's Classics
Michael Hauge (b 1948) is an important modern American illustrator of children's books. Some of his most notable work has been his work producing illustraed childre's editions of classics. In recent years he has also begun producing books in partnership with his wife as writer. Most recently he has begun to produce young adult fantasy adventure books beginning with In the Small . . . more >>

Aliter Lenticulam (Lentils Another Way aka Lentils with Coriander)
"Aliter lenticulam: coquis. Cum despumaverit porrum et coriandrum viride supermittis. (Teres) coriandri semen, puleium, laseris radicem, semen mentae et rutae, suffundis acetum, adicies mel, liquamine, aceto, defrito temperabis, adicies oleum, agitabis, si quid opus fuerit, mittis. Amulo obligas, insuper oleum viride mittis, piper aspargis et inferes." (Apicius, 192) more >>

Jordan Sonnenblick, venturing into the deep waters of adolescence
Jordan Sonnenblick is an eighth grade English teacher who has emerged as a writer of young adult fiction with a bite. Sonnenblick got his beginning as a writer in high school, actually Frank McCourt's creative writing class at Stuyvesant High School. McCourt, the author of Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, and Teacher Man, apparently recognized some potential in Sonnenblick because he was allowed to attend McCourt's . . . more >>

Alafiar Burke, an emerging author of legal thrillers
Alafair S. Burke, daughter of acclaimed crime fiction writer James Lee Burke, is an author, law professor, and legal commentator born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Alafair earned a degree in psychology before going on to attend and graduate from Stanford Law School. As a practicing attorney, she has served as a deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon for several years before . . . more >>

Jennifer Lee Carrell, a skilled blending of history and literary fiction
Jennifer Carrell Helenbolt, who continues to write under the pseudonym Jennifer Lee Carrell since her marriage in 2002, this fall published her debut mystery novel Interred with Their Bones. Carrell began her career as a writer beginning with a decision to attend graduate school to study English literature. Her decision was based on an expectation that the life of a professor would support, . . . more >>

C. J. Box, a master of the outdoor mystery
C. J. Box, a popular American writer of outdoor mysteries, currently lives in the area around Cheyenne, Wyoming. He has seven published novels, all set in Wyoming, with another coming out in January 2008 and they have all been critically well received. His professional recognition includes winning the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, . . . more >>

Philip K. Dick, the film adaptations of a master of speculative fiction
Philip Kindred Dick aka Philip K. Dick, born in 1928, was an American author who is most frequently recognized as writer of science fiction novels and stories. PKD aspired to a career in mainstream literature but his stylistic devices and subject material prevented the quality of his writing and the importance of his ideas from being widely recognized during his lifetime and left him . . . more >>

John Updike part 1, The Rabbit Books
John Updike is an American writer who was born in 1932 in Pennsylvania. Updike is renowned as a modern writer in English and particularly celebrated for the craftsmanship of his work. He is also relatively prolific having published, as of 2007, twenty-two novels, twelve short story collections, eight collections of his poetry, eleven collections of nonfiction prose, and six . . . more >>

David Clement-Davies, talking animals and pagan folklore
Clement-Davies is a British writer particularly known for his fantasy adventure novels. The critically best received of his novels are intended for young adult readers though there has been some crossover interest similar to what has been seen with the Harry Potter novels. Clement-Davies was born in London in 1964 though he spent his childhood in Wales. It was in Wales . . . more >>

Gabriel Cohen, an emerging writer of noir police procedural mysteries
Gabriel Cohen is a relative newcomer to the mystery genre. Though as a professional writer he has worked as a reporter, script reader, teacher, and researcher, his first novel Red Hook was only published in 2001. He had previously publications have included articles for The New York Times and Time Out New York as well as mystery short stories . . . more >>

The Collectability of Proofs and other Types of Advance Editions
When book collecting is discussed, one of the most frequent type of collecting that comes up is the collecting of 'First Editions'. The meaning of first edition is slightly different for book publishers than it is for collectors. Publishers consider a first edition as all copies of a book printed from substantially the same setting of printing type, including all the minor typographical variations . . . more >>

Christmas holiday food and drink from the works of Charles Dickens
"Heaped up on the floor, to form a king of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, suckling-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their . . . more >>

Beef Burgundy, Crackling Bread, Pice Ar Y Maen, Sevillian Yellow Plum Conserve, and Les Ioles (Writers' and Artists' recipes)
"Peel and sauté heavily twelve small onions in one half pound of thinly-sliced salt pork. When onions are done add twelve carrots and sauté slightly. Remove onions and carrots and throw into the pan two pounds of lean chuck beef cut into small cubes. When well browned put contents of pan, including all scrapings, into a casserole and add salt, pepper, bay thyme, garlic salt, celery seed, parsley flakes, . . . more >>

Dagoberto Gilb, a voice of the Southwest
A broader reading audience is beginning to recognize Dagoberto Gilb for his fearlessness, wit, and authenticity and originality of his voice. This is good news for readers since the literary community has been aware of his work for some time: Gilb has won a Whiting Writers Award, received Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters' Jesse Jones Award, . . . more >>

The 2007 Barry Award Winners for works published in 2006
The Barry Awards were created by Deadly Pleasures, the American premier fan-oriented mystery magazine and named in honor of Barry Gardner, a noted fan reviewer. The Barry Awards are currently being given out every Summer at the Boucheron World Mystery Convention. For a book to be eligible for a Barry Award, it must be published in English. For a book to be eligible for the British Crime Novel category, . . . more >>

Robert M. Utley, acclaimed historian of the American West'
Robert Utley is the former Chief Historian and Assistant Director of the National Park Service and recognized as a leading historian of the American West as well as a major pioneer public historian. He is also a founding member and former president of the Western Historical Association. The quality of his work as a historian has lead to the creation of the Robert M. Utley Book Award . . . more >>

Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call, and 'The Neverland Books'
Dave Barry is a syndicated humor comumnist who has also written about thirty books and has won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. His books Dave Barry Turns 40 and Dave Barry's Greatest Hits have been used as the basis for the TV sitcom Dave's World. He was born in New York. Initially he worked as a reporter and business writing instructor for a business consulting firm. In 1983 . . . more >>

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
Rick Riordan is a successful and critically well-received mystery writer living in the San Antonio, Texas area with his wife and two sons. He is best known to adult readers for his Tres Navarre series of mysteries starring a former Berkeley professor now working as a private investigator in his native San Antonio. The series is noted for gritty, suspensful style. The market success of Riordan's Tres Navarre thrillers . . . more >>

Rosa Martha Villarreal, Tejana author, editor and publisher
Rosa Martha Villarreal, born in Texas, is descended from several Spanish founding families of early colonies in Northern Mexico in the 1500s. Viallrreal began her college education initially a pre-med major at San Jose State University in California. Eventually she received undergraduate degrees in Botany and English as well as a Masters Degree in English, having changed her college major . . . more >>

Paulette Jiles, Missouri poet and writer
Poet and writer Paulette Jiles was born (1943) and raised in Salem, Missouri, a town set within in the Missouri Ozarks. After earning a degree in Spanish Literature from the University of Illinois she moved to Canada in 1969, and now has dual citizenship with Canada. She spent eventually spent ten years in Canada. In 1974, while working as a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. journalist, . . . more >>

James Lee Burke, a thriller writer with New Orleans connections
James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his two mystery series featuring the Louisiana police detective Dave Robicheaux and the Texas ex-sheriff turned lawyer Billy Bob Holland. Burke was born in 1936 in Houston, Texas and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He worked at a variety of jobs before beginning to write. His first book was published in 1965 but it was not until the 1989 . . . more >>

Michael Hoeye's Hermux Tantamoq adventures
The children's book industry is primarily driven by young readers' almost insatiable appetite for books. At the same time, for writers, it is a highly competitive genre where publishers are swamped with author queries which results in only a small fraction of aspiring authors being published. This limited access to the marketplace can be overcome by authors willing to take on . . . more >>

Downfall aka Der Untergang, a major film about the Second World War
This is a brief digression not directly related to books. I have read fairly heavily about the 'Dark Valley' of the 1930s (borrowing the phrase from Piers Brendon's deeply interesting book on the subject). I think this interest is sparked in part as a reaction to the loss of living history as the generation of the 1930s rapidly begins to disappear. Beyond the sense of loss with the passing . . . more >>

Omelette Aurore by Alice B. Toklas, Artists' and Writers' Recipes
"Beat 8 eggs with a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Prepare the omelet in the usual manner. Before folding it, place on it 1 cup diced candied fruit and small pieces of marrons glacés which have soaked for several hours in 2 tablespoons of curaçao. Fold the omelet to keep the fruit in place . . . more >>

Michael Harvey, debut of a noir thriller writer
Michael Harvey's first novel The Chicago Way will be released in August 2007. It is a noir thriller featuring a former Chicago cop named Michael Kelly who has become a private detective. He is hired by his former police partner to help solve a case of rape and battery. The case has remained for eight years because the ex-partner had been ordered to forget about it . . . more >>

John Graves and the Texas literary heritage
John Graves was a native Texan, born and educated there. Though he traveled for a brief period after graduating from college, in 1958 he returned to Texas. It was here that the core of his being as a writer developed. He had been familiar with the Trinity River as a child and in 1957 deliberately took a canoe trip down the Brazos River when the river was threatened . . . more >>

Dave Oliphant, Texan poet and Jazz historian
Dave Oliphant is a native Texan poet, a recently retired (2006) professor at the University of Texas in Austin, a noted writer on the history of Jazz in Texas, and editor/publisher of Prickly Pear Press. The newest book by Dave Oliphant is Jazz Mavericks of the Lone Star State (2007). It is a collection of sixteen published and previously unpublished essays on . . . more >>

Betty Crocker, the origins of an American pop culture icon
Betty Crocker has been a widely recognizable Pop Culture icon in the US since the 1930s. The facts that she has never existed as a real person and while at the same time representing the marketing arm of General Mills has not and should not detract from cookbook collectors' interest in Betty Crocker cookbooks and related emphemera. Students of American social and . . . more >>

2007 Barry Award nominations
The nominees for the 2007 Barry Awards have been announced. The Barry Awards were created by "Deadly Pleasures," the American premier fan-oriented mystery magazine and named in honor of Barry Gardner, a noted fan reviewer. Finalists are selected by a nominating committee and voted on by the readers of "Mystery News" and "Deadly Pleasures" . . . more >>

Mark Busby, Texas editor and author
Dr. Mark Busby, a native Texan, is the director of the Southwest Regional Humanities Center, the director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest, and a professor of English at Texas State University-San Marcos. Dr. Busby is noted for his writings on the modern literature of the American West. Most notably, he is the author of . . . more >>

Modern Mystery Genres, proliferation in popular fiction styles
Any inclination to relagate a particular book or author to one particular genre or another becomes significantly more difficult if the writer is recognized for his literary writing. The more recognized the literary merit a work has, the less likely it is to be stereotyped into a conventional genre. Writers that come to mind with this type of reputation are are John le Carre . . . more >>

Mystery writer Michael Connelly, master of 'hard-boiled' mysteries
Michael Connelly is an American author of modern mystery novels noted for his "hard-boiled" mystery style, heavily influenced by Connelly's admiration of Raymond Chandlers mysteries. Spring 2007 marked the release of The Overlook, Connelly's 13th Harry Bosch novel (and 18th published mystery novel). Connelly began his writing career, after a receiving a degree in journalism in 1980, . . . more >>

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