Barbara Kingsolver: Flight Behavior

I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior and I thought it would be fun do a book review and talk about what I liked about the book from a writing perspective. My first reaction: I liked this book.

I could completely identify with the main character, Dellarobia. Kingsolver did a fantastic job of showing us her life without laying on the melodrama. This character was very aware of how her decisions had landed her in a stale marriage with two kids and a dissatisfying stint as a stay at home mom. She blames no one, she doesn’t feel sorry for herself, she simply lays out the facts of what has gotten her there and how she feels about her situation. Including how she feels when she runs toward, and wants to embrace, big mistakes. But that’s not all.

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In Review: Watch Me Go

Almost a year ago, I read Mark Wisniewski‘s short story “Straightaway” and was bowled over by how he created white-knuckle tension. Well, have I got good news! That conflict packed tale has grown into a novel titled Watch Me Go and it’s even more hair raising than the original short story.

In “Straightaway” our main character, a young black man from the Bronx, is hauling junk for cash and gets tangled up in the removal of a 55 gallon drum from the crawlspace of house in the middle of nowhere. The premise alone is enough to elevate your blood pressure. Now, enter the extended version, Watch Me Go, and Wisniewski introduces the horse racing culture of upstate New York, and a new character, Jan, whose father was a renown jockey until his early death.

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2014 List of Books That Changed How I Write

Every year, I attempt to read one book per week, and I’m sad to report that this year I didn’t make it despite giving it my best try. Inevitably, some of the books I read will inform my own writing, and the ones that do tend to shock the pants off of me. This year, was no different. Yes, I read more than four books this year, but these represent the books I read in 2014 that changed how I write.

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