Book review: War on Peace by Ronan Farrow

War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence by Ronan Farrow My rating: 4 of 5 stars Diplomacy? No idea where that is. Do they have any schools that we can bomb there? In War on Peace, Ronan Farrow argues that since the end of the Cold War, the USA … Continue reading Book review: War on Peace by Ronan Farrow

Literary Icons You NEED to Know From the Harlem Renaissance

For Black History Month, It’s Lit! are discussing the Harlem Renaissance, a movement I was completely unaware of until now. In the video, Princess Weekes made a comment about Langston Hughes being taught in school. Well, maybe in some schools, but certainly not mine. This ties into a point she makes at the end of … Continue reading Literary Icons You NEED to Know From the Harlem Renaissance

Are Graphic Novels… Novels?

This month’s It’s Lit! dives into the world of graphic novels. Obviously, I’m a fan of graphic novels. I think that the format provides an interesting and engaging storytelling method. Sometimes I think of graphic novels as a step between novels and movies (storyboards anyone?). Other times I think of them as a great way … Continue reading Are Graphic Novels… Novels?

The Case for Fan Fiction

It’s Lit! is back and they have picked an easy subject to discuss: how Fan-Fic is actually awesome. I wouldn’t really say I got my start writing fan fiction. Sure, I wrote some stories loosely based upon MacGyver and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But I’d say they were more homages to… Okay, they … Continue reading The Case for Fan Fiction

We’ve stopped reading… Apparently.

Have you ever run across one of those opinion pieces where you understand exactly where the author is coming from but realise they are shaking the wrong end of the stick? Well, I found one of those pieces on how people have stopped reading novels. Apparently. The article starts strongly, outlining the evidence for the … Continue reading We’ve stopped reading… Apparently.

The top 10 books people claim to read but haven’t

There’s a famous quote from one of my favourite thinkers, Bertrand Russell, on reading. He posits that the two reasons for reading are for enjoyment and that you can boast about having read something. Let’s face it, he was correct. I’ve previously discussed the reading statistics that show we primarily read for enjoyment but also … Continue reading The top 10 books people claim to read but haven’t

School Literature

A recent article in The Conversation caused a bit of a stir. Titled Old white men dominate school English booklists. It’s time more Australian schools taught Australian books it was bound to ruffle some easily offended feathers. The article itself was a fairly standard call for greater diversity in school texts. It’s an old discussion that … Continue reading School Literature

What even is literature?

Back a few years ago, the Nobel committee created a minor furore for awarding Bob Dylan – known for his performances in Hearts of Fire* and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid – a Nobel Prize in Literature. At the time, PBS Ideas Channel had an interesting take on this contentious topic. And as is … Continue reading What even is literature?

Book review: Choke by Stuart Woods

Choke by Stuart Woods My rating: 3 of 5 stars Given the title, you’d think at least one person would be strangled in this story. Former Wimbledon contender and now tennis club pro, Chuck Chandler, has moved to Key West after sleeping with the wrong person’s wife. Learning from his recent lesson, he starts sleeping … Continue reading Book review: Choke by Stuart Woods

Why did I have to read that book in high school?

This month Lindsay Ellis discusses the Literary Cannon, or how books become “worthy“, in It’s Lit. I swear that when I started posting these videos that I didn’t know the series would cover one of my pet topics. Worthiness, important books, snobbery, guilty pleasures, are all things I love to bang on about. This video … Continue reading Why did I have to read that book in high school?

Loving reading and book wardens

When do people start to hate reading? For us readers, the answer is “Never! How could you ask such a silly question? What’s wrong with you? Do you even book, bro?” But the reality is that a significant chunk of the population have not read a book in the last year, and/or aren’t regular readers. … Continue reading Loving reading and book wardens

Are e-readers filled with garbage?

Every now and then I like to look back through older posts on my blog. It’s a form of masochism built upon equal parts fascination with forgotten ideas and revulsion at missed typos and awkwardly phrased run on sentences that really don’t know when to end, that should have ended sooner, and aren’t something I … Continue reading Are e-readers filled with garbage?

Can you name a book?

Sounds like a simple challenge, right? Name a book, any book at all. In the long tradition of asking Americans general knowledge questions on the street and filming their glorious ignorance, I present this video from Jimmy Kimmel. Before we all laugh and point at the Americans and insult their intelligence, let’s remember that you … Continue reading Can you name a book?

The Art of Comics

Do you like comics? I’m not talking about movies based on comics. I’m not talking about comic fandom that can only be solved Utopia style. I’m talking about the art of storytelling that only the mix of art and narrative can manage. How Utopia deals with comic fans: I have previously discussed how some fail … Continue reading The Art of Comics

Writing in Western Australia

Two months ago (November 2017) the Western Australian Government released its Writing Sector Review. Okay, most of the readers here are international, so you’re probably shrugging your shoulders and reaching for an atlas – atlases are still a thing, right? But after my recent post on support for the arts (I was in favour as … Continue reading Writing in Western Australia

Literary Fiction in Crisis

Literary Fiction in Crisis was the headline lede for a series of articles in The Guardian last month. Long known as a balanced and inclusive arts publication (/sarcasm) they sought to highlight a serious problem and a solution for literary fiction. In case you haven’t heard, people aren’t reading literary fiction. Book sales are dropping. … Continue reading Literary Fiction in Crisis

Book Review: The Call of Cthulhu by HP Lovecraft

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft My rating: 4 of 5 stars Why choose the lesser evil? Vote Cthulhu. Francis Thurston starts fossicking through his uncle’s things and discovers some notes and a carving. Fascinated, he searches high and low to uncover the origins of the carving. Soon he is traversing the world to … Continue reading Book Review: The Call of Cthulhu by HP Lovecraft

Let’s bash the ‘airport’ novel

Do you like backhanded compliments? Do you like to make basic mistakes and misrepresentations of the entertainment industry? Well, you’ll love this article by Nick Cohen. The genius of bad books By Nick Cohen From James Bond to Jack Reacher, we’re suckers for an uncomplicated hero. But there is an art to the action novel, … Continue reading Let’s bash the ‘airport’ novel

Who Reads?

Us readers know how awesome we are. And if we ever socially interacted with people everyone would realise that. We also want to know that we’re not alone. In a holistic sense. Obviously alone in the physical sense because otherwise, someone would try to interrupt our reading. Sensing our need for connection to a nationwide … Continue reading Who Reads?

That isn’t literature too

I recently reblogged an article from The Conversation about how awesome the Harry Potter books are, but how snobby (some?) literary people are about them. The vitriol and chastisement of the Harry Potter books remind me of a time when I too was not on the Potter bandwagon. Oh, how wrong I was. Stupid kid’s … Continue reading That isn’t literature too