Books Archive

On Building Believable Characters in Fiction

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Before I picked up a copy of Offshore last month, it had been years since I read Penelope Fitzgerald, a British author who didn’t start writing until she was in her sixties. But the characters in this Booker Prize-winning novel caught my attention and I soon became completely emerged

Challenging Cultural Norms: Contemporary British Women Authors

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I realized what I’d been searching for all along. An avid reader, I absorbed a variety of books during my childhood and adolescence. These were carefully screened by my well-meaning but stifling folks, who paled at the thought me reading

The Passionate Lives of Writers and Readers

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When my husband and I moved in together, one of the biggest challenges we faced was how to merge our TV-watching styles. For my husband, if the TV is on, you’re actively watching something. For me, if the TV is on, it means you’re home. (I need some kind

Since Feeling is First: Elements of Craft to Express Emotion

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Emotions, feelings, desires—whatever you choose to call them—are central to writing. e.e. cummings wrote “since feeling is first / who pays any attention / to the syntax of things / will never wholly kiss you.” But how do we pay attention to syntax while retaining feeling? There are countless

A Year Spent Reading 100 Books

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I write New Year’s resolutions every year, though I really ought to know better. Run every day, floss regularly, stop eating donuts: it’s the stuff of fantasy. In 2014 I spared myself the usual set-ups for failure in favor of a more exotic set-up for failure: I resolved to

How Books Brought Me Back into the World

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My parents worried about me when I was young. They clipped out articles with titles like “What To Do When Your Child Doesn’t Speak” and strongly encouraged me to interact with the other kids in my nursery school and kindergarten classes. When my kindergarten teacher suggested to my parents

Lit GIFs: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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It’s winter here in Iowa, which makes my Floridian self wish for seasonal time travel. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve come to realizing this dream is watching Back to the Future and reading H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine.

The Ploughshares Round-Down: The Ebook is Dead. Long Live the Ebook.

Author: | Categories: Publishing, Round-Up No comments
One of the best parts of being a book editor is that it gives you a magic power. You take a Microsoft Word file, wave your hand over it and say, “Now it’s a book.” And it’s a book. Up until that moment, it’s just words and ideas, and

How to Read Derek Jeter: On The Devil’s Snake Curve by Josh Ostergaard

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The Devil’s Snake Curve: A Fan’s Notes From Left Field Josh Ostergaard Coffee House Press, 2014 253 pages $15.95 Buy: book | ebook Of course every history is subjective, but Josh Ostergaard starts his from an intriguing place by broadcasting his subjectivity. Devil’s Snake Curve is Ostergaard’s American history

Why I’m One Bad—But Well-Read—Feminist

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It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like an adequate representation of “feminist.” When I married my husband a little over seven years ago, I barely waited a month before giving notice at my full-time job so I could give full-time freelancing a try. Since then, I’ve slowly become ever