Scott D. Southard http://wkar.org en Book Review: 'Forgiving the Angel' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-forgiving-angel <p></p><p>We all leave a legacy after we shuffle off this mortal coil, but its size and influence isn’t decided by us. That power is in the hands of those we leave behind. Few writers have made as great an impact in literature as Franz Kafka. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:16:21 +0000 Scott D. Southard 56492 at http://wkar.org Book Review: 'Forgiving the Angel' Book Review: 'Love in the Time of Cholera' by Gabriel García Márquez http://wkar.org/post/book-review-love-time-cholera-gabriel-garc-m-rquez <p></p><p></p><p>“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.” And with that poignant line, Gabriel Garcia Marquez begins his masterpiece “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:31:56 +0000 Scott D. Southard 55823 at http://wkar.org Book Review: 'Love in the Time of Cholera' by Gabriel García Márquez Book Review: Matthew Bell's latest novel http://wkar.org/post/book-review-matthew-bells-latest-novel <p></p><p></p><p>Sometimes the literary world can suffer from a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. We all know this story made famous by Hans Christian Andersen, of the ridiculous Emperor tricked into wearing nothing and the underlings around him too afraid to point out that he is only in his underwear. In the mind of the Emperor he is adorned in the greatest attire, but in reality there isn’t much left for the imagination. Thu, 15 May 2014 17:32:37 +0000 Scott D. Southard 53735 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Matthew Bell's latest novel Book Review: Kurt Vonnegut: Novels 1976-1985 http://wkar.org/post/book-review-kurt-vonnegut-novels-1976-1985 <p></p><p></p><p>Listen: One of my writing heroes is Kurt Vonnegut and for four years I had his home phone number sitting on my desk. That blessed number was a present from a friend of mine and every day it taunted me, teased me. When Vonnegut died in 2007, I threw the number away. I never had the guts to call it. So it goes.</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 17:33:30 +0000 Scott D. Southard 53044 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Kurt Vonnegut: Novels 1976-1985 Book Review: 'The Way North' edited by Ron Riekki http://wkar.org/post/book-review-way-north-edited-ron-riekki <p></p><p></p><p>Reviewing a literary collection can feel a lot like reviewing a local talent show.</p><p></p><p>It can be hard to sum up the entire experience, since every act is unique, and it is unfair to compare the performers to each other; even though we all do it, no matter what the focus of the talent show is or the age of those involved. And like that talent show, literary collections tend to have their writers who take your breath away and make you lean forward in your chair, as well as the ones who make you wonder what you’re missing on TV. "The Way North" is a collection showcasing some of the leading voices in the Upper Peninsula literary movement. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:46:44 +0000 Scott D. Southard 52320 at http://wkar.org Book Review: 'The Way North' edited by Ron Riekki Book Review: Matthew Quick's 'The Good Luck of Right Now' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-matthew-quicks-good-luck-right-now <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>Believing in a destiny can be very addicting. It can add security, and maybe even help the world feel like less of a harsh place. But how do you tell the difference between destiny, luck and just the pure happenstance of living? In Matthew Quick’s new novel <a href="http://matthewquickwriter.com/novels/the-good-luck-of-right-now/">“The Good Luck of Right Now”</a> he takes on this question through the character of Bartholomew Neil. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 16:32:20 +0000 Scott D. Southard 51639 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Matthew Quick's 'The Good Luck of Right Now' Book Review: Jim Harrison's 'Brown Dog: Novellas' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-jim-harrisons-brown-dog-novellas <p></p><p></p><p>In Michigan one of the things we all accept are the supposed differences between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. The stereotypes haunt the residents of both regions: rural versus urban; those who are stressed versus those who are relaxed; those happy with money versus those happy in long underwear. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:37:49 +0000 Scott D. Southard 49970 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Jim Harrison's 'Brown Dog: Novellas' Book Review: Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-donna-tartts-goldfinch <p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman',serif">Literature is a living art form.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman',serif">Yes, books are printed out of dead forests and each story comes with its own customized ending or demise, but that is never really the end. Mythologist Joseph Campbell used to argue that all stories are variations on one story, what he called the hero</span>’<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman',serif">s journey. I always thought of that as a beautiful theory, creating a nice feeling of unity to all tales, everywhere, no matter the culture of origin.</span></p><p><span lang="NL" style="font-family:'Times New Roman',serif">I like to picture literature as a great tree with hundreds of branches. If one of the branches on that literary tree was Charles Dickens, the next one branching off from it would be Donna Tartt.</span> Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:51:44 +0000 Scott D. Southard & Current State 48981 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' Book Review: Morag Joss' 'Our Picnics in the Sun' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-morag-joss-our-picnics-sun <p></p><p>We live in a loud world. Our movies are loud. Our TV shows are loud, and the commercials are even louder. And sadly now, even our books are loud, filled with as many explosions and gunshots as any blockbuster film could ever hope to have. So in a bombastic world like ours, how does a quiet book like “Our Picnics in the Sun” by Morag Joss find publication? Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:25:55 +0000 Scott D. Southard 48048 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Morag Joss' 'Our Picnics in the Sun' Book Review: Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-charles-dickens-christmas-carol <p></p><p></p><p>We as a culture owe Charles Dickens a big apology. War on Christmas? Ha! It’s nothing compared to the outright torture we have done to his “A Christmas Carol” since its publication in 1843. Fri, 20 Dec 2013 16:20:37 +0000 Scott D. Southard 46971 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' Book Review: Wally Lamb's 'We Are Water' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-wally-lambs-we-are-water <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Do you remember 2009?</span></p><p>Barack Obama was just elected, those on the left were ecstatic, the right was growing in anger, everyone was concerned about the financial crisis, avatars and transformers were in the movie theaters, and everyone was listening to Beyonce.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Author Wally Lamb hasn’t forgotten that lost year and tries to capture the essence and feeling of the country during 2009 in his new book, “We Are Water.”</span></p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:39:18 +0000 Scott D. Southard 46602 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Wally Lamb's 'We Are Water' Book Review: Mitch Albom's 'The First Phone Call from Heaven' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-mitch-alboms-first-phone-call-heaven <p>Picture a bookstore as an all-you-can-eat buffet. Can you see it? There is the salad bar, the pasta, the breakfast area with the waffle maker, the giant slab of ham or beef. Okay, let’s skip all the healthy things and aim for the dessert table. You know how at every buffet there is that one enormous piece of chocolate cake? Well, for me, Mitch Albom’s books have always been that piece of cake. Wed, 27 Nov 2013 15:39:52 +0000 Scott D. Southard 45897 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Mitch Albom's 'The First Phone Call from Heaven' Book Review: Dave Eggers’ ‘The Circle’ http://wkar.org/post/book-review-dave-eggers-circle <p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0in;"><font face="Times New Roman, serif">Who owns a story?</font></p><p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0in;"><font face="Times New Roman, serif">It’s a more complicated answer than you might imagine, especially in the freedom of today’s internet age where everything seems to be becoming more and more connected. Thu, 14 Nov 2013 18:23:25 +0000 Scott D. Southard 45288 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Dave Eggers’ ‘The Circle’ Book review: Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Halloween Tree’ http://wkar.org/post/book-review-ray-bradbury-s-halloween-tree <div>Christmas has "A Christmas Carol", "It’s a Wonderful Life", "Miracle on 34th Street", Halloween has…</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Yes, Halloween has a collection of monsters stolen from black-and-white horror movies and a long history with witches and the like, but when it comes to an actual story, a fable to be brought out each year with the pumpkins, the holiday is sadly lacking.</div><div> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 16:56:41 +0000 Scott D. Southard 44597 at http://wkar.org Book review: Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Halloween Tree’ Book review: 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-ocean-end-lane <p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</p><p style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">Pure escapism entertainment is a hard trick to pull off in today’s fast world.</span> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 16:17:23 +0000 Scott D. Southard 44261 at http://wkar.org Book review: 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' Book Review: Banned Books Week http://wkar.org/post/book-review-banned-books-week <p></p><p></p><p>This is Banned Book Week, where once again we stop to think about our first amendment rights and think about the books that are kicked out of our libraries and schools. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 18:17:56 +0000 Scott D. Southard 42910 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Banned Books Week Book review: Holly Black's 'The Coldest Girl in Coldtown' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-holly-blacks-coldest-girl-coldtown <p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>I have never understood the whole vampire thing (and that’s apart from my personal distaste of them). If an alien was to rocket past our planet and spy just a fraction of our entertainment, they would think we were taken over by the undead. &nbsp;They are everywhere—books, TV, movies—you can’t escape them and it seems a lot of us wouldn’t want to anyway.</p><p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 17:36:42 +0000 Scott D. Southard 42124 at http://wkar.org Book review: Holly Black's 'The Coldest Girl in Coldtown' Book Review: 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice http://wkar.org/post/book-review-200th-anniversary-pride-and-prejudice <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, once wrote, “Every time I read </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Pride and Prejudice</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” The </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">her</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in that sentence is, of course, author Jane Austen. &nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 17:36:22 +0000 Scott D. Southard 41494 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Lori Nelson Speilman’s ‘The Life List’ http://wkar.org/post/book-review-lori-nelson-speilman-s-life-list <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I never liked the book description, “women’s fiction.”</span></p><p>It is the literary equivalent of the pink aisle in toy stores, no boys allowed. The funny thing is I have yet to see a book described as men’s fiction, but I am assuming it would involve fast cars, loose women and a lot of laser guns.</p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 18:59:24 +0000 Scott D. Southard 40705 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Lori Nelson Speilman’s ‘The Life List’ Book Review: J.K. Rowling's 'The Cuckoo's Calling' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-jk-rowlings-cuckoos-calling <p></p><p></p><p><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 1.5;">Publishers, libraries and book stores like to pigeonhole writers into neat little boxes. Write one fantasy novel and you wear that mantle for the rest of your career. Same goes for romance and science fiction and on and on. Some writers happily wear their personal albatross, others fight it.</span></p><p class="Body"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; line-height: 1.5;">J.K. Rowling is an author who fights it.</span></p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 21:11:52 +0000 Scott D. Southard 40036 at http://wkar.org Book Review: J.K. Rowling's 'The Cuckoo's Calling' Book Review: Steve Hamilton's 'Let It Burn' http://wkar.org/post/book-review-steve-hamiltons-let-it-burn <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lansing-based writer&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Scott </span>Southard<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;chose as his first book review,&nbsp;</span></em><a href="http://www.authorstevehamilton.com/let_it_burn/index.htm" style="line-height: 1.5;">Let It Burn</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">,</span><em style="line-height: 1.5;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;by Steve Hamilton.&nbsp;</span></em></p><p>I am a book nerd and what that means is I love to get in debates with fellow readers and writers.</p><p>These are not the merely “did you or did you not like a book” discussions. No, these can be deeper, getting into the heart and state of our beloved artform today. And one of the points I like to bring up from time to time is the influence of TV on books.</p><p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 17:55:42 +0000 Scott D. Southard 38505 at http://wkar.org Book Review: Steve Hamilton's 'Let It Burn'