Written by Nicki Leone Monday, 28 May 2012 13:48
Beginning June 16th, the BookBalloon forum will embark on an odyssey of its own when it begins an extended group read of James Joyce's Ulysses—the one book in the English language that no one wants to read on their own. We'll cover a new chapter every couple of weeks until we reach the end of our journey—which may take the rest of the year. If your copy has been languishing unread on your shelf, now is the time to take it down, dust it off, and take the plunge into what we often call the greatest novel in the English language, although we are often hard put to explain precisely why.
Join us in the forum June 16. Yes we say yes you will yes.
Written by Nicki Leone Monday, 28 May 2012 13:47
Wiley Cash, whose debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home has become a break-away bestseller, will be visiting BookBalloon from June 26 - 28. He'll be on hand to talk about his new book, answer questions, respond to criticisms and generally put himself in the line of fire. A normal reading in a bookstore might last two hours. A radio interview, thirty minutes. But Wiley will be at BookBalloon for three days, brave soul.
"I didn’t sleep well after I finished A Land More Kind Than Home because I kept thinking, All childhoods are not the same. Cruelty and innocence dwell together and always will. I can just imagine the intense work -- and the love -- that has gone into this." —Gail Godwin
About the book:
Faith is supposed to shield children from the horrors of the world, but one Sunday nine-year-old Jess Hall watches as his autistic brother is called into a little church in the mountains of North Carolina. What happens next forces Jess to question everything he once believed about his family and his faith. Clem Barefield, the local sheriff, arrives to find a group of charismatic believers who are unwilling to utter a word about the things Jess has seen. At the center of the mystery is Carson Chambliss, a snake handling ex-convict turned preacher whose past is just as mysterious as the power he claims to possess.
A Land More Kind Than Home has been compared to the works of John Hart and Tom Franklin, and is a literary thriller steeped in Southern small-town tradition that explores the ties that knit a community together, and the secrets that can break it apart. "I deeply love my native state of North Carolina," says the author, "especially its mountains. I hope my love for this region is evident in A Land More Kind than Home's portrayal of western North Carolina's people, culture, and religious faith."Decide for yourself. Join us for a discussion with Wiley Cash June 26 - 28.
Written by Katharine Weber Thursday, 10 May 2012 00:00
Join us for something a little different in the One Story at a Time thread -- flash fiction. "Currents" by Hannah Bottomy is a very short story – only 292 words – making it a wonderful exemplar of the nonstandard and powerful things that can be achieved in a work of flash fiction. Discussion starts Monday, May 14th.
Written by Katharine Weber Monday, 02 April 2012 00:00
First published in 1958, in issue #4 of Star Science Fiction Stories, this Fritz Leiber story of transformation and metamorphosis (though it has something of a minor cult following, in science fiction and fantasy circles and also among cat fiction obsessives) is a very different order of fiction, flowing from an intriguing narrative tributary far from the mainstream. It's an unusual story, one highly worthy of consideration here in the One Story at a Time thread. Discussion starts Monday, April 9th. Please read the story and join us!
Written by Nicki Leone Sunday, 01 April 2012 14:01
It’s National Poetry Month – Time to Write a Poem!
This month Book Balloon member Janet McAdams, is offering up a daily prompt for starting a poem in the Creative Writing thread on the forum. Just try to start a poem every day. You don’t have to finish them this month; you can finish them in May, June, and July.
Janet is the author of two poetry collections (The Island of Lost Luggage and Feral), teaches creative writing at Kenyon College, and edits the Earthworks Poetry Series from Salt Publishing.
Some of the prompts will be subject-based and some will suggest formal strategies for starting a poem (She promises she’ll get to limericks!). This coming Wednesday's Poetry Prompter will be poet (and fiction writer and librettist) Lara Candland. There may have a few more surprise guests before the month is over.
The first prompt is "a simple exercise in writing an autobiographical poem.":
You’ll want to come up with a handful of key phrases like “When I was five. . . .” “ When I was fourteen. . . .” “When I was twenty-three. . .” and so forth. Three phrases will do, but five is probably better, and perhaps more, depending upon how old you are.
In coming up with these phrases, choose years (ages) of significance in your life. Use each phrase as a prompt to help you write about an important time in your life. You might want to describe a key incident or person or place in response to each prompting phrase. Don’t worry about making the different parts of your poem parallel or of equal lengths.
And don’t overthink it—just write. Tell some lies if you need to. As Frank O’Hara said, “You just go on your nerve. If someone's chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don't turn around and shout, ‘Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.’"
Read more at the "Go to the thread" Thread.
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