Image from: Flickr Science Fiction and Fantasy seems to always get a bum rap, always seems to be the child in the corner, when in actuality, without Science Fiction, many of our technological advancements would not have been achieved.  Think about it for a moment: –Moon landings. –Submarines –Space Travel –Cell Phones   Where would we be today if the writers of the fantastic did not believe these things were possib...

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Ash is a retelling of Cinderella and in the right hands, retellings can be amazing, just as Ash was. I LOVED the twist that the author made to give this enduring fairy tale a modern take. As I’ve constantly maintained while writing Scranton Page Turner, one of the huge advantages of working in a public library is the constant flow of books coming in and out. I get to see so much reading material, much more than I would if I didn’t ...

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I’ve written about Jonathan Carroll before at Scranton Page Turner.  Clicking on his name will bring you to my previous entry.  Carroll does it again. He has written another magical piece of literature. Teaching the Dog to Read touches on all that is quintessential Carroll: Death Love Philosophy Talking Dogs   It’s all here.  At less than one hundred pages, Teaching the Dog… is no less a masterpiece then many of Carroll’...

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Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger In 2009, this book caught my attention, as I’m a huge fan of time travel stories.  I cracked the cover and was immediately enthralled.  Claire and Henry are time crossed lovers.  What I found completely fascinating about Time Traveler’s Wife is the mechanics behind time travel in this story.  It is NOT what you’d believe it to be.  I will leave it at that. Emotional, thrilling and surprising this book ca...

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Robert McCammon is a writer I read during a fantasy phase I went through several years ago.  Boys Life and Gone South are two of my favorites although I’ve read others by McCammon.   Boy’s Life Image from: Wikipedia This is likely Robert McCammon’s quintessential book, the novel that put him on the map.  Boy’s life is a fantastic tale of family and loss.  The novel takes place in Zephyr, Alabama.  The protagonist, a young boy named Cory is wor...

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Moon Dance SP Somtow     Moon Dance is a story of a werewolf clan raised in Eastern Europe who escape their homeland for fear of persecution. Does that sound familiar?  This is why I love dark fantasy when done right.  The stories are all merely allegorical.  For those who shun this genre I implore you yet again to read one of my recommends here at Scranton Page Turner and look for the deeper meaning behind the fantastical story the write...

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What Dreams May Come Richard Matheson   Image from: Wikipedia I read Matheson’s What Dreams May Come originally in the early 1990s and the book had such an impact on me that it changed my entire perspective on Life and Death.  There have not been too many books that have had such life altering experiences for me.  What Dreams May Come is on a very short list of such books.  This book should be on EVERYONE’S shortlist of books to read in their ...

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A new Jonathan Carroll book always warms my literary heart.  Mr Carroll is one of the few authors whose books I will buy sight unseen.  A few weeks ago, on October 21st when I returned from dinner I received an email from Jonathan Carroll’s website telling me his new book Bathing the Lion was out in stores.  On my way back to work at the Scranton Library in Madison I made a detour across the street to RJ Julia Booksellers so I could hope beyon...

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September was a wash.  Didn’t get around to writing my columns for September.  It’s the first time I missed the schedule and I apologize for that.  I’m going to a bi-weekly schedule.  These columns will be publishing now the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month to the best of my ability.   Today let’s talk about an old favorite of mine.   Dean Koontz is an author I’ve read consistently in the past.  Haven’t read much of his recent fiction...

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Clive Barker has been a favorite writer of mine since I discovered Weaveworld in 1987. Weaveworld is one of my favorite books of ALL time.  And it is one of the few books I’ve re-read.  In fact it became an annual ritual that at the end of EVERY school year while I attended Southern Connecticut State University that as a release I would pick that book up and read it.   I treasure Weaveworld to such a degree that I own multiple copies of t...

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Why Science Fiction
Essay , Science Fiction/Fantasy / August 24, 2016

Image from: Flickr Science Fiction and Fantasy seems to always get a bum rap, always seems to be the child in the corner, when in actuality, without Science Fiction, many of our technological advancements would not have been achieved.  Think about it for a moment: –Moon landings. –Submarines –Space Travel –Cell Phones   Where would we be today if the writers of the fantastic did not believe these things w...

What Do You Do With A Problem
Childrens , Fiction , Spiritual / August 17, 2016

I’m so happy to see that more books are being written with a focus on children solving their “problems” with finding the gift instead of focusing on the “problem.” What Do You Do With A Problem The illustrations in this allegory are perfect for the story as they are drawn as an ominous shadow, a coming storm cloud and as the cover shows, a young boy battling a rainstorm with an inside out umbrella.   As the author suggests, ther...

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash is a retelling of Cinderella and in the right hands, retellings can be amazing, just as Ash was. I LOVED the twist that the author made to give this enduring fairy tale a modern take. As I’ve constantly maintained while writing Scranton Page Turner, one of the huge advantages of working in a public library is the constant flow of books coming in and out. I get to see so much reading material, much more than I would if I did...

Rivers, Lost Cities and Caves
Adventure , Non Fiction , Politics , Travel / August 3, 2016

The River of Doubt Candice Millard After his U.S. Presidential defeat in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt wasn’t about to sit still.  For his next phase in his life, he opted to travel down a tributary The Amazon River; one that was uncharted.  Facing danger and imminent death at every turn, Roosevelt accomplished a goal that many thought was surely to fail.  This quite a rousing tale, one that was a definite page turner.  Every page left me...

Ernest Hemingway
Classics , Fiction / July 20, 2016

Hemingway happens to be one of my favorite “classic” writers.  I believe I’ve read most of his novels at least two times over.   Image from: Pixabay Of course, everyone knows: The Old Man and the Sea as that is one of the ubiquitous books everyone should have read by the time they graduate from high school.  It was actually the first of Hemingway’s many books that I read.  In the eighth grade while looking to diversify my readin...

Tuck Everlasting
Childrens , Classics , Fiction / July 13, 2016

Tuck Everlasting Natalie Babbitt This is one of my all time favorite children’s books.  I’ve read it almost as often as I’ve read Weaveworld by Clive Barker.  Tuck Everlasting at its core is a story about family and the lengths one will go through to protect family.  On another level, the story tells the blessing and the curse of immortality and not only immortality, but being immortal at one age.   The Tuck family find this ble...

Filling Your Bucket
Childrens , Non Fiction / July 6, 2016

You know that saying: If only i knew then what I know now?   I’ve thought that since I discovered what we think is reflected back to us.  If we see negative situations, that’s the life we will lead, that’s what will show up and it will further drag us down in an unending spiral of despair.     Well, here’s a way to help the next generation understand that being negative and taking someone else’s happiness will not make the ...

Out of Captivity
Adventure , Non Fiction / June 15, 2016

I’ve written about survivors of plane crashes before at Scranton Page Turner here: Into the Abyss And here: An Adventure, Law of Attraction and a Lion     In February 2003 three American contractors, Marc Gonsalves, Tom Howes, and Keith Stansell were travelling to South America when their plane went down.  They survived the plane crash only to be captured and held hostage for over five years, by FARC.  At just under 5...

Cuba Strait
Crime , Destination Fiction , Fiction , Mystery / June 8, 2016

Cuba Strait by Carsten Stroud   is full of unexpected twists and turns.  This is the mark of a novelist at the top of his game.  I’ve enjoyed writers who write about Florida crime fiction since discovering Carl Hiaasen several years ago.   Carsten Stroud is another writer to look at specifically Cuba Strait if you like southern crime fiction.  Easy to get into, Cuba Strait had me hooked from the beginning.  An ex cop is bao...

Thunderstruck
Non Fiction , Science / June 1, 2016

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson   I’ve read most of Erik Larson’s books and Thunderstruck as with his other’s hooked me from the first page.  About the invention of wireless this book takes place primarily on the open water.  Thunderstruck tells the story of Guglielmo Marconi, a man obsessed with finding a new way to communicate while away from all known communication devices.  As with Larson’s Devil in the White City, he uses a mu...