Category Archives: Reading Journal

Comments and responses to things I’ve read.

IT by Stephen King: (how to write social commentary and still be entertaining)

“The task of a writer is not to solve a problem but to state the problem correctly.” — Anton Chekhov   It is a novel about an evil phantom clown who haunts a small Maine town called Derry. This evil clown, who … Continue reading

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Cujo by Stephen King (building realistic, intelligent characters)

In his memoirs, Stephen King says that he was so drunk when he wrote Cujo that he doesn’t even remember writing it—which is a shame because he says he likes Cujo. I have to say, this is absolutely astonishing that he was … Continue reading

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Updike and dominant metaphors

Another interesting thing I’d like to mention about John Updike is his use of the central metaphor. In Adam Begley’s biography, Updike, the young Updike is at Harvard taking lectures on Shakespeare from Harry Levin. And it’s at this early stage … Continue reading

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Updike, a biography by Adam Begley (writing about your life without ruining your relationships)

Adam Begley opens his biography of John Updike with one of my favorite anecdotes of the venerable and prolific author. In this story, a Time magazine reporter visits Updike’s home town seeking to write a profile of the place. He … Continue reading

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How to Read: Part 5 – John Updike’s 6 Rules for Constructive Criticism

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series How to Read

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that it has created a democracy of the masses. Anyone with an Amazon or a GoodReads account can be a book reviewer with the ability to influence a huge audience. Opinions about literature are … Continue reading

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