Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2016 Cover Wide Range of Genres

As Americans, the First Amendment guarantees our freedom to read, and yet to this day, some books are banned. The American Library Association’s (ALA) top ten most challenged books in 2016 covered a wide range of genres: fiction, memoir, picture books, and graphic novels. (more…)

Why Do We Buy Books? Let Me Count 8 Reasons

Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg identified eight common reasons why people buy books. Instant gratification is at the top of the list. Compare these book-buying motivations with yours. (more…)

15 Most Memorable Lines from Movies

movienightsign-cindyfazziNot all great movies have memorable lines, and not all memorable lines come from great movies. But the latter stand the test of time because the quotes themselves live on.   (more…)

Top 10 Opening Sentences of Novels

fairoaksbooks-reliablewifeA novel’s first sentence is so important that Poets & Writers magazine devotes a section to the first lines of notable new books. In the same vein, I rounded up 10 of my favorite opening sentences. Each one is powerful, and the rest of the book delivers what the first sentence promises.  (more…)

Top 5 Film Reviews: Tribute to Robin Williams is Number One

Photo credit: bob in swamp via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Photo credit: bob in swamp via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

It’s that time of the year again—a time for roundups. In this article, I’m highlighting the five most popular film reviews posted on this blog. (more…)

The Giving Season: Top 10 Reasons Why Books Make Great Gifts

Photo by Vince Fazzi, December 2016.

(Photo by Vince Fazzi, December 2016)

Still looking for the perfect gift? An email I received from the Authors Guild listed 10 reasons why you should give books to your loved ones this holiday season—and all other occasions! (more…)

Five of the World’s Biggest Publishers Stay at the Top

fairoakslibrary-bookshelf-cindyfazzipicFive of the world’s biggest publishers, led by Pearson, the U.K.-based educational publishing company, maintained their positions on the Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly  annual ranking for 2015. (more…)

Top 10 Character Descriptions that Defy Elmore Leonard’s Writing Rule

The vivid character descriptions in “The Aviator’s Wife” by Melanie Benjamin are effective.

The vivid character descriptions in “The Aviator’s Wife” are effective.

When it comes to describing the physical qualities of your characters, how much is too much? Elmore Leonard advised writers to “avoid detailed descriptions of characters.” He used Ernest Hemingway’s work as an example. While the minimalist style of Hemingway and Raymond Carver can be very effective, there are many writers whose works show that descriptive writing can be equally powerful. (more…)

Which of These Banned Classic Books Have You Read?

greatgatsbycover-simonschusterForty-six out of the top 100 novels of the 20th century chosen by the esteemed Radcliffe Publishing Course at Columbia University have been banned or challenged, according to the American Library Association (ALA). (more…)

Top 10 Jobs in Literature: Characters with the Most Memorable Careers

Fahrenheit451Cover-CindyFazziSome of the most compelling characters in literature also have the most interesting careers. Their working lives drive them and their stories. Sure, you’ll find plenty of fire fighters in many novels, but there’s no one quite like Guy Montag, the fireman in Ray Bradbury’s classic dystopian novel, “Fahrenheit 451.”  Montag’s job is at the top of my list of memorable jobs in fiction. (more…)