The Storyteller - Fiction Books!
Review by Jessica Dearborn
Tolucan Times / Canyon Crier - California
"The Storyteller, Volume I" by Martha Whittington
AuthorHouse, Paperback, 514 Pages, $24
When inspiration hits, it is usually followed closely by desire. A willingness to do
whatever it takes to explain your inspiration, to create a picture. For a writer, her
tool is her pen. Storytelling in and of itself can be quite a challenge. For example,
what are you going to talk about? What story are you going to tell? You must have a
beginning that truly grabs, a keeper climax in the middle, and a bring-it-all-back-
together-again, ending. And, the dialogue? you constantly find yourself asking,
"Do people really talk like that?" At that point you will either cringe, cry, laugh, or
simply allow yourself a few moments of madness as you do all of the above
mentioned, plus tear your only copy to mere scattered pieces of what used to be.
Foreboding as it may be, writing can also be individually and socially rewarding.
That is, if you should decide to tread through your insecurities and walk the
uncertain path to the publishing world. Many fear this path and will therefore, never
walk it. On the other hand, there are writers who are not afraid and not only do they
walk it, at times they skip. And this is due to having a few good stories to tell.
Besides, that's all a writer needs, anyway? a good story.
Martha Whittington has earned the right to tell her stories. She trekked around the
world in her early twenties, no doubt having her own adventures, making me
wonder where she has been and what she's seen during her travels. And with her
memories, experiences, and creativity, she has brought to the reader a colorful
novel filled with mystery and encourages every reader, with the turn of each page,
to utilize all of their imagination.
The author shares some of her tales in "The Storyteller, Volume I." It contains six
short stories titled: "The Fennigan Case," "A Unique Team," "The Hidden
Knowledge," "A Gifted Child," "The Witch," and "Sand." Although there is an obvious
lack of editing, and the language and grammar are careless, the stories are
compelling and are worth delving into. In "The Fennigan Case," two rookie reporters
are sent out on a last minute assignment that takes them through a walking
nightmare, and then they disappear. "A Unique Team" is centered on the
consequences of a man's choices. Within the pages of "The Hidden Knowledge,"
there is a teenaged boy who discovers he has a special gift that changes his entire
existence. In "A Gifted Child," a child is born with the kind of soul that when
combined with his discovered powers, he becomes less and less likely to be voted
as Mr. Popularity. "The Witch" is a tale of a malicious woman that terrorizes a small
town. And finally, "Sand" rejoices two brothers bond, and the perils they endure
throughout their travels. Whittington's storytelling ability is magical.
All the stories
are luring, some nail biting, and there are moments that are a little hair-raising. It
captures the readers' senses; inevitably questioning that in which you thought you
knew. Once you regain your composure, it's interesting to reflect on the story and
the characters that you've met. To assume you know where the story will take you is
na´ve. Martha Whittington is a naturally gifted writer and storyteller, and her work
deserves to be read and acknowledged. As for her courage of facing the unknown
world and the other world of publishing, she is fearless and inspiring.
The 2017 PEN Literary Awards will be presented at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on October 27, with the Lifetime Achievement Award going to Margaret Atwood.
The honorees are:
Fiction: Black Sheep Boy by Martin Pousson
Creative Nonfiction: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Research Nonfiction: The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts
Poetry: Look by Solmaz Sharif
Young Adult: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Translation: Confessions by Rabee Jaber, translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
Journalism: The White Flight of Derek Black by Eli Saslow
Drama: Roe, by Lisa Loomer
Annie Proulx will receive the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the awards ceremony on November 15. Anne Hathaway (who starred in the film adaptation of Brokeback Mountain) will present the award.
CNN reports on "the world's coolest bookstores from London to Los Angeles."
Bookstores, libraries and other organizations across the USA are preparing for Banned Books Week 2017, which runs next week, September 24-30. Shelf Awareness takes a look at what some stores are planning...
David Lagercrantz, who continued Stieg Larsson's Milllennium series after the latter's death in 2004, has stated that he will write just one more book in the series, to be released in 2019. This would bring the series to six books - three by Larsson and three by Lagercrantz.
In an op ed for the New York Times, Matt A.V. Chaban, policy director for the Center for an Urban Future, discusses how libraries in New York City, and potentially, in cities across the country, could find much needed funds to modernize and stay relevant for the long term through partnerships with housing and office developments:
"In 2014, the city selected the Fifth Avenue Committee to undertake the novel task of redeveloping the Sunset Park branch. There, an eight-story building will rise, with the first two floors dedicated to a library 75 percent larger than the one there now. The floors above will have 49 apartments, all of which will be rented to low- and middle-income families in perpetuity.
Imagine if the city did the same at the branch in Corona, Queens, where cramped quarters force study groups to huddle on the floor; or Red Hook, Brooklyn, where families from the nearby housing projects are eager for more job training; or Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where rising sea levels and storms like Sandy threaten its very operations."
Two TV series based on books scooped the top honors at last night's Emmy Awards:
The Handmaid's Tale won five awards including best drama series, best actress for Elisabeth Moss and best supporting actress for Ann Dowd.
Big Little Lies took five prizes in the limited series categories, including wins for Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern.
James Hohmann, national political correspondent for The Washington Post and author of The Daily 202, leads Monday's issue with a look at the many books Hillary Clinton turned to after her election loss:
"What Happened was quickly strip-mined for political nuggets after its publication last Tuesday. As I went through it over the weekend, though, what struck me most was how the wounded Democrat coped after her crushing defeat last November.
In short, Clinton has read voraciously and eclectically for escape, for solace and for answers.
The collection of works that she cites across 494 pages showcases a top-flight intellect and would make for a compelling graduate school seminar..."
The widow and the biographer of the beloved British children's writer Roald Dahl told the BBC in an interview this week that Charlie Bucket, the young boy whose life is changed by a golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was originally supposed to be black.
Mrs. Dahl made the remark during a conversation with Donald Sturrock, her husband's biographer, on BBC Radio 4's "Today" program. "It was his agent who thought it was a bad idea when the book was first published to have a black hero," Mr. Sturrock said. "She said people would ask why."
After a nine month dispute, Manhattan's Federal District Court has ruled that Matthew Lombardo's theatrical parody, Who's Holiday! a dark and decidedly adult sequel of sorts to Dr Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas does not violate the copyright of the original story.