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.
According to Barnes & Noble's survey, 77% of Americans read at least one book, newspaper or magazine during Thanksgiving or other holiday travel, while 60% of travelers usually bring, buy or borrow reading material specifically for travel on Thanksgiving Eve. Some 73% of respondents said they felt that traveling on the day before Thanksgiving is a "good time to bring a book they would enjoy and be able to read," and just over a quarter of Americans feel that "bringing a book along for Thanksgiving could give them a way to get out of an uncomfortable or awkward conversation with a relative or other guest."
Anuk Arudpragasam has won the prestigious ?DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 for his novel, "?The Story of a Brief Marriage", published by Granta in the UK, and by Flatiron in the USA
Arudpragasam was awarded the $25,000 (£18,830) prize along with a unique trophy by Hon'ble Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, minister of finance of Bangladesh ?at the Dhaka Literature Festival in Bangladesh.
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The winners are:
Fiction: Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing
Nonfiction: Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
Poetry: Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016
Young People's Literature: Robin Benway, Far from the Tree
Annie Proulx received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
Indies First/Small Business Saturday 2017 and the start of the holiday shopping season are just a week and a half away (Nov 25), and more independent bookstores around the United States are finalizing their plans for the annual celebration of bookselling and small businesses. Shelf Awareness rounds up some of the planned activities...
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The Observer newspaper continues its 2+ year project to review what it deems to be the top 100 nonfiction books of all time. The series began in February 2016 with their No. 1 pick, Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction and is on track to complete by the turn of the year. The most recent review is for The Diary of Samuel Pepys coming in at No. 92.
The Observer is the sister newspaper to the better known British newspaper, The Guardian. The Observer publishes on Sundays, The Guardian publishes on all other days of the week. Both newspapers combine their content into theguardian.com website.
With 4 million or 17% of all online ebooks being pirated, novelists including Maggie Stiefvater and Samantha Shannon say theft by fans puts their books at risk.
The playwright Tom Stoppard has won the David Cohen prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature, hailed as a "giant of 20th-century British drama" with an "outstanding and enduring body of unfailingly creative, innovative and brilliant work."
Howard Jacobson in the Guardian asks how many of us still read a book in bed?