Month: December 2017

Kelly Long’s An Amish Courtship on Ice Mountain and Breaking Boundaries

One of the great joys of genre is that you know pretty much basically kinda exactly what you are going to get.  If you attend an opera, it is a safe bet that you will hear people singing arias with an orchestra.  This is usually a good thing; if you’re in the mood for a Big Mac, you’d be pretty upset if you were given a tofu burrito.

Other times, however, it can be a lot of fun when a work breaks some of the “rules” of its genre.  An Amish Courtship is such a book.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s an Amish romance.  The characters are Amish, the problems are Amish, there is romance.  Great.  But Ms. Long gives the recipe a twist or two… Continue Reading

What’s The Matter With Carl Sawatski? — Guest Essay by Jon Sindell

1964 Topps - [Base] #24 - Carl Sawatski [NM] - Courtesy of COMC.com
As a kid I loved baseball cards and the men pictured on them. This oriented my attitude towards race in a positive direction. To me, the black players on my cards, such as Mays, Aaron, Brock, and Banks, were not black at all—just as the white ballplayers weren’t white. They were all simply Giants, Braves, Cardinals, and Cubs. And I loved all players with all my heart. Continue Reading

Bryce Zabel’s ONCE THERE WAS A WAY and a Writer’s Most Important Tool

The Beatles have always been a part of my life, though I was born a certain number of years after they broke up.  There are so many reasons that The Beatles have stood the test of time and will continue to be an important part of human culture.  Beatlemania ushered in the rise of youth culture in the West, the reverberations of which continue to this day.  The Beatles’ music was a beautiful mash-up of classical influences and the lively rock-and-roll (and soul and Motown) that were blossoming when John, Paul, George, and (eventually) Ringo were learning to play and write.

At the heart of it, The Beatles were a partnership of four young men who went from obscurity to vast fame and fortune.  Such partnerships can never last forever, no matter how much we wish that were the case.  Bryce Zabel must have had a lot of fun writing his new book, Once There Was a Way, a work of alternate history in which the author wonders what would have happened had the Fab Four found a way to get back homeward.

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Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter, and Richelle Brunstetter’s THE BELOVED CHRISTMAS QUILT and Imbuing an Object With Meaning

Three generations of an Amish family.  One precious quilt.   Continue Reading