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Bob Mustin's Blog

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Jan.21.2014
Harper’s Magazine, January 2014   Thomas Frank’s essay here is one every self-styled liberal or progressive should read. It’s a screed, not against the Red State folks, Republicans, Tea Partiers, et al; instead he’s raging against the Democrats, liberals, and progressives for not taking...
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Jan.19.2014
One perspective comes from a royalty statement recently received from the publisher of one of my books: print books sold exactly twice as many copies as e-books. because of the royalty difference between print and digital books, the e-books paid 33% more in royalties than print books.  Why...
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Jan.18.2014
The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway     War novels have always seemed their best when written by a combatant who has been there, lived it. Galloway’s novel, however, shows that a good writer’s empathic instincts are sufficient, even though he/she hasn’t been there. The story of...
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Jan.13.2014
There was an article in yesterday's paper - the second in a month - about the demise of another indie bookstore: Accent On Books, in Asheville, NC. This one I know about - it's the site of my most highly attended, most successful book appearance. But that was half a year ago. I've...
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Jan.11.2014
Eastern Europe!, by Tomek Jankowski     It’s been my experience that books filled with history - and I think this applies doubly to the density of European history - can boggle and bore. Not so with Jankowski’s book. It’s indeed filled with close to two millennia of history, both western...
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Jan.07.2014
Curiosity brought the missus and me to the ticket window this past weekend to see American Hustle, and I admit I went in with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I'd seen the previews so many times I could recite them, and I'd grown wary of good actors shouting their lines, and satirizing the...
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Jan.05.2014
The River Swimmer, by Jim Harrison     The novella as a literary form has been around for a long while; it remains as popular in Great Britain and Europe as it has been in the first half of the U.S.’s twentieth century. For readers, the popularity stems from its abbreviated length,...
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Jan.03.2014
  This may seem ho-hum during a week of new year's resolutions, bowl games, and the first nasty winter weather, but Nancy, a writer friend brought me a writer's dilemma yesterday. We writers are beginning to see passages in books and stories in which a character's inner thoughts are...
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Dec.30.2013
I promised a list of books I read in 2013 that left me thinking. Remember, these aren't necessarily new books on the block, just ones I turned to this year. So here goes, the best first: Fiction: The Son, Philipp Meyer Black Dogs, Ian McEwan The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer Racing in the Rain,...
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Dec.28.2013
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski   Quite often it’s the flawed novels that stick to your ribs, not those approaching literary perfection, and this book is a great, magnificently flawed novel that I’ll find hard to forget.  The story is one of the Sawtelle family,...
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Dec.27.2013
This article tells us that reading stories puts us into the story in a way more real than we would have thought. Fractal theory in turn tells us that certain systems (let's call them stories) repeat infinitely, tons of these systems (stories) embedded in others.  Why were even...
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Dec.26.2013
Poets & Writers, January/February, 2014  To my mind P&W struggles to be worthwhile to the writer who has been around the block a few times. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of spending a rainy afternoon reading. I love charts - especially when they indicate something substantial...
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Dec.26.2013
    Whew. No wonder I wear glasses. I've just taken account of the books I've read this year and the total comes to 36. I know, that doesn't sound like a prodigious number, but I spend 3-4 hours a day writing my own stuff. Not an excuse - it's simply to account for time consumed in the...
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Dec.22.2013
  Harper’s Magazine, December 2013 Harper’s continues to espouse an ethos that fits well in the jeans and work shirts of the laboring class. This cuts against the grain of most progressive thinking in the early days of the twenty-first century, but who’s to say they’re wrong? Thomas Frank...
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Dec.20.2013
Note: I occasionally post on magazines; I've always read them, and would seriously bemoan their passing. While I don't have the time to do all the mags justice that I might have an interest in, I do try to post regularly on the ones I think have the most substance to offer readers.    ...
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