Five Things My Cool Older Sister Tina Turned Me On...

  Your siblings are your first peers. In many ways, you are who you are because of them. Pushovers are often a product of a domineering brother or sister. Overachievers usually became that way because of their superstar hyphenate sibling who not only was an All-Conference power forward, but also played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and won the state science fair by proving excessive social media use is linked to the development of vocal fry. And, of course, all “only children” believe they are the center of their own dazzlingly narcissistic universe. The point is, social training begins at home and, as soon as children are able to...

Luke Delaney: Five Things That Changed My Life

Editor’s Note: Generally, authors will, for Five Things, pick books, albums or films that had an impact on their lives. Today, Luke Delaney presents a list of events that literally changed his life, including illness, addiction (tobacco) and even a certain serial killer novel that gave us an iconic serial killer with distinct culinary tastes. The novel – RED DRAGON by Thomas Harris. I wasn’t actually much of a reader – I was young and already in the police, with much more exciting things to do than read. But I finally took some time off to take a holiday and decided to grab a book. I saw Red Dragon, loved the title and cover, the...

MY TOP FIVE MUSICAL INFLUENCES by Karin Salvalaggi...

MY TOP FIVE MUSICAL INFLUENCES – Karin Salvalaggio   My childhood years can be mapped out in a series of top 40 hits that played on the radio so often you’d memorize every word without realizing it. Decades later I still get chills when I hear a song with a haunting narrative. My favorite ones have endings that are never completely resolved. In no particular order these are five of the musicians and songs that have influenced my writing.   “Nebraska” by Bruce Springsteen I saw her standin’ on her front lawn just twirlin’ her baton/Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died. The opening lines to Bruce Springsteen’s...

Five albums and books that changed my life: M.P. C...

Purple Rain: PURPLE RAIN was the first R-rated movie I snuck into. I had to—I had listened to the album endlessly and needed to see Prince perform. Prince had already blown the minds of me and my Catholic junior high school friends—we parsed the lyrics to “Little Red Corvette” endlessly—but the songs on Purple Rain cut through my teenage existence like a buzzsaw, giving me an awareness of things that I couldn’t yet name: failure followed by triumph, fractured families, and desire. I still listen to it regularly 30 years later, my current favorite song being “The Beautiful Ones”. Sue Grafton’s C IS FOR CORPSE: With Sue Grafton, I didn’t...

Five Favorite Novels About Mothers and Daughters b...

1) AMY AND ISABELLE by Elizabeth Strout. This was Strout’s first novel and boy, was it an amazing beginning to what’s gone on to be a sterling career (OLIVE KITTEREDGE, THE BURGESS BOYS, ABIDE WITH ME). In AMY AND ISABELLE, a mother’s shocked to learn her teenage daughter is having a sexual relationship with a teacher at her school. Strout sets the book in a small town where other issues like crop failures and UFO’s add to the confusion. The closeness yet distance of mother-daughter relationships comes across especially strongly. 2) UNLESS, by Carol Shields. In this, the wonderful Canadian writer, Carol...

5 Things I loved in 2014

ORDINARY GRACE by William Kent Krueger Simply put, this is a novel that saw Kent take his game to the next level. Kent’s Cork O’Connor series is, in my opinion, one of the best ongoing series today. The characters age, love, suffer loss and grow. OG is the author’s second stand-alone (He, and his publisher, prefer not tot talk about the first) and finds Kent mining his childhood memories and craft the southern Minnesota setting. And in doing so, gives the readers the sights, sounds and even smells of small town middle America in the 50s. He does an amazing job and delivers a book that feels more like a recollection than a...