A Musical and Literary Tribute for D-Day

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the day that changed history. The Allies sent soldiers in a massive assault against the Germans. Thousands went into battle. Thousands died, thousands were injured. We honor this day and remember those who fought and those who died. There is little new to be said, but we mustn’t forget the men and women who sacrificed to stop the fascists. This musical and literary tribute for D-Day is a small attempt to honor those whose lives were forever changed because of World War II. “I’ll Be Seeing You” Billie Holiday, 1938 Billie Holliday sang this soulful song in 1938. In the lyrics she tells her love she will see him everywhere she looks (even though he’s gone away). It became the farewell anthem for soldiers and has been sung by many others. The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank © 1947 German-born and Jewish, Anne Frank got a diary for her thirteenth birthday. A short while later, she and her family went into hiding. Her diary shares details of her daily life, her wishes, and her desires until the Nazis captured her and her family. She died in a concentration camp at the […]

What Your Book Review Can Do

You love to read, don’t you? You seek books that will sweep you into another world or time or place. Books with characters you love or love to hate. The rush of reading as fast as you can or the savoring every word can leave you with a thrill. Books that do that for you are precious. And we writers dream of creating that book for you. But do you know what your book review can do for the author, for other readers, and for the book publishing industry? Yes. You, dear reader, have the power to influence a book’s success but only if you review the books you read. What is this power? The Power to Share  You’ve read a great book. Don’t be selfish. Share it.  On sites like Amazon or Goodreads, you can give the book a star-rating.  Your written review spotlights the book for other potential readers. More than 85% of buyers on Amazon check the reviews before they buy.  You’ll not only point readers like you to the book, but you’ll also thrill the author. The Power to Spare You’ve read a not so great book. Don’t be mean about it. Remember how you’d feel […]

The Sorrow and Joy of the Last Page

The writer and the reader experience the sorrow and joy of the last page. Not in exactly the same way, but pretty close. A good book drives you to that last page then, if you’re like me you sit there, hugging the book and feeling lost. This feeling comes from what psychologist and other scientists call deep reading. Most of us make pictures in our minds. We experience sorrow and joy. Science has shown that our emotional reactions are close to the same emotions as the characters we read about. The deeper, the more intense the reading–the more we exercise our brain. We become more empathetic. There are people who are not natural readers. Shocking, I know. They don’t experience reading in the same way. But, they can improve their reading skills and enjoyment. Parents reading to children is a critical step in helping poor readers learn to enjoy reading more. It’s important to read because reading increases the white matter in our brain. (A brief discussion of the science can be found here.) Reading nonfiction doesn’t do quite the same thing. In studies, reading nonfiction lights different areas of the brain than reading fiction does. Not better areas, different. Our emotions aren’t […]