Stonehenge on a clear day.

Happy Solstice!

Tue., Jun. 21
The Summer Solstice is right around the corner. That means it’s time to think about the days getting shorter, and to contemplate the trip around the sun that we’re all taking on this planet. One excellent way to think about this phenomenon is to reflect on what some ancients did in their attempts to observe the world around them and unlock the secrets of the…

Best of BARD: May 2016

Fri., Jun. 17
Keeping King Patterson out of the Top Five is one feat in of itself, but off the charts completely takes the solid work of the heavy hitters. Luckily, we got them and then some on this month's Top Five. Sandford, Baldacci, Robb and Robert Parker (risen in the form of Ace Atkins), join newcomer Christina Dodd team up with their own brand of hardened thrillers,…

June is LGBT Pride Month!

Mon., Jun. 13
Historically, June is a momentous month for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) movements—the Stonewall riots of 1969, the first Gay Pride parades, and last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marry—all transpired during the month of June. Pride Month has been celebrated during June for years, but it wasn't recognized in an official capacity until just last week when…
Cover image of The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Ode to the Potboiler

Fri., Jun. 10
Popular fiction and genre novels have always gotten bad raps by critics for not offering any literary value to readers. Many readers know, however, that some of the most popular authors have at least dabbled in genre fiction and many one-hit wonder titles still resonate as powerful signifiers of an era. Household names that have surfaced from genre writing include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha…

SARK Recommends...

Tue., Jun. 7
Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (known by her pen name, SARK) is a prolific artist and writer of books made to awaken the playful child within all of us and to teach women how to heal from trauma and become their best selves. Anytime I feel creatively stagnant, I come back to her books for a lighthearted push to keep going. SARK uses colorful markers and watercolor…

Memphis & the American Civil Rights Movement

Fri., Jun. 3
After talking about Sun Studio previously, let’s learn more about Memphis. Memphis has a deep history with civil rights and is home to the National Civil Rights Museum. Built around the infamous Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, the Museum was established in 1991. The Museum educates the public on the history of civil rights in the U.S and features…

Cat Scratch Fever

Tue., May. 31
If you recall, earlier this month I discussed my thrilling discovery of Eric Garcia’s perplexing Anonymous Rex series. Once you’ve warmed to the “Dino Mafia” genre (a phrase I never thought I’d write), you won’t have to suspend much belief at all when entering Christine Feehan’s worlds of paranormal romance. Paranormal romances, if you’re not familiar, are romance novels with a spooky or fantastical twist.…

Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt

Fri., May. 27
A lot of people know the name Cleopatra, even if just because of the 1963 movie that bore her name and starred Elizabeth Taylor.  But I don’t think many people really know about her.  For example, did you know she married her younger brother to ascend the throne, then had him killed?  Did you know she spoke seven languages, and was the only Ptolemaic ruler…

The Music Never Stopped

Tue., May. 24
Fans of rock music know the Grateful Dead. For better or worse, love them or hate them, the Grateful Dead were an important and constant force in rock music from the late 1960s through the mid-1990s. The Grateful Dead formed in San Francisco, California in 1965. For years, a core group of musicians featuring Jerry Garcia on guitar and vocals, Bob Weir also on guitar…

Reading for Writing and Loving

Thu., May. 19
To get back in the habit of writing after a long hiatus, I am reading Dodie Smith's (of The Hundred and One Dalmatians fame) classic 1948 novel, I Capture the Castle (DB 47004). The novel's main character, Cassandra Mortmain—the teenage daughter of a flash-in-the-pan author—lives with her family in a ramshackle castle in England. She pursues a literary career of her own by recording her life experiences in…