This Month's Articles
The Year of the Apocalypse
A Short Story by Murzban F. Shroff
2012: the doomsday astrologers were proving to be correct. Everything that could go wrong, or seem wrong potentially, was happening. The Middle East was in flames. Dictatorships and fundamentalist regimes were collapsing, and casualties from the civil wars of these countries were being recruited by terror groups.
By the first quarter of the year, it was said that as many as eighty terror groups had surfaced and that each group was fighting for recognition, by trying to build a global reputation. Economically, too, a silent war was being played out. More than 50% of the world’s production was taking place in China.
In the second quarter of the year, China confessed ......Read More
The Good Dream
By Donna VanLiere
Read by: Donna VanLiere
Reviewed by Michael Carey
The bestselling author, Donna VanLiere, displays not only her gift for weaving heart-warming stories, but also her genuine southern manner and accent as the reader of her latest audio book, The Good Dream. This novel tells the story of Ivorie Walker, the over thirty, unmarried “old maid” of Morgan Hill. Six months after her momma’s death, Ivorie still struggles to cope, but for the first time in a long while she has a gentleman caller that gets her oven cooking.
The life that slowly feels like it might be coming together is tilted off kilter when Ivorie catches a feral, mute boy from the hills in her garden. The unlikely (and therefore gossip-worthy) relationship forces Ivorie to make decisions that may threaten both her and the boy’s lives.
Ivorie faces these .....Read More
Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story
By Jim Holt
Reviewed by Steven Paul Leiva
Why Does the World Exist? is a book of contemplation that at times causes illumination and at other times causes irritation. But in either case the suppleness and elegance of Jim Holt’s prose causes nothing but reading pleasure.
The book is well subtitled “An Existential Detective Story,” for like any good detective story it moves with the proper pace to keep you on board; it provides atmospheres and landscapes that put you into the scene; it creates interesting characters, and it offers up a rather large puzzle to be solved. The problem is, it is a puzzle not only hard to solve, but which may be impossible to solve, although Holt believes that he may have solved it (his solution depends on the universe coming into existence as a mediocrity, or something like that).
Unlike a mundane detective story there are no guilty parties—except maybe for those who are guilty of twisting your head into knots. Being an existential detective story, it.....Read More
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Chronicle of a Rebirth Foretold: The Second Rise of Spanish-Language Publishing
A Column by Sarah Vogelsong
There’s no doubt about it: the Hispanic and Latino populations in the United States are growing. Between 2000 and 2010, this group swelled from 35.3 million to 50.5 million, accounting for more than half of the U.S. population’s total growth during the decade. Today, Hispanics and Latinos represent 16 percent of the nation’s people—and that percentage is steadily increasing.
This growth, dubbed “the browning of America,” has caused publishers around the country to sit up and, these days, tear their focus from the fifty shades of grey consuming the industry. To publishers, the Hispanic segment of the “browning” phenomenon means one thing: an untapped market. After all, according to the .....Read More
What well known Hollywood hotel held the famous press conference that “SAVED Michael Jackson’s career,”?
The Hotel Roosevelt, Fred Beauford, The Day I saved Michael Jackson’s Career , Vol. 2, No. 7
What writer has appeared in the monthly top ten page requests most often?
Jane M McCabe. Her most requested article, Rooftops of Tehran, Vol.3, No. 9.
Portfolio: Edward Colver…QUINTESSENTIAL PUNK ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER
by Kara Fox
The Latin meaning of inspiration is 'to breathe into.' What is the source of this magical breath? Who gets it? At six, Mozart wrote a complete symphony. Vincent Van Gogh painted masterpieces for most of his short and tragic life. Babe Ruth changed the face of baseball. Steven Jobs…and so many others who have changed the complexion of many aspects of our lives got it. Of course, there is no definitive answer to this mystery. Regardless of the significance of the contribution to society and culture, I question, "How did they think of that…how could they do that???" The iconic images of Edward Colver changed the face of punk rock and has his own particular magical breath.
A business card reading 'sincerest sympathy' offers an invitation into the amazing world of Edward Colver…one of those rare individuals making me wonder how he got to be who he is…astoundingly creative to the bone. His home, an.....Read More
The African Gentleman
…and The Plot to Re-establish The New World Order
A Novel by Fred Beauford
I arranged for another meeting just between Daji and myself. I wanted to get to the bottom of his cryptic remark once and for all. He lives in The Outer City, where the people who lived there wanted only to be around people who looked like them, ate what they ate and prayed to the same God as they.
For many of these residents their stay in the New World was perhaps as similar as mine. Like them, I had no long standing connections to this place I called home.
For God’s sakes, I didn’t even know what a Flamingo was!
Yet, by my choice of schools and line of study, I knew I was pushing myself out into this new world. Most of these folks, I surmised the few times I ventured into their areas of The City, had not yet encountered the New World as I had forced myself to do.
There, it was home away from home.
They even have a large section in The Outer City called Little Africa. An amusing thought once cross my mind when I was thinking about where they could send me if they ever wanted to do to me what they did to Assai.
They could always confine me to Little Africa.
At any rate,.....Read More
George Orwell Diaries
Edited by Peter Davison; with an Introduction by Christopher Hitchens
Reviewed by Amanda Martin
It’s an ominous word, evoking a dystopian society where the government spies on its citizens and subjects them to constant propaganda to control how they think and what they think about. A world of “newspeak,” “doublethink,” “thought police,” and “Big Brother”—a world no longer in the future, and not just because a reality game show series has been named after it.
Not a week goes by without at least one of these terms being used.
All these words come from a novel, 1984, and its author: George Orwell. 1984 and his allegorical fable, Animal Farm, have now sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author. Orwell has been declared the most influential political writer of the 20th century
Even more remarkable when you realize.....Read More
A Labyrinth of Kingdoms—10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa
By Steve Kemper
Reviewed by Jane M McCabe
When Fred Beauford, editor of the Neworld Review, sent me Steve Kemper’s A Labyrinth of Kingdoms, to review I was a happy camper. For ever since Miss Reynolds, our junior high school librarian, gave me I Married Adventure and After You, Marco Polo, I have been hooked on travel writing and especially that which describes travels into the barren desert terrains of the Sahara, Saudi Arabia, or Outer Mongolia. An inveterate arm-chair traveler, I lap up this kind of writing the way a kid laps up a dish of ice cream.
Just when I was afraid that all the 19th Century really good travel adventure stories had already been told along comes one about an explorer of whom I had never heard: Heinrich Barth. As important as the 19th Century African explorer as he was, he was overlooked by history—until the publication of this.....Read More
A WRITER'S WORLD
A Writer's World
by Molly Moynahan
I don’t have much of a routine. I go through periods where I work a great deal at all hours of the day whenever I am around a typewriter, and then I go through spells where I don’t do anything. I just sort of have lunch—all day. I never have been able to stick to a schedule. I work when there is something due or when I am really excited about a piece.” Nora Ephron
And yet, Ephron was so prolific, plays, movies, books, articles, essays and commentaries seemed to flow from her typewriter with little effort. Of course, the subject of her writing was largely other people and her humor depended on dialogue so maybe having lunch could be considered research. Also, I suspect she was being charming and self-deprecating. I am thinking about writing .....Read More
A GOOD MAN: Rediscovering My Father
By Mark Shriver
Reviewed by Emily Rosen
“Good,” is such a banal word. In our every day lexicon, it lands somewhere between an “A-” and a “B-“ and doesn’t really delineate anything about the descriptor. And yet, as attributed to Sargent Shriver, it applies in its inherent humility and lack of the spectacular. The word “good” is so apt here, as to elevate it – the very word itself – to heights of low key idolatry – possibly an oxymoronic observation, but you must read the book before making that judgment.
“Good” as attributed by his son, Mark, is better than “great.” “The great man is recognized for his civic achievements. The Good Man can be great in that arena too, but even greater at home, on the sidewalk ... with his grandkids, at the supermarket, at church, wherever human interaction requires integrity and compassion.”
However, If you have a penchant for the surreal, you will know that somewhere in the ”sweet hereafter,” Sargent Shriver and Christopher Hitchens are duking it out over.....Read More
The Crime of Julian Wells (A Novel)
By Thomas H. Cook
Reviewed by Michael. J. Moore
Thomas H. Cook has published more than 25 novels since 1980. His genre is referred to in varied ways: Mystery. Suspense. Thrillers. In Cook’s case, it is all the above, with a strong dose of literary integrity and exquisite storytelling included.
In The Crime of Julian Wells, the reader is invited slowly and seductively into a narrative that veers away from the “Who done it?” aspect of so many mysteries, focusing instead on the “Why?” at the core of one man’s death.
The man at issue is named in the title of the novel. Julian Wells, found dead in a Montauk pond on Long Island, was a successful writer whose expatriate travels were not about running with the bulls or teaching ESL in China.
Instead, as we learn via the flashbacks of first-person narrator Philip Anders (whose profession as a literary critic elevates the language, ideas and texture of not just the dialogue in this book, but the descriptions and digressions as well), ite.....Read More