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It has become commonplace recently to compare certain television dramas to great literature – and with such brooding, character-driven and thematically rich shows as Breaking Bad, The Americans, and Mad Men, I get it.
Jonathan Dee is one of those rare authors who can effortlessly combine an engrossing, page-turning pace together with thoughtful, nuanced insight into his characters. It’s no exaggeration to say that I voraciously devoured his most recent novel, A Thousand Pardons. Dee is also insanely skillful at writing about timely issues and
Whenever my spouse asks me what the book I’m reading is about, it is a running joke that I will respond with “people.” Generally speaking, I prefer books with a strong emphasis on characters as opposed to plot, so it’s always a little difficult to describe what I am reading. If others disparage a book by saying “nothing happens,” chances are I will love it. I enjoy reading about the inner world of characters and following how they navigate their ways in the world. Books that explore the sometimes surprising, often messy, nature of human relationships are among my favorites.
Kevin Powers said that he wrote his novel The Yellow Birds in response to the question he so often receives from others about his time in Iraq—“what was it like over there?” This question and the impossibility of its answer reveal the vast chasm between the experiences of American soldiers and civilians in the last decade. How would a soldier even begin to describe the experience to someone so very far removed from the extremes of war?
Recently, the Tulsa City-County Library has been purchasing extra copies of books that have been, or soon will be, in the Cineplex near you. The program is called “Read the Film!”, and as a devoted reader AND moviegoer, I appreciate this book-to-film support.
You may want to sit and put your glass of milk down before you read this, but there are even times when I think the movie is far superior to the book.