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(The Real) Top Ten Reasons to Buy the New Snooki Book

By JK Evanczuk on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - View Comments

A Shore Thing, literary equivalent of Comic Sans and the debut novel of popular circus show reality show star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, heralded in 2011 last week with its release, among other signs of the apocalypse.* If you haven’t read an excerpt, trust that it’s far from a work of literary genius. She appeared the other night on the David Letterman Show to present “top ten reasons to buy the new Snooki book.” I thought of some other reasons.

(The Real) Top 10 Reasons to Buy the New Snooki Book

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This Week: Famous Writers on RateMyProfessors.com, Poking Fun at Nicholas Sparks

By JK Evanczuk on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - Comments Off
Surrrree this is what I'm actually reading. Why do you ask?

Surrrree this is what I'm actually reading. Why do you ask?

These new highbrow book jackets mean you can read finally read Dan Brown, Nicholas Sparks, and Twilight without fear or shame, via.

Angels are the new vampires.

An interesting and epic list of writers’ accouterments.

Read about famous writers on Rate My Professors, via.

Why a poem knows what it doesn’t know.

Electric Literature announced the winners of the #stuffmymusesays contest on Monday. The runners up: Hey babe. Love your dialogue.” & It’s fun, but you know what would be more fun? If we set it on fire.” & Take off your pants. The ideas can’t get in.” The winner: “This book will destroy you.”

How the paperback changed literature.

Aaaand because it’s Wednesday and I’ve already started making fun of Nicholas Sparks and I might as well keep going, here is how to write a Nicholas Sparks movie: Read more »

Why I Love Crappy Books

By JK Evanczuk on Thursday, January 21, 2010 - Comments Off
"The Da Vinci Code" actually translates to "The Of Vinci Code." Which makes no sense. Score one for Dan Brown.

"The Da Vinci Code" actually translates to "The Of Vinci Code." Which makes no sense. Score one for Dan Brown.

Because they’re just as useful, if not more so, than good books in learning how to write well. See also: How To Write Badly Well.

Because, even if you can’t actually learn anything about writing from them, they can still be a boon to your self-esteem as a writer by comparison.

Because they can (sometimes) be unabashedly guilty pleasures. See also: the Twilight series, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Notebook, anything by Dan Brown.

Because they can be a wonderful source of unintentional humor. See also: Dan Brown’s 20 Worst sentences. This made me laugh for about twenty minutes: Read more »

More: Books

When a Character Becomes So Popular Even His Author Is Jealous

By JK Evanczuk on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - Comments Off

Introducing...Steampunk Fight Club--er I mean Sherlock Holmes the movie.It’s a rare–and highly interesting–phenomenon when the success of a character overwhelms even its creator.

A. A. Milne found Winnie the Pooh’s popularity a source of profound annoyance. Despite his credentials as an established author and playwright, few took his “adult” work seriously after the success of Pooh.

J. M. Barrie had the same troubles with Peter Pan, who entirely overshadowed Barrie’s other works, past and future.

Better-known are the woes of Arthur Conan Doyle. The writer absolutely hated Sherlock Holmes, whom Conan Doyle believed was distracting him from his more important literary pursuits. So plagued by the stature of his own creation, Conan Doyle resorted to throwing Holmes off a cliff in 1893. Public demand and financial need prompted Conan Doyle to revive the famous detective a decade later. The detective has not died since. Read more »

The Significance of “Soft” Novels from a Young Man’s Perspective

By Andrew Boryga on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - Comments Off
Just one of many negative perspectives of the Twilight saga.

Just one of many negative perspectives of the Twilight saga.

An ambitious sophomore in high school three years ago, I checked out Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Striving to seem mature and sophisticated, I lugged the book around for over a month. It was the hardest read of my entire life. The worst part is I had no clue as to its significance. Grasping the bare bones of the plot, I knew there was more the novel wanted to communicate.

Sure, one reason I didn’t catch the significance was because I was a sophomore in high school. In my first year of college though, I’ve discovered I’m not the only person confused. There are whole courses devoted to Dostoyevsky and The Brothers Karamazov; the underlying significances, symbols, motifs and so on.

Maybe I should’ve stuck to Harry Potter like the rest of my classmates.

In my short time, it seems the literary world places most value on novels with human messages, even more so on novels taking long intricate routes to get to those messages. However, it seems the literary world also tends to cast novels not adhering to such standards as a “literature of diversion” as Jonathan Franzen puts it.

At school, literary high brows’ nostrils flare at the sight of a Twilight or Harry Potter novel. “That’s not real literature,” they say. I’m not a fan of genre novels myself, but I think my fellow undergrads and the literary community are wrong for totally writing off such novels. Read more »

If Lewis Carroll Had Written Twilight: An Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Twilight Mashup

By JK Evanczuk on Monday, November 23, 2009 - Comments Off

Bella was wandering through the forest, talking to herself as she went, till, on turning a sharp corner, she came upon two little men, so suddenly that she could not help starting back, but in another moment she recovered herself, feeling sure they that they must be real.

They were standing under a tree, each with an arm round the other’s neck, and though they had looked very nearly the same from far away, now that she was closer Bella could see that they were rather different indeed, for one of them very pale-skinned and had large, pointy teeth, and the other’s face was covered entirely in russet-coloured fur. “Oh, my!” Bella said to herself. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stranger-looking pair in all my life!”

The little man with the sharp teeth stood very still, and if it wasn’t for his twin distractedly scratching his own fur—”As though he has fleas!” Bella thought with a shudder—she would have quite forgot they were alive. She was just inching her way past the pair, doing her best to keep well away from the flea-ridden one, when she was startled by a voice coming from the little man with the very sharp teeth.

“My name is Edward. And this is Jacob. Who are you?” he said. “And would you tell me, please, why do you smell so very good?” Read more »

This Week: Palin Poetry, Word Nerdery & Maya Angelou Is “As Fine As Wine in the Summertime”

By JK Evanczuk on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - Comments Off

The "Great" GatsbyNewsflash: being shifty-eyed can boost your creativity. Excellent.

Palin poetry.

Computer says Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are not good writers at all. Computer says no.

A Portrait of the “Artist” as a Young Man, The “Great” Gatsby, and other great works of literature made sarcastic by quotation marks. [Thanks, Courtney!]

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle–beloved by violent guerilla troops around the world–secretly always wanted to be a poet.

Read more »

This Week: Twilight Barbie, Chunk Lit, Profitable Poetry

By JK Evanczuk on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - Comments Off

Twilight Barbie“Who’s on first?” “This is it.” “Uh, what?” An imagined conversation in line for the new Michael Jackson movie.

“Demand whether something even EXISTS anymore. This trick works equally well for concepts (i.e., patriotism) and objects (i.e., peanuts).” This and more tips from a schmoozer’s guide to literary gatherings.

OMGZ Twilight Barbie! Bella and Edward! As Barbies! Insert joke here about plastic genitalia/chastity/etc.

When novelists sober up.

I thought this article was about well-rounded heroines in fiction, as in a well-rounded personality. But, no, they’re talking about a well-rounded body. And they’re calling it “chunk lit.”

Read more »

It Hurts So Good – Why Requited Love is Less Interesting and 15 Favorite Instances of Unrequited Love in Fiction

By Alex Lam on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - Comments Off

Picture 7I wore his shirt – crisp and fresh from the laundry basket as I hung my own rain-soaked clothes to dry.  The conversation was sparse but the air was gravid with an intangible emotion.  By the end of the day, we had not touched once and he saw me off at the door, wearing my own clothes again.

He was merely an acquaintance but years after that moment he still represents the most romantic day of my life.  Those who know me know that I have trouble accepting traditional notions of romance and the labeling of anything as “romantic” is kind of a big deal for me.  Guys I’ve dated can tell you that I have wrinkled my nose at their many attempts to be romantic.  Guys I’ve dated can also tell you that my response to the first “I love you” is usually shoving something in my mouth that takes a really long time to chew.  It’s something that I’ve always felt really bad about – especially as a writer.  Falling in love is such a common theme in storytelling that the Anti-Romantic can really feel left out.

Over coffee with a friend earlier this week, we discussed the impracticality and inconvenience of falling in love.  Science has found falling in love akin to mental illness so… yikes – what do I need that for? My friend and I conceded to the fact that like any common virus, lovesickness will find its way to us one day regardless of how ready we are for it.  He added that the only thing we really have to fear regarding falling in love is if it were unrequited.  Read more »

Midweek Pick-Me-Up

By JK Evanczuk on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - Comments Off

p>Mark TwainThis week: writers say the darndest things, Americans buy the darndest books, and also some zombies. Read more »

20 minutes