#5OnFri:  Upper-Middle Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction

Do you know a tween or young teen who has moved on from Harry Potter but isn’t ready for Hunger Games?  Loved Inkheart but found Twilight too heavy on the sappy romance? Have I got the list for you!  From under-aged criminals to giant cockroaches, there are some attention-grabbing books available! Here are five fantasy/science fiction… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Fabulous Steampunk Books

I had never even heard of steampunk before I got a job at a Victorian Fair one summer.  The woman leading the orientation asked us for examples of “Victorian-themed” movies that we could use for inspiration.  Someone suggested a Sherlock Holmes movie and she said, “No, that’s more steampunk.”  My mind snapped to attention and… Read more »

#5onFri: 5 Books That Make Great Audiobooks

I never thought I’d be an audiobook lover. I thought audiobook narrators were unnecessary middlemen, interfering with the golden process of communion between the author’s brain and my own. But practicality sometimes trumps ideals: when I started commuting half an hour each way to work, I decided to hang up my reservations and give myself… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Great American Novels That Feature Outsiders

Washington’s Birthday is coming up and, in honor of that, I want to talk about American novels. There’s been a lot of debate about what constitutes the “Great American Novel.” With so many voices, and so many different experiences in American life, this list should be huge. Since we only do five books on a… Read more »

A Case Study on Trust as a Literary Theme

Trust is an essential aspect of relationships. By keeping promises and telling the truth, we prove that we honor our agreements and value the people in our lives. The confidence we win from others as a result can be life-changing. However, as we’ve witnessed in literature (and in daily life), we’re not always quick to… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Books to Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse

Happy Friday everyone! Most of the country is currently being pummeled with snow and freezing cold temperatures. We are also in an arctic freeze of television, in that terrible limbo in-between the first and second half of most TV show seasons. And I don’t know about any of you, but one show that I’m really ready to premier again… Read more »

Identifying a Novel’s Themes Using the Title and the Blurb

We usually need to read a novel in order to identify its themes. However, what if the title and the blurb (a.k.a. jacket copy) could suggest potential themes? It’s not a stretch sometimes. In today’s edition of Theme: A Story’s Soul, we’ll explore how both items can reveal a great deal about the ideas and… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Victorian Novels

If you’re like me, this holiday season you’ll probably see at least one version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, and if you’re really like me, this might send you into a spiral of Victorian nostalgia. Well, good news! The nineteenth century saw the rise of the novel, so there are plenty of excellent books… Read more »