If you’re still not sure what books to take to the beach this summer, one of my recommendations is “The Monuments Men” by Robert Edsel. It’s an engaging and suspenseful account by Robert Edsel of the activities of the monuments men during World War II. The Monuments Men were 345 volunteers from the 13 Allied countries, who tracked and protected monuments and cultural artifacts from destruction, and in the years following the war, located and returned more than five million pieces of art stolen by Hitler and the Nazis.


You won’t believe that history could be written in such intriguing narrative and, you’re destined to be much more enlightened about art because of the artistic allusions that support and extend the theme. http://www.monumentsmen.com http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-monuments-men-180949569/?no-ist

Of course if you’d prefer a little humor with a light mystery, then my pick is one of Elaine Viets’ Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper Series like “Murder is a Piece of Cake” or “Fixing to Die.” There are nine in the series to choose from and these are two of the most recent.

One of the most difficult situations we writers have to address at some point, is how to appropriately integrate insults into our writing. Sometimes the use of profanity seems necessary to convey the tone of an insult in a narrative; when remarks or actions that are abusive, disrespectful or pejorative just don’t seem adequate.  Today profanity is viewed much differently than it was during Victorian times. Our social mores have changed, and what may have passed for an evaluative “male gaze” in earlier times, may now be considered by some females as an inappropriate look.  Ironically, while we’re being cautioned about the use of profanity in the literary world, entertainers in the music world, namely rappers, insist on using misogynistic lyrics to appeal to young people, without appropriate censorship.

We seem to be in a quandary on the topic when authors like Junot Diaz of “The Secret Life of Oscar Wao” fame and others, liberally pepper their writing with profanity and continue to expand their fan base. Is anyone offended you might ask? Well, recently author Laura Bates set up a Twitter Feed website for women to talkback and asked them to express their feelings about the sexism that they experience in their daily lives. The results were shocking and Laura was urged to write a book about her findings. You may visit her and read about the project online at:http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/14/everyday-sexism-laura-bates-vagenda

Women are angry and offended by the treatment they receive, and while they have accepted sexism in the workplace, they are looking for ways to change how they are perceived by men.

Since I’ve been cautioned about the use of profanity in writers’ critique groups, I decided to gather some opinions on the subject and came up with this advice in a recent article from Writer’s Digest: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-use-profanity-and-other-raw-talk-in-your-fiction Hope this sheds some light on the subject for you! Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this subject.

Happy Passover! and Happy Easter!


7 thoughts on “APRIL

  1. Informative and excellent post! I heard about Laura Bates twitter campaign on “everyday sexism.” I am energized to see women taking a stand on this issue. The word is getting out. Also, interesting article on use of profanity in literature. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Jack

    You did a lot of research on article .Well thought out work. Makes one to think out of box when reading books and articles. Great job!!!


  3. Thank you for your recommendation of The Monuments by R. Edsel.
    I was first made aware of the true and fascinating, and untold story by way of the whirlwind media campaign for the movie of the same title.
    It was my intention to learn more of this mystery by seeing the aforementioned motion picture featuring an Academy Award winning cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bill Murray.
    But I’ve always enjoyed digging my heels into and reading a book written with gusto in what you call an “intriguing narrative.” I am hopeful that your prognostication of being “destined to be…more enlightened about art” will come to bear.
    So thank you, for alerting me to the existence of the book and for your colorful and informative review.
    I, for one love seeing the movie version only AFTER reading the original source material. In this case the book. You have saved me from seeing the movie first and then dealing with the book, which in that sequence makes the reading almost chore like.


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