Critical Views

Review: Failstate by John Otte

I’m writing today’s blog post sitting in a third floor suite overlooking a beautiful, pine tree covered mountain. It’s ok to be a little jealous. I’m sure I will be after a few weeks of being back in the Missouri flatland. But for today, I have a beautiful view. My wife and I took turns […]

Review: The Ghost Box Audiobook

Review: The Ghost Box Audiobook

I’m going to start reviewing audiobooks and shorter fiction. We’re busy, and these are good ways to enjoy great fiction. I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. Nothing makes a long drive or laundry more enjoyable than listening to a good book. I recently reviewed the novella Just Dumb Enough by several Realm Makers, which benefits the […]

Review: Just Dumb Enough

Review: Just Dumb Enough

Some things are no brainers. Like plunking down $2.99 for Just Dumb Enough. That’s less than your average Starbucks drink seasonal drink, and this purchase won’t make you fat. Even splurging on the paperback won’t set you back much more than a fast food combo ($7.99) and has no trans fats. Did I mention the […]

Love Your Book

Love Your Book

I read a lot of inde- and self-published novels. Not as many as I would like, but that’s true of reading in general. Still, though, a lot. Some of them are exceptional. Some of them, I can tell the author invested a lot in honing his or her craft, hiring an editor and cover designer, […]

Handel’s Messiah: Kind of a Bore

Handel’s Messiah: Kind of a Bore

Am I allowed to say that? We’re all familiar, I think, with the “Halleluiah Chorus,” which is no doubt one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. But there’s a reason it’s usually the one part of Messiah that gets sung. And the reason is that the rest of the program is dull […]

Narrowed or Broadened?

Narrowed or Broadened?

“Travel broadens the mind.” It’s a quote that has entered our world more or less as a truism. But is it? Theologian Malcolm Muggeridge has a quote stating the opposite, “travel, of course, narrows the mind.” When looking up these quotes, I came across articles and message boards espousing both. My experience. Both are true. […]

Admiration Is Not Idolatry

I have been a Billy Joel fan since I was young, probably fifth grade since that coincides with the release of An Innocent Man. The first album I bought was The Bridge. If memory my serves me correctly, $9.99 at Record Bar at Honey Creek Square in Terre Haute, IN. It might have been Disk […]