Archive for the ‘ Misc ’ Category

Importance of reading

It often happens that I have discussions about books and writers with friends and family. I have had two such conversations recently. One has to do with the idea that a reader can learn much about other areas and cultures by reading, even if they are unable to travel. Neither Emily Dickinson nor Jane Austen traveled much in their lifetimes, and yet many readers have appreciated their work for years.

If one has the ability to read, it can open up the world in ways that most other activities cannot. The more you read, the more free you become, and the more you learn about yourself and others. Malcolm X was semi-literate, so he started copying out the dictionary when he was in prison. Once he started learning words, he was able to read and understand books. He read all the time, and even said that up until that time of his life he had never been so free.

Books are powerful. Words are powerful. The more we read, the more we can understand and grow. And, really, it’s fun!

Is there a proper way to read?

I have been bad at updating regularly. I started teaching a class that I had to develop, so that took up a lot of time. However, things seem to be getting a little more “normal” now, so I hope to update more.

A random thought did occur to me, and I thought I’d get some input. I am currently reading three books at one time. Okay, not exactly simultaneously, but I am in various stages of three different books. How many of you read that way? How many of you are strictly a “one book at a time” person?

Perhaps the real question is this–Is one way of reading (several books or only one) better than the other? I don’t have an answer, other than to say that I’ve always been able to read several books and keep them straight in my head. This was useful in college when it often seemed that I had a mountain of books to read every semester. Please, weigh in with your opinions. I’d be glad to see them!

In case you’re interested, the three books I’m reading are Maigret and the Lazy Burglar by Georges Simenon, A Chain of Thunder by Jeff Shaara, and What W.H. Auden Can do for You by Alexander McCall Smith.

Book signing

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been rather lax about updating my blog recently. The past couple of months have been rather busy. Last weekend I was in two orchestra concerts, so there were a number of rehearsals for that.

I’ve also been working on setting up events to promote my new book, which was released this month. It’s been exciting, but also time-consuming. I hope to get back to more regular updates soon.

However, if you’re interested to see what all the fuss is about, you can come to the Jamestown College campus at 7:30pm this evening. My Dad, Larry Woiwode, and I will be introducing and signing our new books. It should be an interesting event!

Here is a little piece Erin Klein at JC wrote for the event:

Bad blogger

I’m not sure I will be able to properly update my blog with any reviews this week. Between the internet issues and a road-trip, my blog will be neglected, I’m sad to say.

But never fear, I will be back!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

I am taking a little vacation, so I will probably not be posting again until the new year.

Be happy, have fun, stay safe, and see you next year!

The humor of Sherman Alexie

The writer Sherman Alexie is probably known for his humor and, of course, for his writing about life as an Native American Indian. He has some wonderful books and stories, both humorous and difficult.

Here is a clip of Alexie being interviewed by Stephen Colbert. It is quite humorous, and well worth watching.

Added “feature”

Welcome to the new and improved Reel Quickies site! Okay, the layout is still the same, and I will still be doing movie and TV reviews. However, I have decided to add book reviews as well. After all, it seems that Hollywood is increasingly using books as their beginning scripts for movies, so why not look at the original source?

Not all the books I review will be ones made into movies, but some of them will be. I will try to indicate in the heading whether or not the new pieces are book or movie reviews, in case you don’t want to read one or the other.

I hope most of you will enjoy the new feature. Thanks for reading!


I had to share the second trailer for the upcoming Hobbit movie. It looks pretty wonderful!

I have heard that they are breaking The Hobbit into three movies. I’m not sure how I feel about that. What do you all think?


The movie world lost something great on Monday, with the death of Michael Clarke Duncan.

He was a wonderful actor, and from all accounts a wonderful person when he wasn’t acting. I will always remember him as John Coffey in The Green Mile.

Rest in peace, Mr. Duncan.

Bad psychology in Breaking Bad?

I came across an interesting article about the show Breaking Bad. I stopped watching the show a while back, because I got too disgusted with many of the characters.

This article is interesting, though, and raises a point that I hadn’t thought about. Perhaps, however, it is one of the reasons the show felt ridiculous to me. Here is the link for any of you that are interested!