A Few Quotations On Books

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“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

                                                                  Marcus Tullius Cicero

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“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

                                                                 Jorge Luis Borges

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“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”

                                                                Stephen King

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“Books are the lifeblood of humanity.”

                                                                 Charles F. French

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Ahhctober!

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Please enjoy this beautiful post on Autumn from Mitch Teemley!

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Autumn colors will peak this month in most of the Northern Hemisphere. How inspiring is it? If you google “landscape paintings,” over half the images you see will have been painted in October. Ditto photographs. And if you’re south of the equator, we’ll look for your pictures in March. Wherever you are, enjoy your first weekend of Ahhctober!

Click on any image to enlarge it, to read caption, or to start slide show.

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Autumn With An Author: Didi Oviatt

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Here is a wonderful interview of authors Didi Oviatt and James J. Cudney.

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I would like to introduce Didi Oviatt, a versatile, prolific author who often writes with the hands of another author and produces brilliant books. She is an upbeat person and although I have never met her, I feel to have known her for awhile. This interview turned out to be an alive conversation between her and James Cudney IV. She writes about multi-genre and I let her say the rest.

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  • You wrote a mystery book with four hands together with Author James J. Cudney. Was your compositional method much in relation to your respective backgrounds and critical aims, or did you have to adapt to James’s style and vice versa.
    Ultimately, a mutual respect for views and likeness in opinions and culture is a must. Working with Jay has been so much fun! I’ve co-written before in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful…

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Favorite Horror Films: 2–The Phantom Of The Opera

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The Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon Chaney Sr. is based on Gaston Leroux’s novel and was a huge success. This movie was a Universal Pictures production and was directed by Rupert Julian, although some film historian offer the possibility that Chaney himself was an uncredited director also.

Chaney played the deformed writer who falls in love with a singer and who becomes her kidnapper. This tale of horror and love has been redone numerous times, including the well known stage musical, but none of those productions have reached the sterling height of this extraordinary film.  If you are a fan of any of the more recent productions, you certainly should take the time to view this extraordinary movie. It is a piece of cinema history.

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As with the Hunchback, Chaney created this makeup, and his performance is sublime.  The unmasking sequence, in which the imprisoned singer’s curiosity overtakes her, and she removes the mask covering the Phantom’s face, remains a moment of terror and excellent acting.

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In my opinion, The Phantom Of The Opera Again, is not only an excellent horror film, but also it ranks as one of the best and most important works in American cinematic history. If you have not seen this film,  I recommend it highly.

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The Kelly Clarkson Show – And Me

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Here is a wonderful post about Jennie, the extraordinary teacher, appearing on the Kelly Clarkson show!

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Everything people say is true.  Kelly Clarkson is genuine.  She’s as nice as the day is long.  She is all about others (not herself), and so much fun.

I know.  I am on her show tomorrow- in person with Kelly.

Kelly is the real deal, and she could be my best friend.  That’s just who she is.  When the doors opened to walk out onto the stage, she smiled and waved.  I did, too.  It was across a very crowded and busy room, a locked-on moment.

Everyone associated with the show is the same way.  Surely they must have to pass a ‘kindness test’ in order to work there.

To tell you the story, I will start at the beginning, nearly a year ago.  In the words of a ‘Jennie Story’, “It Happened Like This”:

Our blogging community is like a family, and the story begins with Kelly hearing…

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Death by Dracula

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Here is a post on Dracula from one of my students at Lehigh University!

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I don’t often have nightmares.

With my rigorous academic and athletic schedule, my free-time is spent sleeping like the dead. At home, my parents claim that I could probably have slept through a WWII bombing, and I don’t think that I’d argue otherwise. In my fall soccer season, my bed becomes a time machine that thrusts me forward through time with a single blink after my head hits the pillow. College has been the heightened version of this experience, so I have not dreamt in two months.

Until Bram Stoker’s Dracula, of course.

“Somewhere high overhead, probably on the tower, I heard the voice of the Count calling in his harsh, metallic whisper.  His call seemed to be answered from far and wide by the howling of wolves.  Before many minutes had passed a pack of them poured, like a pent-up dam when liberated, through the wide entrance into…

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Favorite Horror Films: Part One–The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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October is one of my favorite months of the year for several reasons: it is the true beginning of Autumn weather, my birthday is this month, and so is my favorite holiday–Halloween! 

This month, I will do two series that fit well with the spirit of Halloween: favorite Horror movies and favorite Horror novels! I will begin with horror films.

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I have been a fan of horror movies since I was a child. I grew up watching Universal movies from the 1930s and 1940s being shown on various themed TV shows with horror hosts. As an adult, my love for these films has not waned; in fact, it has grown and helped to feed my scholarly interest in film. I use these films in some of the classes I teach in college.

Several films, in particular, stand out to me from the 1920s.  Two starred Lon Chaney Sr., the Man of a Thousand Faces, and were made by Universal Studios.

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The first film is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, (1923) based on the Victor Hugo novel, and it is an extraordinary piece of cinema that stands up today. It was a very expensive production at the time.  Estimates range in the $1,250,000 to $1,500,000 range.  Given the year, that is a huge sum of money.

The movie accurately reflects Hugo’s examination of the capacity of human beings to be intensely cruel to each other and of the abuse of power by those in positions of authority.  This film is a critique of the misuse of power by those in authority, the capacity of humanity to be cruel, and of unquestioning acceptance of the order of the day. It is a piece of art whose message still resonates today, nearly one hundred years after it was made.

Wallace Worsley directed the film, and Lon Chaney Sr. gave a magnificent performance as Quasimodo.  It is also important to remember that Mr. Chaney created all of his own makeups.  If all you know of this story is the Disney version, you need to see this production.  I would consider it one of the best and most important films ever made.

The second film with Lon Chaney Sr. is The Phantom Of The Opera, and I will cover that movie in another post.

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Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

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Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

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Available on Amazon

 

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Please Join the U. L. S. in honor of National Banned Books Week

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In honor of National Banned Books Week, I am again asking for those who would like to join the U.L.S., the Underground Library Society, to join and write a guest post. I put this request out several times over the course of a year, because I hope to have more people join in the cause.

In an earlier First Year Class at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, The U.L.S. — The Underground Library Society — was created. It is in the spirit of the Book People from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In that novel, all books have been banned, and a few people “become” books by memorizing them, in the hope that, one day, books will be permitted to exist again.

In that spirit, I am putting out the call once more for like-minded people to join The U.L.S. All that is needed is to choose a book you would memorize if the need ever arose. The type or genre of the chosen piece does not matter.  There is no restriction on what you would become. You do not, however, actually have to memorize  the book now. If you wish to join, simply write a guest post in which you say what book you would “become” and why.

I have had several other bloggers join the U. L. S. Join the movement!

I hope many of you choose to join.

If you are a member and wish to add another book that you might become, you are welcome to do another post!

In the past, I have mentioned that I would become one of the following books: The Lord Of The Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien, Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, or Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

If you do wish to do a post, please email me at frenchc1955@yahoo.com  and write a guest post as a Word doc. Thank you.

Charles F. French

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I am looking forward to hearing from new members!

Please, come and join in the fun!

Banned Books Week September 26-October 2, 2021

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This week, from September 26 through October 2 of 2021 is National Banned Books Week. Book banning and censorship is a crucial issue that should unite readers and writers. Throughout the world and humanity’s history, governments, churches, and other institutions have banned or attempted to ban and censor books.

Most of us are familiar with the images from Nazi Germany in which thousands of books were burned by the Fascists. All banning, however, is not so explicit. Sometimes in the United States of America, books are challenged, especially in the context of not being allowed to be taught in the classroom.

I oppose all such censorship. As a writer, it is an obscenity; as a teacher, it is an imposition of chosen ignorance; as a reader, it is an intolerable abomination. We must unite and oppose book banning, in all of its forms.

Fight for your freedom to choose what to read.

Here are several important links about this issue:

Banned Books Week

American Library Association

I will later, this week, in honor of this important cause put out another call for readers to become part of my unofficial group that opposes censorship–The Underground Library Society, The U. L. S.

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In the meantime, I ask all of you this question: what is a book that has been banned or challenged that you love?

I choose To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

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