Books That Have Influenced Me: Part Two

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LOR

(Liz French)

 

Among the many books that I have enjoyed or have had a large influence on my life are some that I discovered when I was young.  One of the most important such works is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings. This magnificent work, which is one novel, divided into three books: The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return Of The King, is not only the most important work of modern fantasy, but it is also the contemporary work of British mythology. It is, in my not so humble opinion, one of the most important novels of the 20th Century.

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Released in 3 parts from 1954 to 1955, this work has not only become an extraordinary bestseller, but also it influenced story-telling, writing, and movie making continually to the present day.

I was a young teenager when I read the book, deep in the heart of the Vietnam War era, in a time when everything was being questioned, and corruption was rampant in our society.  Actually, it has not seemed to change all that much, with the exception of the myriad of good and decent people who are trying to make positive contributions to our world.  This book captured my heart and mind immediately, and I have reread the entire book about once every ten years or so. I am due for another rereading soon.

Tolkien was a deeply important linguist, and he developed a new language—Elvish, complete with syntax, vocabulary, and an alphabet.  This work and his academic work would have made him one of the preeminent thinkers of the 20th Century. His writing of this novel puts him in the upper echelon of writers.

Almost any theme that can be considered is included in this work: life and death, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, the consequences of the industrial age on an agrarian culture, the place of war, the importance of ordinary people as well as leaders, the hero and the quest, and the workings of the human heart are just a few that could be mentioned.  I have been concerned my entire life with the issue of good and evil and when evil must be confronted.  Tolkien, who fought in World War I and saw the horror of World War Two, examines this issue in depth.  For a world that experienced the twin terrors of those wars, Tolkien’s book becomes a place to examine how such fighting impacts people.

No matter how many times I read this magnificent work, I never cease to be astounded by it. It is not a book intended for children, as The Hobbit is, as some have mistakenly thought. It is a work for adults and through the lens of fantasy, deals with extremely important human issues.

I know I will read The Lord Of The Rings throughout the rest of my life.

In my next installment, I will discuss a particular play that has had huge impact on me.

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Harvest of Ideas at Lehigh University’s Linderman Library

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Last month the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries hosted the Sixth Annual Harvest of Ideas at Lehigh University’s Linderman Library, in which faculty who published books over the previous year were showcased. I was deeply honored to have been one of the authors in attendance for my novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1.

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This was a lovely and genial event, and I am proud to have been a part of it. Congratulations to all the authors involved, and thank you to the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries, to Linderman Library, and to Heather Simoneau, Humanities Librarian.

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Again, to all involved, thank you!

 

 

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

What is One of Your Favorite Books?

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(https://pixabay.com)

I am a teacher, a writer, and a lover of books. I cannot remember a time when I could not read, and the simple act of reading a book is one of the best pleasures in life.  So, I was thinking today about a book, one of my all time favorites: The Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, that I am using in an Independent Study at Muhlenberg College. This novel is brilliant, funny, witty, Gothic, romantic, and deeply engaging.  Can you tell I love it?

Here is a quotation from the back cover of the paperback:

“Wondrous . . . masterful . . . The Shadow Of The Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.”

Entertainment Weekly, Editor’s Choice

So, I ask you: what is one of your favorite books?

 

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(https://pixabay.com)

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

A Few Reviews of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book 1 by Charles F. French

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“Maledicus is sure to be a literary horror classic. I was amazed to find that this story was not at all what I thought it would be. In this telling of good vs. evil, of bravery and self-sacrifice, we see a portrayal of the most constant of human struggles that death often defies through sheer force of will and therein lies the deeper meaning that brought this novel to life by the author, Charles F. French. Concurrently with the demonic theme is a well-thought out philosophical approach to horror, wrapped in an evocative story that will capture your fear and terrify you. This story is abundant with tantalizing details, unforgettable characters, and words that will not only touch your heart and mind, but also take your breath away. It is a completely riveting story with suspense, mystery, horror, bravery, and a great love that transcends time. You will not be able to forget this one. It will haunt you. And, when you read it, you will know why.”

K.D. Dowdall

 

Once I started reading Maledicus I couldn’t put it down! I just finished it and I. HAVE. NO. WORDS… You better be writing a sequel 😀 That was incredible! I actually felt like I was going back in time and travelling through the ages. It was great to see the contrasts of each main character especially since it shows that different backgrounds/opinions can work together to make a great (and lovable) team. The theme of stopping bullies was ever present and really helped develop a great story line. I also loved the romance that was woven throughout the novel and it shows that love is omnipotent and will always conquer evil. I really loved how you intertwined the past with present and dreams with reality. Even the priest was not spared by Maledicus! I truly cannot express how great of a read this was!

Amazon Customer

 

The story is very Stephen King-esque, leading the reader into the minds of the characters and developing a plot line that is both engaging and thought-provoking. The horror and suspense elements make this an absorbing read, and the frequent shifting to various points of view increases the extent to which the novel becomes a page turner. I would definitely recommend the book to anyone looking for an eerie, engrossing read.

Michelle H.

 

Scary story! Love the characters (well, I don’t love Maledicus, of course) and their individual stories….much as one does with a Stephen King novel, you feel like you actually “know” the characters and come to enjoy their company and miss them when the book is over.

Great first book! looking forward to the next installment….”

Jane H.

Thank you to all for the very kind words!

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

 

Resolve to Write Today

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After having had an interesting discussion this morning with my wife, –thanks to  Liz!– I wanted to offer a small bit of advice to writers. Do not wait until the New Year to make a resolution to write more or be more productive; begin today! Do not wait for the demarcation of the next annum to take pen in hand or sit at the keyboard; rather, understand that your determination to write can begin any day and should be a continuing act of self-discipline.  So, my simple desire for you is to write today and everyday. Make today the beginning of a commitment to writing!

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(https://pixabay.com)

Happy Writing!

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

 

 

My book signing of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French at Muhlenberg College

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(Liz French 2016)

My book signing at the ‘Berg Bookshop at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA was successful and a great deal of fun! The bookshop did a wonderful job of setting up for the event, including some delicious refreshments.  So, I want to send a thank you to everyone who helped!

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(Liz French 2016)

It was held from noon to 2 P.M., and there was a great deal of traffic in the store.  I had a wonderful time speaking with a variety of people, ranging from students and staff whom I know to students and parents whom I do not know.  I answered questions about my novel and enjoyed speaking about books with the visitors.

I also sold 7 copies and signed them!

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(Liz French 2016)

And I want to give a special thank you to my wonderful wife Liz, who attended and took the photographs!

Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French is available for purchase on Amazon either as an ebook or a print book!

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Last Night’s Book Reading of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

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I had the good fortune of having a book reading at the wonderful Taylor Roasted CoffeeHouse in Northampton, PA last night.  The weather was not conducive to a large turnout because a nasty layer of sleet was falling, and driving was somewhat hazardous.  A few friends attended, and the event became a cozy discussion of my book and of writing in general.

As I always do when at this establishment, I had a very large cup of black coffee, and I consider the Taylor Roasted CoffeeHouse to have the best java in the entire Lehigh Valley, PA, if not everywhere!  They are presently working on redesigning their website, and I hope orders will be available for shipping anywhere. If that happens, I will highly recommend their coffee to coffee lovers everywhere!

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This was an enjoyable and very relaxing event! On to the next!

Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French is available for purchase on Amazon either as an ebook or a print book!

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview