Pulitzer Prize Winners 2013

Let’s congratulate the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winners! 

http://www.pulitzer.org/node/8501

 

You should also check out the Nominees:

http://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/2013?

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The Rise of the Knock Off Book.

The Rise of the Knock Off is relatively new to me, at least I haven’t noticed it reading older books as much as I notice it now. The Knock Off Books is quite literally when someone else takes most of the details of the plot, character archetype and how the plot develops and rehashes it with minor differences. It’s almost like Fan Fiction in the sense that you love the “characters” and don’t want to make too many changes to them but you want your own story, the ending that you like better or worse for them. 

The book series that’s spawned the most knock offs that came across my notice was 50 Shades of Grey. Fifty Shades of Grey started to take the world by storm a few years ago. By the end of 2011 going into 2012 it was all that was talked about from hushed whispers at work to those who would turn the pages quickly with embarrassment and a red tinge on their cheeks in public. It was everywhere and for those who hadn’t really explored the realm of erotic books, this was a huge discovery. 

50 Shades of Grey was a poor attempt at watering down BDSM for the masses, the damaged Characters, the intense sex scenes and the over all obsessive nature of the book appealed to the demographic it was trying to reach and beyond. E.L. James, a British Author struggled through writing a book in America and America ate it up. 

In the search for good BDSM themed writing I’ve stumbled on a few authors who have pretty much re-written the same exact book, except this is the way they would have done it. 

Sylvia Day’s CrossFire Series, Maya Bank’s Breathless Trilogy and you can view a list of similar books via this Good Reads list: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/21208.Like_50_Shades_of_Grey which isn’t the only 50 Shades of Grey inspired listing on the site. 

I guess, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about knock off books. As a reader, it feels like I’m getting robbed somehow. I’m reading the same stories over and over again, with sinister plot twists and what people think is kinky sex. It’s terrifying for me. 

This ties in to how easy it is to write, to self publish and to call yourself an author these days. I’m not sure what would make someone write a book so blatantly like someone else’s. I also get upset when an author re-uses the same name over and over again in their work. Why would you do that? There are millions of name options, please, I want to read something different, I want to be able to say ” This is different, it’s unlike anything else”. 

I know that in this time of technology, where everyone has the ability to share their thoughts; it seems that all of the same ideas have been done. I get that. It’s hard to write an original plot, it’s difficult to weave a story that allows anyone that reads it to take something important away from it. I get that but don’t become a clone. 

I also see the remake of movies, t.v. shows and programs from across the world in America. I dislike it. I want to see the original, read the original, view the original. I want to experience something new. I don’t want to reread what you think 50 Shades of Grey should have been. I don’t want to see the American Version of anything. Why not give people the credit they deserve. Is it also so difficult that we know that we, as Americans aren’t the best at everything? Show us the names, faces, dates and times of those who did something great.

Do you read knock off books? Do you like them better? Why? What was the first knock off book you read?

Chinua Achebe

My love affair with Chinua Achebe started young, as an avid reader, encouraged by my grandfather, my appetite for books was insatiable. After reading A Tale of Two Cities, my grandfather decided that I should read Things Fall Apart.

I was slightly skeptical about the hype but I delved into it after learning more about him as a person. He was African.

When I finished the book, I realize that it had changed my life. I know that’s a heavy thing for a 13 year old but I was astounded. I couldn’t believe it. It was more amazing than I could have understood at the time but then, I read it again. Slowly the second time around, sounding out the words in my head and letting it sink in.

I was elated that someone African who looked like me, who wasn’t from the UK or the US wrote something so powerful and so enchanting. It was in the afterglow of my thoughts for Things Fall Apart that I begun to play with the idea of trying to make writing something a part of my life.

I was inspired enough to think that my voice mattered, that it may make a difference and more importantly that all stories need to be told.

While Things Fall Apart was my first high, each subsequent book or essay or short story delivered. He was consistent and he was a prophet. He knew that we needed guidance, that we needed to believe in ourselves and our future but it didn’t mean that you had to forget the past.

He died a legendary Writer, Professor, Poet and Critic. He’s inspired me and many others I’m sure to follow their dreams, tell their stories, preserve their integrity and walk with dignity. I’m am happy to strive to be more like he was.

In his words:

“People create stories create people; or rather stories create people create stories.”

PreOrder Ready – David Sedaris

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls will be released on April 23rd, 2013. It’s available for Pre-Order through Amazon currently. This highly anticipated book from reader favorite David Sedaris is already making waves. 

It’s an essay compilation book, which seems to be the trend for popular books recently, is supposedly hilariously dark and observant and the cover is beautiful as well. I’m looking forward to this release, I’m sure I’ll be happy I did. 

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Pre Order Ready – Paul Coelho

The writer of the Alchemist, Paul Coelho is back, with a new book! Manuscript Found in Accra, will be available for purchase everywhere on April 2, 2013. 

This new book is set in Jerusalem. in the year 1099. With Paul Coelho this can go so many ways, which is why I will be hitting the Pre-Order with Barnes and Noble. They have Limited Editions that are pre-autographed as well. 

 

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Up Next: Harvest

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Harvest by Jim Crace comes off of the heels of more than 10 published books by the author. This award winning writer has given us gems like Being Dead and Quarantine. Harvest is a a great read on how to handle the unknown. What do you do if your life is irrevocably changed? Jim Crace creates a world that wants to capture you forever.