Like Mitt and the president, wealthy fictional protagonists vary in that some are "to the manor born" while others become affluent from their own hard work. Literature's rich characters also vary in their likability -- ranging from appalling to appealing.
Good writers do not channel in from some higher plain, they are simply human creatures who have a talent for expression and a talent, as Noel Coward would have said, to amuse. Everything they write is an expression of their selfs.
Nostalgia is a dish best served warm, but it doesn't hurt one bit if the source of the heat is a mystery that brings to mind gorgeous spies and odious moles who watched the first light of peacetime bleed into the twilight of the Cold War.
Plot? Before reading a biography, we often don't know all the specifics of how the subject's life proceeded (except, perhaps, that she or he eventually died). So a biography can be as revelatory as a plot-driven novel.
A couple of recent books illustrate our fascination with the arcane world of art forgery. Perhaps, in this Internet age, when so little seems to be truly original, the subject of how to produce a master forgery that will fool all the experts seems particularly relevant.
With the often-ridiculous U.S. presidential race in full swing, there's at least a 47 percent chance you'd like to forget about politicians for a few hours by immersing yourself in a novel. But be careful which novel you choose, because some of them feature ... politicians!
Among literature's most popular plot devices are the obstructions authors put on the road of love.
It's hard not to get engrossed when two characters are thwarted from finding happiness with each other.
This was my dream last night: I am riding my bicycle in New York City and I call my old agent and say: "My book is finished." In truth, in the dream, I've only written the first and last chapter but I want to get him "on board" early.
Most of us have a certain routine, so it's exciting to pick up a book and end up in another time, place, and situation. To make this experience even more intense, I often try to follow a novel I just read with one that's very different.
It made sense that I would turn to software in my time of need. I was going through a very rocky time with my novel. I had fallen out of love with it. (I even hated the chapter titles.) I was lonely, desperate and needy.
When did writers start being brands? This question led me through a maze of other squirrely musings. If you write a memoir, are you forever a memoirist? What happens if a thriller writer dares to try his hand at romance?
If you can't judge a book by its cover, can you judge a book by its title? I ask that because there are some novels with a title character who is not the most prominent or interesting person in the book.
Two hours and about 30,000 tweets later, the full cover was revealed, #ClockworkPrincess was a worldwide Twitter trending topic, and fans of the series were already critiquing what the cover does -- and doesn't -- show.