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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Page Turner: Reading Al Franken's new book is like catching up with an uncle

Blake Sebring (News-Sentinel file photo)
Blake Sebring (News-Sentinel file photo)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Jeffrey Archer's books keep finding ways to surprise readers.

Saturday, September 02, 2017 12:01 am

Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Blake Sebring, a News-Sentinel sportswriter and the author of several books.

"I recently read Al Franken's new book, and I loved it! I love his voice; it's like we're really there sitting at the dinner table very relaxed. He covers how it's done in Washington, and it's comfortable reading. I've read all of his books; they are easy to read! He makes it easy for the reader — it's like going to dinner with your uncle whom you haven't seen in a year. You pick up where you left off, but you also learn new things, too. You learn the technical side of how things are done in the Senate — the protocol. I didn't know any of that — of how to go to Washington and learn how to fit in, how it works.

"I read Jeffrey Archer's book 'This Was a Man.' It's the seventh book in the Clifton saga — and the last. Basically, it's the story of a generation of a great British family engaged in shipping and politics, and the protagonist is also a novelist, Harry Clifton. His wife, children and brother all are a part of this Old School picture. There is some violence, and there are challenges. I have found it interesting to read every book Archer has written. He keeps finding ways to surprise me.

"Then there is Dean Koontz's 'The Silent Corner.' It's about a woman whose husband committed suicide, and she doesn't understand that and is determined to find out why. Was it suicide? She uses her anger and her grief to find out what happened — and what happened to others. She finds a common thread. I love Dean Koontz's style, and I've learned a lot about writing from him. His characters are not cliches; they feel like real people.

"Another nonfiction is 'The Cubs Way,' by Tom Verducci. It's about the championship season last year. I'm a (Chicago) Cubs fan, and I also like to study how other sportswriters do their writing; I can learn from that. And, of course, watching on television we don't see a lot, including going into the clubhouse.

"A brief mention: three sci-fi writers I've enjoyed. They are Michael Grumley, Stephen Moss and S.H. Jucha.

"In my own latest book, 'Lethal Ghost,' there are things I've learned from almost everyone I read. I hope reading helps my own writing."

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