Kassie Ritman

I'm a writer who happens to love genealolgy! Telling stories about families and the lives they lived is some of the best material a writer could ask for. I am a founding member of the 7 Writer's Writing critique and support group for non fiction writers, chair the fledgling Indianapolis Chapter of the Catholic Writer's Guild, am a book reviewer for Tuscany Press at Catholic Fiction dot Net, lead writer's workshops for folks wishing to write their own family histories, belong to a couple of feisty book clubs and blog about writing family stories at http://youwhoineverk new.wordpress.com.

Look for my Writer's hints and tips in the pages of the ISFHWE quarterly newsletter Columns starting with the Fall 2014 issue.

Book Reviews by Kassie Ritman

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Rock Crystal

I must premise this review by saying that I do not generally “like” most German literary works. I often find them harshly worded, opinionated and rather “cold to the touch.” But I also feel qualified via lineage and upbringing to make such potentially inflammatory claims having been squired and raised by a slew of German and Austrian relatives whom were both loving and well loved. That bit of business aside, I readily fell for both Rock Crystal and Adalbert Stifter after reading this tiny book!

It holds the magical innocence of a clearly lineated good-versus-evil tale so suited...

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Our Lady of the Snows

     I must admit, reading a new author is generally something I do via an intriguing title or the allure of a pretty book cover.  I elected to read and review Our Lady of the Snows because lately I had been on a sort of Marian “kick.”  Being a life-long Midwesterner, I expected a novel about the Holy Mother and her veneration at the national shrine just outside of St. Louis.  However, Mr. Callaghan’s story is based in Toronto and by page four is relating various conversations and concerns among a table filled with prostitutes in an old-town hotel.

...

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Reading Like A Writer

In her book Reading like a Writer, Francine Prose sets out to explain the art of reading and enjoying words written by some of the world's most gifted authors. In artfully dissecting great works piece by piece, Prose succeeds without lecturing.  In Reading like a Writer she uses sample passages by literary giants to teach her readers, while simultaneously demonstrating her love for the written word. The only part of this book that nearly caused me to knock it down to four stars from the deserved five, was the passage where she tells of her passion and enjoyment of diagramming sentences! Mercif...

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On Becoming a Novelist

Here it is. With the definitive line at last drawn in the sand, we can know the truth. The real talents, tricks and learned abilities that absolutely separate the hobbiest from the serious writer.  Admittedly, I hesitate to describe On Becoming a Novelist in this tone. It sounds either rather snarky, really mean or sarcastic. But in truth, the description is apt for the contents of this book. Gardner himself was a prolific author, educator, and curmudgeonous guardian of art expressed via perfectly selected words. He dissects the work of “noveling” like a scientist dismantling an important new i...

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Catholic, Ink.

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Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.