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Book #75: The Confessions Of Nat Turner

As you probably know by now, The Confessions of Nat Turner is loosely based on a true story. And I use “loosely” in the true sense of the word. Very few facts were known about Nat Turner’s life, so William Styron took a lot of liberty in filling in those gaps.

The story is about a massive slave revolt that took place in 1831 in Virginia. Nat Turner was an extremely smart, self-educated, seemingly mild-mannered, polite slave who, after years of abuse, felt led by God to eventually murder as many white people as possible. He recruited a few dozen other slaves and eventually killed 55 white people over the course of two days.

The story is riveting, and Styron is creative in how he approaches telling it. He jumps back and forth between Nat’s confession to his lawyer and the events Nat is describing—his childhood, the different slaveowners he worked under, his “vision” from God, and ultimately the details of recruiting other slaves and the rebellion itself. Read more

Paper Books, eBooks, or Audio Books?

For this week’s Monday Question, I thought I’d yet again dive into the controversial waters of ebooks versus traditional books, with a twist.

If you could only “read” books in one format for the rest of your life, would you choose paper books, ebooks, or audio books? Why? Read more

5 Ways To Generate Blog Post Ideas

This marks my 954th post on 101 Books.

Four years ago, I would’ve laughed if you told me I would publish that many posts on this blog. How could I possibly write 954 posts about a list of books?

But you’d be surprised at how relatively easy it is to come up with topics once you make a habit out of coming up with topics. I’ve figured out a few ways to build brainstorming into my everyday life, without taking up a chunk of time I don’t have.

That’s really helped me generate new ideas for the blog, so I thought I’d share a few of my tips with you guys. If you have a blog, maybe you might find one or two worth your time. Read more

The Praise And Criticism Of William Styron

The Confessions of Nat Turner is just a fascinating novel.

The fact that it’s loosely based on a true story, the fact that a white man had a big enough pair to write this novel, and the fact that he received a ton of backlash for doing so, make this book full of intrigue.

Last week, I mentioned that William Styron, as a white author, attempts to get inside of the head of Nat Turner, an African American slave from the 1830s, a “character” who actually exists.

When the novel was released in 1968, The Confessions received a lot of praise. The novel was a best-seller and won the Pulitzer Prize. Styron was even well received at a historically black college. He told The New York Times: Read more

Who Needs Pictures In Kids’ Books Anyway?

My 4 year old is going to love this book. In fact, I’m placing my order today.

What a great way to encourage kids to read. It’s goofy and immature, but these are kids! And they’re learning to read!

So what exactly is this book with no pictures? It’s a new kids’ book from BJ Novak, our favorite intern from The Office. 

It’s just freakin’ brilliant. But I’ve got to work on my voice inflection before I read it to my son.

Here’s a promotional video of Novak reading the kids book. Be warned: It’s pretty awesome!

You can order it on Amazon.  Read more

The Nat Turner Story In 5 Minutes

Honestly guys, The Confessions of Nat Turner is taking me a lot longer to read than I would like.

That has nothing to do with the novel’s quality, but life has just been a little hectic lately. I hope to be able to review the novel next week.

In the meantime, I don’t have much to say today. So I’ll let this little 5-minute overly dramatic video from The History Channel do the talking.

This will give you a good overview of the true story upon which the novel is based. Read more

Does An Author’s Personal Life Influence You?

Some of the most commented on posts at 101 Books are the post in which I ask a simple question. We usually have a lot of great discussion in the comments.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d make this a weekly thing. From now on, every Monday I will feature the “Monday Question” on the blog. It will be a simple, straightforward book-related question for you guys. I’ll give you some of my initial thoughts and then turn the floor over to you in the comments. Hopefully, it will provoke some new thoughts and entertaining discussions.

So let’s get started.

The first Monday Question is simply this: Read more


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