Official Website of A. S. Peterson

Ban The Fiddler's Gun

[Note: September 25 - October 2 is Banned Books Week]

Some ten or fifteen years ago, I called home to see how my parents were getting along and Dad told me the town was in an uproar over a book called
The Giver. There was a movement afoot to have the book banned in the school system and as one of the little town’s most respected preachers, he’d been called to appear before the school board to deliver his own arguments on whether or not the book ought to be left on the shelves.

Now, having grown up in this town and having had to defend myself regularly from such questions as “Why you always readin’ them books?” and “Them books got good pictures?”, I have to admit that I was a bit shocked to learn that someone else was actually reading. The fact that they had then decided to ban the book was far less surprising to me.

Then it occurred to me that I didn’t know which side of the issue my dad would be arguing for. I had suspicions, though. My parents are great people in a million ways but when I was growing up, they were incredibly suspicious of secular culture. We weren’t even allowed to listen to Christian rock music because there was an outside chance that Petra was as evil as Journey. I’m not kidding. They did come around as we got older (
Beat the System was the first vinyl I ever bought), but when I heard about this book-banning business I instantly relived those old suspicious days and my hackles went up. . .Read the entire post

Faith and Fiction Roundtable: Godric

Godric by Frederick Buechner is one of my all time favorite books. In fact, I don’t think it’s too big a stretch to say it’s one of the great works of our language. It’s a thing of astonishing depth and beauty and anyone that aspires to write should make time to read it. Outside of Shakespeare or Milton, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book so meticulous in its language, so thoroughly winnowed to the kernel of meaning. Wendell Berry often talks of the writer’s craft as an economy of words; a writer’s job is to sweat over his words and spend them with thrift. And that, I think, is where Buechner’s Godric so amazes me. It’s a short book, not even a novel by current standards, yet each word is placed just so and taken as a whole they carry the weight of volumes.

I was delighted, then, to learn that
Godric was this month’s Faith and Fiction Roundtable selection (hosted by My Friend Amy). Each month a small circle of bloggers are selected to read the month’s book and discuss it. A portion of the discussion is then posted on each blog and links are provided to the rest of the conversation. It was a pleasure to discuss one of my favorite books with these folks and I hope you’ll visit each of their sites and maybe even join in the conversation yourself. If nothing else, I hope you’re moved to read one of the great novels of the 20th century.

This month’s Faith and Fiction Roundtable is:

Unfinished Person
My Random Thoughts
The Fiddler's Gun
Shelf Love
Book Addiction
Books and Movies
My Friend Amy

Pete: I love the idea that Reginald's perspective is God's perspective, God's re-write via the lens of Christ. I'd always looked at it as a depiction of the church's white-wash of history (which seems to be the way Godric himself sees it), but I have a feeling your insight is much more in line with Buechner's intent. Thanks for showing me that.

I can't wait to read this book again. Sadly, it's one of those that I never seem to have my own copy of because I'm continually giving them away to someone who hasn't yet read it.
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Faith and Fiction Round Table: Peace Like a River

It was a pleasure to again participate in the Faith and Fiction Roundtable with a number of other websites and bloggers. This month the subject was Leif Enger’s beautiful novel Peace Like a River (one of my favorites). The discussion is divided up among the different participating websites and blogs. Be sure to work your way around the ‘table’ to read the entire discussion.

My Friend Amy--Introduction
Devourer of Books--Expectations
Wordlily--General Impressions
A Lovely Shore Breeze--Davy Part 1
The Fiddler's Gun--Davy Part 2
Melanie's Musings--Other Characters

Davy Part 2

Hannah: This conversation about Davy (Amy, Caite) is reminding me of Bones. I've been re-viewing the show via Netflix Watch Instantly, and I'm seeing parallels between Reuben's feelings toward Davy and his situation and Brennan's feelings about her father's situation during his murder trial. Sure, she knows he's acted wrongly and deserves to be punished. But that doesn't eliminate her sorrow over the thought that her father might be taken away from her again, as Amy said. There's more to it, but the words are only coming in a jumble right now. I think another piece of this is that in the beginning of the book, Reuben's perspective is that of a child, very absolute, his big brother can do no wrong. Sure, between the lines we see he's troubled and probably not headed down the best path, but I still see him, at least a little bit, through Reuben's black and white eyes.

Melanie: Since we see Davy through Reuben's eyes, he seems...
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Book Clubs and School Visits

Kate and Amy
Kate and Amy’s Book Club will start their discussion of The Fiddler’s Gun in two weeks. If you haven’t read it yet, there’s still time to get started. For full details, including how to get a copy for a rock bottom price, see my previous post here.

In a little over a week I’ll be visiting the Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tennessee to talk to students about both the book itself and writing in general. The art of storytelling is something that’s near and dear to my soul and I look forward to sharing some of that passion with students. If you’re a librarian or teacher and you’re interested in hosting a similar event at your school, contact me and we’ll set up the details.

In other news...
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Faith’n'Fiction Roundtable

This month I participated in the Faith ’n Fiction Roundtable discussion of Tobias Wolff’s In the Garden of North American Martyrs, a collection of short stories. Wolff is an incredibly perceptive writer. Throughout the collection he deftly draws an array of characters that are complex, interesting and often mystifying. The conversation is moderated by book blogger My Friend Amy and different parts of the discussion can be found by visiting the blogs of the other participants.

The Quirky Redhead
My Friend Amy
Strange Culture
Rebelling Against Indifference

I hope you’ll read along and join in the conversation...
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Looking for Librarians

I’ve had a strong, positive response from librarians that have read The Fiddler’s Gun and I’d really like to have it placed on the Accelerated Reader list for schools that participate in the program. In order to make the list, the book needs to be recommended by verifiable librarians and schools.

If you are a librarian or a teacher I’d like to send you a free copy of
The Fiddler’s Gun to consider for a recommendation to the Accelerated Reader program. You can contact me by clicking here. Please include the school’s shipping address so I can mail it to you there.

If you’ve already read
The Fiddler’s Gun, you can follow this link to enter your recommendation for inclusion in the AR list.

If you’d like to set up an author visit to discuss the book at your school, I’d love to work with you.
Contact me so we can work out a date, schedule, and format that works best for you and your students.