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FRONTLINE: MLT Musts

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Things We Like

The Write-Brain Workbook:
366 Exercises to Liberate
Your Writing

By Bonnie Neubauer
(F&W Publications, 370 pages)

More than a clever play on words, this book by Springfield’s Bonnie Neubauer will simultaneously frustrate and free you. At first glance, it could make anyone suffering from acute writer’s block more than a little anxious. But once you realize you’re not getting graded (or edited), the walls come tumbling down, and these exercises become something, well, fun.

Walden
By Michael T. Dolan
(Conversari House, 136 pages)

In his first novel, West Chester’s Michael T. Dolan cleverly conveys the college experience—especially those first hours when you’re bracing yourself for “the roommate.” Satirical, tragic and poignant, the coming-of-age story of Walden XVI, a student struggling to find his identity, makes the perfect stocking stuffer for any college freshman.

A.J. Swearingen
A.J. Swearingen
(Ajswearingen.com)

Bordering on chick music, Swearingen’s sentimental lyrics and pretty acoustic guitar have stayed with us since seeing him at Phoenixville’s Steel City Coffeehouse earlier this year. Recalling John Gorka, Lyle Lovett and Van Morrison, his poetic baritone inhabits the ears. This peaceful yet emotional self-titled CD is essential Sunday morning iPod listening.