It felt distinctly like autumn today in my New England town. The temperatures have settled into the neighborhood of the 60s. There was a light breeze gently tugging golden leaves off their branches, sending them skipping and swirling. On these days, the word “blustery” comes to mind. It’s a blustery day, I’ll think. The word always invites… Continue reading Happy 90th birthday, Winnie-the-Pooh!
At the end of Elif Batuman’s memoir The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, she writes—and I promise this won’t spoil the book should you choose to read it: “If I could start over today, I would choose literature again. If the answers exist in the world or in the universe,… Continue reading Happy National Poetry Day!
This week, I’ve been mulling over whether reading is primarily a lifestyle or primarily a cultural pursuit. Writing that sentence annoyed me. Because why must it be either/or? These false binaries are, irritatingly, everywhere. However, for the sake of filing newspaper stories, practical decisions have to be made. Does a story on, for example, hot new releases… Continue reading The Reading Life: Lifestyle or cultural pursuit?
“You know what the ancients said…” Growing up, I heard this phrase more times than I can count. The “ancients” referred to the ancient Greek philosophers, poets, playwrights, etc. I don’t know if this is true in all Greek families, but in mine, ancient wisdom was standard fare. One bit I remember my dad repeating (and… Continue reading Homer’s The Odyssey: How I chose which translation to read
The bookish interwebs are buzzing today with fun and funny tributes to National Book Lovers Day, celebrated on Aug. 9 each year. For some of us (like me!), every day is book lovers day. But I feel the spirit of setting aside one day a year to acknowledge and celebrate what you treasure. I mean,… Continue reading For National Book Lovers Day, 5 Reasons to Read
I thought this was going to be a piece in which I gleefully recount my exploits as a book quitter. I say “gleefully” because I heartily advocate reading the books we want to read. Outside the context of school or work requirements, reading isn’t a responsibility to anyone but oneself. So no one is obligated to… Continue reading I thought I was book quitter until I checked the stats
We’ve arrived at the halfway point of 2016, and for me, that means the halfway point of my commitment to read my own books this year. When I’ve done reading challenges before, they’ve been numbers based, along the lines of “I promise to read 100 books this year.” The numbers game hasn’t led to much… Continue reading Reckoning with #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks in June
Reading Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop earlier this month got me thinking about my relationship with French literature. Which is perhaps best summarized as, “It’s complicated.” Nothing distills complex, at times ambivalent, at times frustrating, at times enchanting emotional responses quite like a GIF. Am I right? Let’s begin!
Growing up a voracious reader, I was drawn to books both for the beauty of the stories and language and for their power to transport and change me. I mean “transport” in two ways. Books transport me to different times and places, and they transport me out of my self. While reading, I enter another’s… Continue reading How does reading change us?
Short Story Month is celebrated in May, apparently. I only just discovered this a few days ago, perhaps because I read short stories at about the same rate I read poetry. Which is to say, not very often. (Though I might need to amend this where poetry is concerned as I’ve read three poetry books… Continue reading What makes a short story collection work?