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!
I could live the rest of my life quite happily without ever, ever again hearing the phrase guilty pleasure applied to one’s reading choices. What bothers me is, it constructs false binaries: pleasure or enrichment, entertainment or education, fun or value. As an academic, I’ve seen how these binaries can taint the idea of pleasure, as if… Continue reading Reading pet peeve #2: The phrase guilty pleasure
If you’re a mom who has ever been in a book club with other moms (especially moms of children your child is friends with), this scenario may ring familiar: We get together to talk about the book. This lasts for a solid 12 – 17 minutes. The ensuing two hours of conversation are devoted to… Continue reading Book club books for moms
By the time I moved to Connecticut, I had already made a habit of reading Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” at Christmas time. I had made it habit but not yet a tradition. The decision to commit to rereading it every year began the snowy winter we lived in a one-story cottage dating to the mid-18th… Continue reading Rereading “A Christmas Carol” at Christmas Time
Since Stephen Mitchell’s 2011 translation of the The Iliad came out, I’ve been telling myself that I should reread this epic poem. The last time I read it, I was in high school studying modern Greek with a tutor. This tutor came to my house each week. Seated at a round table in my parents’s shades-of-brown… Continue reading Rereading Homer’s “The Iliad”
You know that feeling that comes over you when you read words so perfectly, exquisitely arranged, into sentiments that ring so familiar, with insight into the human condition that cuts so deep? And you ascend into such a deep state of bliss that you feel it’s entirely possible wings will burst out of your should blades and carry… Continue reading 5 Times Charles Dickens Gave Me Fairy Wings