The Reading Life

The Reading Life: Lifestyle or cultural pursuit?

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?

Classic Books · Reviews

Rereading Homer’s “The Iliad”

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”

Literary Places

Literary Places: Weathersfield, Connecticut and “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”

The places we read about in books exert a tremendous fascination. How else to explain the existence of phenomena like Universal’s Harry Potter world, or the restored homes of beloved authors, or literary walking tours of the cities and towns where those authors, and their characters, lived? I have felt this pull to London, in… Continue reading Literary Places: Weathersfield, Connecticut and “The Witch of Blackbird Pond”

The Reading Life

On Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Magical Number Seven

Seven (7). That is how many copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone live in my house. I mention this because if you’ve read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, you may recall that seven is a powerfully magical number. Do with this information what you will. Now then, how does one end up with seven copies of… Continue reading On Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Magical Number Seven

Classic Books · Seasonal Reading

Rereading “The Raven” and “A Tell-Tale Heart” at Halloween

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my big inspirations to reread my favorite classics, and discover the ones I’ve neglected in the past, has been doing the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge with Jessica Collins, my friend and contributing editor at Books, Ink. With Halloween upon us, my Gilmore Girls reads this week are holiday themed: Edgar Allan… Continue reading Rereading “The Raven” and “A Tell-Tale Heart” at Halloween