Posts tagged as:

books for big kids

Forbidden Fictions

June 24, 2014

First published one year ago in The Public Humanist… My husband is teaching a class called “Forbidden Fictions” this summer, to a self-selected group of high school almost-seniors. One of his first thoughts: “This might be the only opportunity I ever get to teach Lolita to high school students.” He reread the book with far more discomfort […]

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Sorting the Books, part 1

May 29, 2014

First published a year ago in The Public Humanist. Wonder where we are today? It’s that time again. If you read, if you have a weakness for shiny stacks of paperbacks in airports, or the carousel of sale books at the library—they’re only a dollar!—then you know what happens. You stack a few sideways in […]

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Falling into poetry from fiction, one year on…

April 24, 2014

This piece was published one year ago in The Public Humanist: It’s National Poetry Month, and while we could drink our way through an entire month of pure poetic delight without the well ever running dry, we (whisper) might not want to stop reading stories. Or, we might feel more at ease reading stories. Poems […]

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nothing says “the holidays” like nepotism

November 9, 2013

…and what more appropriate time to celebrate my family than as Thanksgiving approaches. Halloween is behind us, and I am in no way encouraging any of you to put up Christmas decorations. All in good time. (It has been fun to scheme and dream about the perfect Hanukkah/Thanksgiving fusion menu. I propose latkes with Mama […]

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May all your fictions be forbidden…

June 25, 2013

Well, perhaps not. This week in The Public Humanist I discuss sisters, sin and sibilance, or maybe it’s husbands and Humberts, or 50 Shades and forbidden fictions, or just Lo-lee-ta…

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walk around feeling like a leaf

June 8, 2013

Wise words, in her beautiful hand, from poet and writer Naomi Shihab Nye.

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The Golden Treasury of Poetry; Louis Untermeyer, 1959

April 30, 2013

Before we leave National Poetry Month behind for another year—though in our hearts every month may be poetry month—I want to express my gratitude to my parents for bringing poetry into my life from an early age, for reading poems aloud to me—from A. A. Milne to the fella referred to in an infamous student […]

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Fall into poems from fiction

April 29, 2013

Go on, take the pleasurable plunge. I elaborate here, in The Public Humanist, pushing the love drugs (the drugs I love) Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch, Habibi, The Golden Gate, and Little, Big. More on Pish, Posh here.

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Maurice Sendak: “Live your life, live your life, live your life.”

March 27, 2013

The art and the unique sensibility of Maurice Sendak shaped my childhood imagination and continues to inform me as a storyteller and as a human being. Here, Christoph Niemann shares with us how Maurice Sendak has moved him. I bawled my eyes out. (Thanks, Jazz.) Full interview with Terry Gross here. If you need a few […]

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Journey to the River Sea; Eva Ibbotson, 2001.

February 4, 2013

In the throes of a relentless virus from a week before Christmas until long after New Year’s, my plans to read grownup books over the holidays flew out the window, and when I could read at all, all I was good for was yet another rereading of a handful of Eva Ibbotson’s YA novels: The […]

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