Posts tagged as:

great gift books

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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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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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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Sweet Tooth; Ian McEwan, 2012

February 1, 2013

At the end—or so I’d hoped, anyway—of a dreary and relentless sinus infection, when the second round of antibiotics had started to kick in (this was long before the third round) and the pain that had held my face and forehead in its searing claws released its grip enough that I could read again, some […]

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“I thought I was the only one!”

September 24, 2012

A sweet paean to the  Betsy-Tacy books in The New York Times this week, illustrated with a Lois Lenski drawing of Tib, Betsy and Tacy (left to right) sitting on a fence, barefoot as children should be, and (spoiler alert) apparently post-haircuts. Hard to believe that the years those first books describe are more than a […]

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reading: interactive communication ne plus ultra

May 2, 2012

It’s been too long, my darlings. Working like a fiend at my day job and finishing a draft of a novel in the wee hours filled my winter as the snow we didn’t have might have filled in the cracks and crevices in the landscape, quieting the noise of the world and making it difficult […]

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Spies of the Balkans; Alan Furst, 2011

December 20, 2011

I have a terrible weakness for buying books in airports. A foolish habit, because I’m always carrying too much weight as it is, but the truth is, I don’t spend much time in new bookstores. I live deep in the boonies and I don’t enjoy shopping as a hobby; unless I need something specific, or […]

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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen; Alan Garner, 1960

December 17, 2011

Christopher Middleton, in The Telegraph, tells you anything you might need to know about The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, and talks with Alan Garner and other writers about the effect it’s had on over 50 years of readers and writers. I will add this, though Middleton mentions it: most claustrophobic scene in all of fiction! Well, […]

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