I heard about this book on an episode of A Good Read my favorite book related podcast from BBC 4. The host and both of her guests loved it, went on and on about how good it was, with a few caveats, it is the BBC after all. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Waters’ work since I first saw Pink Flamingoes, with my hands over my eyes … Continue reading Role Models by John Waters.
In 1527, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca served as treasurer on an ill-fated expedition to the Florida Peninsula. Early on, the expedition was shipwrecked near what is now Tampa Bay. Cabeza de Vaca tried to convince the expedition’s leadership that they should remain on the shore until rescue arrived, but the thirst for gold and the mistaken belief that there were Spanish settlements nearby resulted … Continue reading The Shipwrecked Man by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca
I’m going to stick to my guns here, enforce my long time rule for selecting the top ten list which is “Do I want to read this book again someday?” The answer must be yes to qualify. Which means there are many books that I loved reading that will not make the list. Lots of books are great books, great reads, but not something I’ll … Continue reading Top Ten Favorite Reads for 2016.
Do you have to be a fan of hers to enjoy Illeana Douglas’s memoir I Blame Dennis Hopper? That’s the essential question with any celebrity memoir, I guess. Does it have anything to offer people who are not fans of the author? Or to people who don’t know the author’s work at all? I can only speak as a fan, or as something of a fan. … Continue reading I Blame Dennis Hopper by Illeana Douglas
I know this won’t win me many friends in some quarters but my main problem with graphic novels is that they are typically so much better as graphics than they are as novels. Even when I look at the graphic novels I’ve loved and admired, I have to admit that I like the artwork much more than I do the writing. Most graphics novelists–in … Continue reading Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast
How to categorize this book? Part memoir, part essay on art, part essay on philosophy, artwork, journal, graphic narrative. Hard to say. Then, if you don’t really know what it is, how do you determine if it is good? What It Is can be viewed as a sort of textbook for a class on imagery. Each section of the book deals with some aspect of … Continue reading What It Is by Lynda Barry
Greetings from Clovis and me. Sometime today we’ll be reading more of Anthony Marra’s new book The Tsar of Love and Techno. See how it says “Stories” right there on the cover? I should have paid more attention. I’ve enjoyed the book from the start, parts of it are very funny in that slightly skewed, dark way Russian writers have, but things just made no … Continue reading Sunday Morning Ramble
For years the books we’ve used in my 7th grade English class have been dominated by white men and S.E. Hinton. While S.E. Hinton is a woman, women do not figure heavily in her novel The Outsiders. Though we love all of the books we use, and it’s harder to get a loved book out of the hands of an English teacher than it is … Continue reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
This passage may contain everything I loved about M.F.K. Fishers memoir, The Gastronomical Me. The first time, on our way to Germany, we had sat downstairs while our meal was being made. There were big soft leather chairs, and on the dark table was a bowl of the first potato chips I ever saw in Europe, not the uniformly thing uniformly golden ones that come out … Continue reading The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher