C.J. and I visited Los Angeles this past week to see the James Kerry Marshall retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the same show we saw last summer in Chicago. We’ve become big fans of Mr. Marshall’s work. It was a mad-cap three-day trip–drive down, day in L.A. and drive home–but we managed to visit three bookstores while we were there. We stayed in … Continue reading Sunday Ramble: Travels, Art and Jane Austen Challenge
What makes a book a classic? Lionel Shriver was a guest on my favorite BBC program A Good Read. You can listen to the program here. It was the dullest episode of my favorite program ever. Knowing something of what Ms. Shriver is like in person, I almost didn’t listen, but I thought I’d be open-minded, give it a try. The conceit of A Good … Continue reading Sunday Rant and Ramble: Lionel Shriver Makes me Mad; A New Cat Arrives; Tournament of Books Results
Reading is a creative act. This is a controversial idea, one that many people resist strongly, one I resisted when I first learned about it. But, over the years, I’ve come to appreciate it as an adult reader. That young readers are creative agents is apparent to me and to probably anyone who has spent more than a few years working with them. In her … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Ponyboy and Johnny and Dally
One thing I do when I’m not reading or blogging about reading is make and exchange mail art with people around the world. Since I don’t have a review to post today, I thought I’d post pictures of some (mail)art I have received lately. Most mail art is collage based, mixed media stuff. Some include calligraphy and various stamps. Sometimes the envelope is the … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Art in the Mail
This post is more of a ramble than a rant, so don’t worry. It’s been a busy week, getting ready for the 20th anniversary party C.J. and I threw yesterday, so there have not been many posts here lately. I’m hoping to have a good amount of down time today, enough to relax and get a bunch of robo-posts ready for the week. Some I’m … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Catching up with This Week’s Reading and Lionel Shriver Wears a Funny Hat.
Before school started this week, I finished my little tower of book boxes. I found this idea down in L.A. at Skylight Books where there is a wall of boxes carved to look like a tree with all sorts of book related words and images around it. Skylight has a big skylight in the center of the store with a real tree growing underneath it. … Continue reading Sunday Salon: There’s Sherlock Holmes in Them Thar’ Hills!
Last night, I dreamed I met poet Jacqueline Woodson author of Brown Girl Dreaming which I hope to be teaching to my 7th graders later this year. I was very nervous about meeting her, but I told her how much I love her book and how excited I am to be teaching it. She said, “Let’s grab some lunch.” So she and I had lunch together … Continue reading Sunday Salon: I dreamed I had lunch with Jacqueline Woodson. Does that count as an anxiety dream?
Coming to you today from the laundry room in the basement of the University of Chicago. I’m here for a Gilder Lehrman program on Literature of the Jim Crow period which starts today. I’m doing laundry because C.J. and I decided to make a vacation of it so I’ve been here since Tuesday. I was very good up until yesterday–no bookstores. We even walked past several … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Rambling Round Chicago Bookstores
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
I was in Los Angeles last week for the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) convention last week which was a lot of fun. I attended three days worth of panels on writing and publishing, got more useful material for my classroom than I expected, and was overwhelmed by the sheer number of quality literary journals on display in the exhibit hall. I knew … Continue reading L.A. Literary Match-Up: Skylight Books vs. The Last Bookstore.
I am enthralled with City on Fire by Garth Risk Halberg. I’m please to say so because it’s been a little while since I’ve been enthralled with a book. I’m only 120 or so pages into the 600+ page novel so I’ll be able to enjoy this one for a couple of days. I hope. You know how things can turn. I’ve been following The Tournament … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Rambling Reading, a Bigot in a Red Pick-up and the Last Days of the Triple Dog Dare
It’s so tempting to fall off the wagon at this point. Just eleven days left in the TBR Triple Dog Dare, but if you’re like me, then you already have a small stack of books you bought surreptitiously somewhere in your house tempting you to stray. Resist. I confess that I have been to the bookstore twice already and that I do have a small … Continue reading TBR Triple Dog Dare – Just 11 Days To Go. You Can Do It!