Here There Be Monsters: ‘Lady From the Black Lagoon’ and ‘Margaret the First’

What does it mean to be a creative or creatively-engaged person in a culture that values you primarily for your body alone—your beauty, your procreative potential? Two books I read recently explore this question through the experiences of two very different women and they explore it in very different ways. Yet I find illuminating connections … Continue reading Here There Be Monsters: ‘Lady From the Black Lagoon’ and ‘Margaret the First’

Going Off Book-ish: Lord of the Rings and ‘Newcomers’ Podcast

The Lord of the Rings movies. That's what my partner and I decided we wanted to distract us this past Tuesday and throughout the week (because, let's be honest, those movies are looong). We've both seen the trilogy oodles of times so decided to start with the The Two Towers. It's my favorite of the … Continue reading Going Off Book-ish: Lord of the Rings and ‘Newcomers’ Podcast

Going Off Book: I kind of want a ‘Neverending Story’ remake?

I stare at the boxed faces of 60 traditional-aged college students. I speak to them about David Foster Wallace and Audre Lorde, urging them to pay attention to this precious, weird, fleeting time period, to determine how they will use their power—collective and individual—to improve the world. It is impossible to know if I am … Continue reading Going Off Book: I kind of want a ‘Neverending Story’ remake?

To Annotate or To Not Annotate. That is the Question

How do we feel about annotation? I'm for it, in the abstract. I tend to get a kick out seeing authors' and others' marginalia. I inherited my parents' shared copies of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, which they used as non-traditional college students. I love their annotations, how what they saw as important enough … Continue reading To Annotate or To Not Annotate. That is the Question

A Conversation about ‘Crossings” by Alex Landragin

In a first for this site, I recorded a conversation with my brilliant, wonderful friend Dr. Martina Shabram about the recently-released novel Crossings by Alex Landragin. This novel has a formal innovation where you can read it straight through as three free-standing but interconnected novellas (Martina's way) or via the "Baroness method," which tells you … Continue reading A Conversation about ‘Crossings” by Alex Landragin