Organizing my favorite books of the year is always a challenging task. How to sort through so many remarkable books, particularly when preferences are so subjective? How to make some sort of sense or cohesion out of such a disparate array of texts? Ultimately, the books that made the final cut are the ones that … Continue reading 2021 Reading List – The Final
I have been known to bristle at an author (or other creator) expanding their created world. I first felt this reaction when I learned that William Faulkner filled out the rest of the characters' biographies after the end of events in The Sound and the Fury. (They were, as you might expect, universally miserable.) It … Continue reading To Expand the World or to Not Expand the World, That is the Question: On Nghi Vo’s ‘The Chosen and the Beautiful’ Among Others
Early in the summer I wrote of my love for the Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, part of the "Grishaverse," and how I was glad to have gotten to the show before reading the book(s) because "the book is always better." Well, I have now read the first book in the series … Continue reading Notions, the “Revisiting the Book is Always Better” edition or ‘Shadow and Bone’ redux
Those of us who were readers of that one series with the dragons and the epic betrayals and the television adaptation that collapsed in on the black hole of its own juggernaut, know what it means to be disappointed. The last book published in that series, which was definitely not the last book in the … Continue reading The Beginning of Something
A few years ago, when the new-and-better-resourced movie version of Stephen King's IT was about to come out, I was talking with my mom about, well, it. She and my sister had both re-read the book and then gone to see the movie. I mentioned that I was planning to do the same and my … Continue reading Going Off Book-ish: The ‘Shadow and Bone’ TV Series, a.k.a. What to do when “the book is always better”?
"Setting" is the last of the four "Doorways to Reading" for us to discuss, the doorways being librarian Nancy Pearl's break-down of what draws readers into a book. In books with a vibrant setting doorway, readers feel taken in and entranced by the world of the book itself, whether that be a mining freighter in … Continue reading The Wheelhouse Project: Setting
In the last couple weeks I have found myself pinned between the return to work and busyness after the relative quiet of the holiday season and a national crisis. I hit a point last week staring at a stack of partially-read books feeling the existential anxiety of not having enough time to read all the … Continue reading Reading During Difficult Times
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
Friends, how are you doing? For me, this has been a rough and weary couple of weeks with the looming election and the ongoing state of the nation and the world. Which has made it hard to read. I keep picking up books, peeking at them or starting a bit, and then setting them aside. … Continue reading Hanging on By the Fingernails, or the Comfort of Known Books
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?