(Almost) Weekly Reader

“I will have free time,’’ she vows. “I have never / had free time. I will have time to give away. / I regret always writing, writing. I gave / my kid the whole plastic bag of marshmallows, / so I could have 20 minutes to write.’’

How could one not be drawn to a book containing those lines?

Carmela Ciuraru describes Maxine Hong Kingston’s I Love a Broad Margin to My Life as a “graceful meditation on aging, she writes in a stream-of-consciousness style, recording her thoughts as a single column of verse on each page, in her Boston Globe review.

One of the funniest posts I’ve read in a while, by author Julianna Baggot, from her terrific blog: “For All The Ladies in My Mother’s Book Group,” on learning that her mother’s book group had a “split vote” on whether to have her, and other too-true stories of life on the writer circuit.

According to the Miami Herald’s Connie Ogle, in “Between the Covers” in her (I love this column) Snooki’s book is not selling that well: “Maybe it’s a sign that the apocalypse isn’t as nigh as we thought.” Ogle reports that it has sold ‘shy of 9,000 copies.” In Ogle’s truly good news department, a new Books & Books is opening in downtown Miami. Always so good to hear about an independent book store opening.

Ellen Meeropol’s interview in the Springfield Republican about her newly launched book House Arrest highlights both her book and her remarkable debut: This week’s release of Ellen Meeropol’s debut novel, “House Arrest,” marks a major milestone in her career as a writer. Most remarkable is that, now in her 60s, she didn’t start writing full-time until six years ago. Her transition from nurse practitioner to novelist proves, as 19th century author George Eliot said, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.

In the midst of this awful winter, Amy Guth highlights books with weather so awful, even Chicago folk will feel better. (In the Chicago Tribune.) Excellent for weather schadenfreude.

There is a lovely piece in the LA Times by Susan Salter Reynolds on the joy of beautifully made books. . . . amazing, beautiful objects — rare objects, printed in Brooklyn basements, in studios in Berlin, in Zurich and Amsterdam

What Kris is reading:

For those of us who loved the “Tales of the City” books just read the latest. Mary Ann in Autumn takes place 20 years after she left her child and husband to follow the bright lights to NYC. She’s back in San Fran w/ a big secret and a huge need to be comforted by old friends. They’re all here—Mouse, Anna Madrigal, DeDe plus transgendered gardeners, pedophile dog walkers and gay Mormons.

Good to be back with the gang from 28 Barbary Lane.

On a much darker note, read Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi. Such a courageous, sad book. Beautifully written, no “poor me,” just raw, honest words about a terrifying time in her life. The photos are really difficult to see. It’s a graphic reminder about the terrible things we do to ourselves to be accepted and loved

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One Comment

  1. Ginny
    Posted February 3, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this! I don’t know how you do it — but it is great to have this

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