Browsed by
Tag: reading

The Joy of Rediscovering Shirley Jackson

The Joy of Rediscovering Shirley Jackson

In preparing for a class on gothic elements in fiction, I pulled an old book from my shelves. I’d gone searching for Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, but I found myself drawn to We Have Always Lived in the Castle instead. Have you read this book? I don’t think I’ve read it in more than thirty years, but once I flipped it open I couldn’t put it down. Lordy, it’s amazing. It’s a slim book. My paperback copy comes in…

Read More Read More

A Rabid Dog Will Bite

A Rabid Dog Will Bite

The media is atwitter with news about a forthcoming book that contains damning information about the president and the president’s inner circle. Much of that information comes from a man who was, until very recently, part of that inner circle. Steve Bannon spilled his rotten guts to Michael Wolff, the author of the soon-to-be-released tell-all book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Trump is furious and doing the only thing he seems to know how to do—sending out barely…

Read More Read More

We Read, Joyce Carol Oates. We Read.

We Read, Joyce Carol Oates. We Read.

Give anyone enough time and they will break your heart. I am a southerner. I live in Denver now, but I spent the first 21 years of my life in Mississippi. I first read Joyce Carol Oates’s short story, “How I Contemplated the World from the Detroit House of Correction and Began My Life Over Again” as part of an English class in the Jackson, Mississippi public school system. I knew I wanted to read more and over the years,…

Read More Read More

Banned Books I Have Loved

Banned Books I Have Loved

It’s Banned Books Week and organizations from the American Booksellers Association to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (who knew?) are commemorating our right to read without censorship. When we think of banned books, we often think of books forbidden by the government ala the plot of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451,  but that isn’t really how books are banned in America today. Our books tend to be banned one school district or library at a time. And it’s often aimed at…

Read More Read More

For Freedom, Just Add Water

For Freedom, Just Add Water

My husband is a whiz at fast-forwarding through television commercials. I am not so quick to the button. When he travels, as he’s doing now, I see a lot of random advertisements while I’m watching Jeopardy! or the news. There is an ad running now that is both relentlessly terrifying and ridiculous. It’s an ad for something called Wise Food Storage. It opens with an extreme closeup of a man staring into the camera and declaring: You may not be…

Read More Read More

Break the Rules

Break the Rules

Last week I sat in the Memphis airport and waited to board a United Airlines flight. My dog was on my lap. My dog is a 10-pound, 10-year-old, double dapple miniature dachshund named Maui. Most people love Maui. She is small and cute and charming. When Maui travels with me she spends the plane ride in a soft carrier underneath the seat, but I usually keep her on my lap until we board. My flight took place just about a week after…

Read More Read More

You Can’t Ask Me to Pay for That

You Can’t Ask Me to Pay for That

The current president’s proposed budget eliminates funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, abolishes the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, guts the Environmental Protection Agency, and slices community block grants to the bone. It gives more money to the military and, I assume, border walls. There doesn’t seem to be much logic behind the proposal, just a lot of chest-thumping. Trump’s budget director says we can’t ask coal miners and single moms to pay for public broadcasting. It’s a nice soundbite, but it…

Read More Read More

It’s Raining. No, That’s the Sun.

It’s Raining. No, That’s the Sun.

Like so many people across the country and around the world, I marched this weekend. My husband and I joined the crowd of about 200,000 men, women, and children in Denver. We walked and chanted and laughed and waved as we ran into people we knew from various places. We failed to meet up with others, because the crowd was too large and cell service was spotty. It didn’t matter. We were all there together, whether we found each other or…

Read More Read More

Tragedy Plus Time

Tragedy Plus Time

As I mentioned in this space last week, I’m currently reading The Storied South, a book that compiles interviews from southern writers, photographers, musicians, painters, and scholars. In the sections featuring Margaret Walker and Alice Walker, both women talk about the influence of Zora Neale Hurston. It’s been many years since I read Their Eyes Were Watching God. I decided to read it again. I remembered it as a powerful story. I remembered the use of strong dialect. What I’d forgotten somehow was the…

Read More Read More

Saints, Devils, and the Power of Work

Saints, Devils, and the Power of Work

On the day after Christmas, my husband, my mother, and I went to a nearby theater for a matinee of La La Land. On Christmas Eve we’d attended a live performance of the musical Finding Neverland, the story behind the story of Peter Pan. So a movie musical homage to Hollywood seemed like the perfect capper to our holiday entertainment. Plus, we were craving popcorn. Alas, it was not to be. Everyone, it seems, had the same idea. The movie was sold out all day long….

Read More Read More

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!