A Reader’s Journal: More Thoughts ON IMMUNITY

A Reader’s Journal: More Thoughts ON IMMUNITY

The measured and compassionate tone Eula Biss uses throughout On Immunity: An Inoculation seems as if it should inoculate the book against controversy, but its subject matter is likely to land it right in the middle of the vaccination debate. I hope it does. I want it to attract enough attention and readership to become a significant player in that debate, to be honest. It certainly gave me plenty to think about, and I feel the need to express […]

#NonfictionNovember Q&A: My Year in Nonfiction

#NonfictionNovember Q&A: My Year in Nonfiction

Nonfiction November is officially underway! This week’s survey-style look at “Your Year In Nonfiction” is hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness. Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? As I was preparing this post, I was somewhat taken aback to discover I’ve only reviewed about a dozen nonfiction books on the blog this year. I expect to […]

All Joy and No Fun and More Thoughts on Modern Parenthood

All Joy and No Fun and More Thoughts on Modern Parenthood

I made all sorts of notes while I was reading Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood last month. I didn’t think I’d get all of my thoughts into my discussion of the book and planned a follow-up post, although I didn’t plan for it to go up quite so long after the review. But since it felt like many of us were on some form of blogging break during August, I really don’t mind […]

A (NON)Fan(girl)’s Notes: Against Football

A (NON)Fan(girl)’s Notes: Against Football

I don’t come from a particularly athletic family, but I am the bridge between two generations of passionate, engaged, involved spectators. My son started reading the sports pages soon after he became capable of reading anything, and twenty-odd years later, his sideline is writing about his alma mater’s athletic program. My father was never a sportswriter, but his sports reading was probably the model for his grandson’s. #181877364 / gettyimages.com Of course, neither just reads about sports–they’re viewers as well, with […]

Road Tripping: Or, Facing My Fear of the Freeway

Road Tripping: Or, Facing My Fear of the Freeway

One decision I made as my first marriage was ending was that when it was all over and our son was off to university, I was moving to Southern California. That decision led to a personal understanding: if I planned to live on the West Coast, on my own, I was going to have to conquer my fear of driving on limited-access highways. I hadn’t done it for nearly a decade. It wasn’t necessary in […]

Handling the (Reading) Truth: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Me (Part 2 of 2)

Handling the (Reading) Truth: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Me (Part 2 of 2)

To pick up where we left off, I can tell you exactly when my reading preferences shifted from almost exclusively fiction to avoiding fiction as much as possible–it was late 1999, into early 2000 (I would say the “turn of the millennium,” but it was actually a year earlier)–and I can tell you exactly why. My husband (not the one I have now, in case that doesn’t quickly become obvious) started a relationship with another woman […]

At the Un-Common Core: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Me (Part 1 of 2)

At the Un-Common Core: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Me (Part 1 of 2)

(Disclosure: I used Grammarly to check for plagiarism free because when I express myself, I want to be sure it’s really myself that I’m expressing–and if it’s not, I want to give proper citation and credit where it’s due. This post is sponsored by Grammarly, but the opinions expressed in it are all mine.) Until I was well into adulthood, my reading habits were pretty firmly entrenched in the “Fiction and Literature” section of the […]

The Phantom TBR: Or, Me and an E-Book

The Phantom TBR: Or, Me and an E-Book

I gave up using a dedicated e-reader well over a year ago. I was fond enough of my original Kindle, but when I “upgraded” to a Kindle Touch a couple of years later, I just couldn’t get comfortable with it. On the other hand, I was quickly coming to love using the iPad I bought for myself with some Christmas money (on December 26, 2011) for many things, including reading. It turned out that I […]

Some Uncensored Thoughts on Censorship

Some Uncensored Thoughts on Censorship

I didn’t plan my September reading well enough to have a book lined up for Banned Books Week 2013, which begins on Monday, and I didn’t plan this week well enough to put together an original piece on censorship for Sheila’s annual Banned Books Week event. She’s holding it a week in advance due to a schedule conflict, and calling it “Reading to Beat the Banned.” But I’ve written about this before, and my feelings […]

Notes on This Year’s Reading (which is not finished yet!)

Notes on This Year’s Reading (which is not finished yet!)

This isn’t an official “Year in Review” post, because I feel like it’s still a little early for me to go there, but it is a bit of a rehearsal for it. I haven’t done much in the way of taking stock this year, so I feel a need to get my bearings. Part of that need comes from a sense that, particularly for the last few months, I haven’t done much bloggish, period. This was […]

Independent Thinking, Part 2: Indie Authors & the Indie Reviewer

Independent Thinking, Part 2: Indie Authors & the Indie Reviewer

My participation in Creative Alliance ’12 prompted much consideration of my approach to my online life. As a book blogger, that life clearly includes books and authors…but it hasn’t included many from the swelling ranks of the “non-traditionally published.” This is the last of this month’s posts on “indie authors.” All opinions expressed here are my own, although some may be supported with links to related posts elsewhere. Yesterday’s thoughts pondered why more authors are publishing independently. […]

Independent Thinking, Part 1: Changing Times for Authors, or “Why DIY?”

Independent Thinking, Part 1: Changing Times for Authors, or “Why DIY?”

My participation in Creative Alliance ’12 prompted much consideration of my approach to my online life. As a book blogger, that life clearly includes books and authors…but it hasn’t included many from the swelling ranks of the “non-traditionally published.” This is the third of this month’s posts on “indie authors.” All opinions expressed here are my own, although some may be supported with links to related posts elsewhere. I don’t usually think of it in […]

Sunday Salon: Seriously, Comedy is Hard

Sunday Salon: Seriously, Comedy is Hard

Last week, I completed my duties as a first-round nonfiction judge for the Shirley You Jest! Humor Book Awards and forwarded one contender on to the final round. The winners and runners-up (one of each, for fiction and nonfiction) will be announced on November 1, National Authors’ Day. After mulling it over with some degree of anxiety, I have decided that I won’t be posting reviews of any of the titles I considered. I know […]

Sunday Salon: Books–they’re good for what ails ya!

Sunday Salon: Books–they’re good for what ails ya!

I suspect that the idea that books can help us through challenging times in our lives is not exactly a revelation to most avid readers. We’re conditioned to turn to books in times of crisis–for the solace of familiar “comfort reads,” for information, for ideas that may shift (or strengthen) our perspectives. We’ve probably been practicing self-administered “bibliotherapy” for much of our lives, and we know it works: “As generations of book lovers will tell […]

Sunday Salon: Shaping Stories

Sunday Salon: Shaping Stories

“Facts don’t do what I want them to”  – “Crosseyed and Painless,” Talking Heads And so we shape them into something that does what we want. Some other lines from the same section of that song acknowledge that: “Facts all come with points of view” “Facts continue to change their shape” “Facts are nothing on the face of things” I’ve been thinking a lot about how we shape narratives lately – ever since my stint […]