• Books
  • My Favorite Quotes from David Sedaris’ Naked

    I recently reread David Sedaris’ Naked. I originally read this book when we lived in NC. It was featured as “new from a local author” at the Chapel Hill library. The descriptions of his OCD compulsions on his walk home from school—gotta lick the ma‎ilbox—made a big impression on me. On my more recent read, […]

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  • Versatile Shirley Jackson

    Did you read the short story “The Lottery” in school? The story takes place in a small town, at an unstated time. Palpable excitement builds over a cherished town tradition. Which tradition, exactly, is revealed to the reader in pieces. We finally learn that one town member, chosen by lottery, is to be stoned to […]

  • Books
  • Words In Air

    Elizabeth Bishop Robert Lowell

    My husband and I mostly had a long distance, international, pre-Internet courtship. We wrote a lot of letters, and I have boxes of them still. One of my retirement projects will be to organize, scan, assemble, and annotate. I’m a romantic about letters. Thus, I fell in love with Words in Air. The book contains […]

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  • Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist

    I binged on two of Roxane Gay’s books: Bad Feminist and Hunger. Bad Feminist was wise. Hunger was shocking, in an impressively plainspoken way. The essay in Bad Feminist that moved me to post was “Typical First Year Professor.” This incident, in particular: When I was a student listening to a boring professor drone endlessly, […]

  • Books
  • My Favorite Novel: The Namesake

    The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is my favorite novel. Gogol (Nikhil) is the main character. It is his name that the title references, and the book follows his life. I find him absolutely fascinating. He goes through life with a certain level of dissatisfaction with everything, a combination of self-loathing and other-loathing. His heritage makes […]

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  • The Wonderful Franzen

    I’ve read most of what Jonathan Franzen has published. Not surprisingly, my introduction to him was via The Corrections, his Oprah-endorsed novel. That put him onto my list of authors to watch. While I waited for his next novel (Freedom), I read his essays (How Not to Be Alone) and his memoir (The Discomfort Zone). […]

  • Books
  • Peer Evaluation in Old School

    I was gripped by Tobias Wolff’s short novel Old School. Old School tells the story of an unnamed boy at boarding school. Life is difficult for this boy, the story’s narrator. My favorite detail is the deliberation at the Troubador, the school literary magazine, regarding which submissions should be selected for the next issue. The […]