"An Untamed State" by Roxane Gay begins as any fairy tale would, with, "Once upon a time, in a far-off land..." And, the expanse between it, and any fairy tale with which you are familiar, is wider than anything you can imagine. Gay takes the Brothers Grimm to an entirely new level.
People often ask for reading recommendations whether I'm on the job or off. It's part of my job description as a readers' services librarian. I haven't read every book I've suggested. For some, it's hard to fathom that you'd be able to suggest a book when you haven't even cracked the cover. Discovery, detective work, serendipity, daily conversations with readers, as well as diligent reading and keeping a close eye on publishing trends are the key ingredients to successful recommendations.
In "Mastiff," a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, a couple who are taking a walk come across some other hikers. After the woman has a brief exchange with them, her date asks why she would bother talking to them; after all, she'd never see them again. She responds by saying that that's the best reason for talking to them.
Standing in line under an umbrella with my daughter waiting for Santa, her nose met mine. People roamed the streets, giving out candy canes and small stuffed animals. No one gave her one. "I want to be shorter, again."
Like other listeners across the nation, a lump formed in my throat when I heard that Tom Magliozzi, who was known to so many as half of NPR’s famed “Car Talk” hosts had died at the age of 77 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. Anyone who has stumbled across the show would instantly recognize one of the most infectious laughs ever recorded.
In a recent blog post by author Seth Godin, he talks about what everyone reads. There was a time, he says, when everyone read the same newspaper or watched the same shows. Maybe there was a time when there was greater homogeny. There are so many more media streams, a variety of formatting options, different technology to deliver news, entertainment, knowledge, and opinions these days.
"Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good." There are things that surface that take us by surprise and, at the same time, wash over us like a warm stream of water, transfixing, and transporting us to moments we thought were lost.
Have you had your head buried in a book this summer? Make August your month to win prizes for your efforts and participate in this year's adult summer reading club. Every Friday, one lucky reader wins gift certificates to Savory Spice Shop (one bottle of spice) and The Bent Spoon (one free ice cream) plus a free book.
I'm on page 31 of "The Goldfinch." Only 753 pages to go until the meeting of the library's fiction book group in November. That translates to a solid three months to complete my journey into the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that's received more than its share of attention.