Category Archives: book review

Personal Art: Patti Smith’s Just Kids

I finished Patti Smith’s Just Kids late last night.  For a poet, Smith’s prose was decidedly banal, and though I admire her premise — a coming of age/muse and artist/love and friendship story — the memoir read more like a … Continue reading

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The perks of being sensitive

I recently read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky for a professional development group on young adult literature.  The main character, Charlie, despite his social awkwardness is a compassionate and surprisingly intuitive soul.  He seems to know … Continue reading

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Imprints: Jeanette Winterson’s musings on adoption

Jeanette Winterson has just written a memoir.  I’d read her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, a semi-autobiographic novel that begins with the protagonist’s revelation of her adoption.  I read Oranges in college, and despite Winterson’s memorable protagonist,  … Continue reading

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Hairstyles of the damned by Joe Meno

Joe Meno’s Hairstyles of the Damned has the best book cover, ever. And not just because the hairstyle is reminiscent of one I might have sported in college. I could try to describe it, but just go look for yourself … Continue reading

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Winter break reading

As part of my winter break reading, I decided to tackle a book of essays that seemed, on the surface, interesting.  Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt caught my eye because Sarah Vowell said it was great. I love Sarah … Continue reading

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Mid-life and mixing metaphors

I teach and work closely with two 30-something year olds. And I envy their solidity, their self-assurance, their knowledge of themselves. I remember when I was a 30-something teacher; I knew that I had all the answers, that I had … Continue reading

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By Nightfall: Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham is one of my favorite authors, and his books, The Hours and Specimen Days, are two that I have come back to when I want to think more deeply about the conditions of modern lives. Cunningham’s characters, even … Continue reading

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A taste of Irish history from Roddy Doyle

I just finished reading Roddy Doyle’s The Dead Republic, and it made me realize how little I really know about the details of Irish history. I have the gist, and I recall some of the modern events from my childhood, … Continue reading

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