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Thackeray’s Vanity Fair: A Fantastic Cure for Insomnia

I’m vain.  Let’s face it.  I always have been.  I like to look nice, and when I’m done making myself look nice, I like to admire myself in the mirror.  As a young… Continue reading

Decorating with Books, Part Two

Again, I am not a professional when it comes to photography or decorating, but I thought it would be fun to share how I display and store books at my house.  If you… Continue reading

Decorating with Books

I’m not an interior designer or a photographer, but here are some photos of how I decorate with books at my house.  Books best represent my personality, so I’ve come to collect them… Continue reading

The Music of Les Miserables and the Book (I Guess)

Yes, my husband read Les Miserables (1862) before I did.  Several years before I did, in fact.  When we were dating in college, he had to read it for an assigned reading course… Continue reading

Alice in Wonderland and Puberty

I physically wrestled my husband for a copy of one of the Harry Potter books.  It came in the mail the day of its release (I can’t remember which book it was), and… Continue reading

Rebecca: Not Really a Ghost Story

When I picked up a copy of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca (1938), number 15 on the BBC Book List, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this a romance novel?” You know, one of… Continue reading

How to Train Your . . . White Whale?

My only in-person experience with white whales occurred at Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when a male beluga whale aggressively chased the female whale in the tank, alternately poking out and… Continue reading

My Favorite Canterbury Tale: The Sneaky, Feminist Wife

The shock on my students’ faces when I tell them that there is such a thing as self plagiarism always reminds me of The Wife of Bath.  They don’t believe me.  They try… Continue reading

I Was Afraid to Major in English

I was afraid to become an English major.  They all seemed so . . . smart.  Arrogant.  Self-assured.  These were traits I did not possess, aside from smartness, but they seemed smarter.  They… Continue reading

Someone at a Distance: A Treasure from the Grave of Library Basement Obscurity

Someone at a Distance (1953) by Dorothy Whipple (1893-1966) is about a wife who is strong and smart in the face of her husband’s extreme stupidity.  Sound familiar?  If you’re married, it should. … Continue reading