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Three American Tragedies (1906, 1925, and 2002)

I first read Theodore Dreiser’s masterpiece An American Tragedy (1925) during the summer of 2003.  Little did I know that the story unfolding before me in that book would also play out on… Continue reading

Harry Potter, the Hero Cycle, and Cinderella

Because of my curiosity, I sneaked the first Harry Potter book into an assignment for my Myth, Legend, and Folklore class as an undergraduate college student.  The Harry Potter series (number 4 on… Continue reading

Depressing Books

I enjoy depressing books.  Russian authors?  Bring them on!  Shakespeare’s tragedies?  Can’t get enough!  And my love of these books once led me to suggest them to others.  However, I quickly learned that… Continue reading

Death Changes Mrs. Dalloway and Us

The first time my sister Haley received an invitation for a sleepover, it was to her best friend Martha’s house.  Such an invitation is exciting and a celebrated first experience away from home. … Continue reading

Larry McMurtry’s Rollicking American West

I picked Lonesome Dove, winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize, for a book club meeting once.  However, as a group we decided not to read it because of its daunting 945 pages.  But… Continue reading

Shakespeare: Don’t Be Afraid

We always laugh when my husband notices a mistake in a text before I do.  But he noticed an inconsistency with the BBC book list when I didn’t.  The Complete Works of Shakespeare… Continue reading

Carol Lynn Pearson and Me

As a child, I had no idea why Carol Lynn Pearson was important to my mom.  I knew that my mom owned many books of Carol Lynn Pearson’s poetry, and I have a… Continue reading

John Irving, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Alex (My Former Boss)

I had never heard of John Irving until my boss Alex told me about him.  I was 21 years old at the time and working as a secretary after graduating from college.  (Yes,… Continue reading

The Bible as Art, Music, and Literature

Once in a graduate class, a fellow student stormed out when the teacher asked us to think about how Christianity connects to and informs the contemporary American literature we were reading.  The student… Continue reading

Julia Child and Paris

I envy Julia Child’s years of living abroad, especially her time in France.  Almost four years ago, my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Paris with my dad, his partner, and… Continue reading