Is Selfishness the Key to Happiness?

I’m sure most of us would immediately answer “no” to the question the title poses. I do. I think self-care and self-love are important in order to be able to share love and affection with others, but I don’t think selfishness leads to happiness. However, one of the characters of Anita Brookner’s Hotel Du Lac... Continue Reading →

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Back to Reading for Pleasure

It has been years since I've felt like I've read for pleasure. I mean, of course I have, but even when I was, I felt like I had to post a detailed analysis of it on this blog, or that I had to write a paper about ti for a class, or I wasn't reading... Continue Reading →

A Little Du Maurier

I've read Rebecca (1938) by Daphne Du Maurier. It is a great book of suspense. I read it as part of the BBC book list that I was reading from when I started this blog. (I should get back to that.) I'm not sure why, but I stopped there with Du Maurier. I didn't think, "That... Continue Reading →

City of Books

I am visiting Portland, Oregon, this week for an academic conference and to receive an award for my dissertation (yay!). Yesterday, I visited Powell's City of Books. It is amazing. It was my first time there! I can't believe I haven't been there before. Here are some scenes from this amazing 68,000 square foot bookstore.

Which Alexander McCall Smith Series?

I recently tried to read Corduroy Mansions, the first book in a series by Alexander McCall Smith. As you may recall, I love Smith's work. But after starting, and then stopping, this book, I realized something. I love the series featuring Isabel Dalhousie. And I love Precious Ramotswe of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.... Continue Reading →

On Beauty Is a Novel

As I begin reading Zadie Smith’s first novel White Teeth (2000), I realize that I have not yet posted about reading her book On Beauty (2005). For some reason, when I opened it, I expected some sort of feminist critique of media and advertising. I thought it was nonfiction. To my surprise (and delight) it... Continue Reading →

Literary Jerks

Did you know that many of the "great" male authors were also jerks? I learned this while reading a poignant piece on motherhood and art called "Mother, Writer, Monster, Maid" by Rufi Thorpe. It explores the price of both being an artist and being a mother and how women may or may not be able... Continue Reading →

Loving the Books of Rita Williams-Garcia

My kids and I are ready for summer. Perhaps even a “crazy summer.” But I suspect that any summer plans we make or carry out will not be as crazy as the summer the Gaither sisters have in Oakland, California, in Rita Williams-Garcia’s book One Crazy Summer (2010). Delphine, age ten, and her younger sisters... Continue Reading →

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