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 →

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I Just Realized

I just realized that I may not live to see a female president in the United States. I just realized that the America I live in is not the America I thought I lived in.   I’m part of a religious community that often laments the state of “the world.” I often hear peple say... Continue Reading →

Tearing Off Book Spines?

In early January, I visited Austin, Texas, for a national conference in my field. I had a few job interviews for assistant professor positions while there, and I ate a lot of good food. But today I wanted to pose this question: should you rip the spines off of books? I saw this in a... Continue Reading →

Bleeding in Books

I just started reading The Girl on the Train (2015) by Paula Hawkins. Immediately, I noticed a line that made me wonder, as it does in any other book. Every time I read about somebody biting themselves or clenching their fists hard enough to make themselves bleed, I am skeptical. I mean, I understand that... Continue Reading →

Half-Read Books of 2014

I failed to finish quite a few books this year!  I didn't realize it, until I began organizing some cupboards and dressers and side tables. I discovered all of the books I had started but never finished.  They were all over my house. I guess that's where all of my bookmarks have been hiding. From... Continue Reading →

Three Cups of Controversy

I read Three Cups of Tea (2007) by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin during 3 a.m. feedings with my newborn daughter. Each time she woke me in the early morning hours to feed, I snapped on a small desk lamp with a dimmer, sat in the pink gingham rocking chair with my squalling daughter,... Continue Reading →

My Favorite (And Least Favorite) Words

I can’t exactly explain why, but certain words appeal to me and others don’t. It seems a silly thing to parse out favorite and least favorite words, as if they are colors or architectural styles. But perhaps they are. Words can be delicious, so I share some of my likes and dislikes with you today.... Continue Reading →

My Blog is a Plagiarist’s Dream

I’ve had to punish plagiarists. It isn’t a fun job, but when I taught freshman English courses at a university during my Master’s program, I had to deal with it. As you all know, universities don’t take kindly to academic theft, and it is a serious issue that writing instructors must address. My first experience... Continue Reading →

A Kite Needs Wind

If somebody offers to help you, you take it, even if that help is the form of constructive criticism. Even if that help is scary to accept. I recently presented some work at a folklore conference.  My study bridges a gap between folklore and my field of professional communication.  I had recently submitted the paper... Continue Reading →

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