Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Indigenous Tales: A Pulitzer

He was the first native American novelist to focus on the plights of the contemporary Native American.

The supporting materials in the back of the paperback edition of N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn (1966) do a fine job of explaining the unique importance of the work culturally, within the broader context of postwar American fiction. […]


In My Reading Log

At the beginning of March, I was determined to keep my nose in a stack of backlisted books. Books like these are the kind that to keep my focus on my own shelves in this reading year.

Chad Pelley’s Every Little Thing (2013) “Every day, every hour, really, it was a new name and a new […]


January 2015, In My Bookbag

Isn’t there something satisfying about beginning to read someone’s published diaries in a January, when those diaries begin in some other long-ago January?

Dawn Powell’s diaries have been on my shelves for more than a decade but suddenly, in this January, I felt compelled to begin reading them.

It sat beside other diaries (including Sylvia Plath’s and […]


Sweet and Swedish

1961; Dell Publishing, 1975

Maria Gripe’s trilogy is just charming.

Josephine chooses her own name because the name Anna Grå is too big for her, like a pair of shoes that she needs to grow into.

She is six years old. Her blue sweater is getting too small but she has gotten too big to […]


Mary Norton’s Poor Stainless (1966)

Mary Norton’s Poor Stainless (1966)

Also included in the Odyssey Classic edition of The Borrowers Aloft (originally published in 1961 and republished in 1998) is the short tale, Poor Stainless.

This was originally published as a separate volume in 1966, presented as a tale that Homily tells Arrietty,  something that happened when Homily was a girl.



In which Rachel tries to stop apologizing

Margaret Laurence’s A Jest of God McClelland & Stewart, 1966

Rachel Cameron’s List of Problems: 1. Mother 2. Work 3. Loneliness 4. Manawaka life and last, but not least, 5. Rachel Cameron.

Her mother is getting older, and she not only has heart problems, but a brilliant capacity for passive-aggressive attacks. Rachel is her primary […]


Testicles, Buttocks and Vomit in Angela Carter

My first Angela Carter read was The Magic Toyshop. Somewhere I’d gotten the idea that I would like this novel without any real understanding of its author, so I was surprised by just how magical that toyshop really was, but I recognized something about Angela Carter that led me to collect her work steadily, even […]