In which I discuss the skinny books that slip into my bookbag while the heavier, cumbersome volumes (like Ian Urbina’s The Outlaw Ocean and Flannery O’Connor’s letters) stay home. Thirty-eight chapters and under 200 pages: Didier Leclair’s This Country of Mine (2003; Trans. Elaine Kennedy, 2018) issues an
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It’s easy to allow one’s world to get smaller, when one is overwhelmed by some of the sadness and struggle in this world; the opposite is also true, that it’s easy to expand your world under the same set of circumstances. A random spark, like this desk calendar by
Dedicated short story writers make choices with every sentence. Short stories aren’t novels that ended too soon. They’re not short because there’s a paper shortage or a deadline. Short fiction is short on purpose. So, when a writer like Mavis Gallant chooses her words, it’s a deliberate process. Last
My planning for a year’s reading always involves looking back at the previous reading year. In 2019, I’d planned to focus on series reading. In the previous year, 25% of my reading had revolved around various series, moving ahead or finishing. In 2019, only 18 of the books I
Before I settled on some other reading projects for 2020 (more on that tomorrow), I entertained the possibility of making a simpler goal than usual: choosing half of my reading from my own shelves and half from the library’s shelves. The idea being that I have tended to read