reading Archive

“It’s Not You, It’s Me” & Other Reasons We Don’t Finish Good Books

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You’re sitting across from someone you really dig. One of you is fiddling with a napkin edge or straw wrapper, avoiding eye contact. One of you finally says: It’s not you. It’s me. And then the unraveling begins. One-sided endings are tough, and they occur in more than just

My Ideal Bookshelf* (*For Today)

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 12 Comments
  The package arrived earlier than expected, its corners sharp, its weight hardbound. I tore open the seal and inhaled its out-of-print mustiness. This was the book with all the answers. This book contained all I needed in the world right then. Giddily, I flipped through photos of crosscut

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “My Parasite” by Gina Frangello

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The thing about a well-developed setting is that in many ways it’s invisible: it’s hidden in a sentence that reveals a character’s flaw, it sits quietly beside an emotional truth, it’s the catalyst for a surprising behavior. Setting grounds us in a specific context so that we can believe

How Much of Your Salary Would You Spend on a Book?

Author: | Categories: Reading 4 Comments
Last year my husband, Adam Stumacher, and I moved to Guatemala so we could work on our novels. That was the plan. Our first week there, he worked diligently, often using Freedom on his computer so he could stay focused on his daily word count goal. Me? Not so

Book People

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
Apparently, E.L. Doctorow once taught a course that only had one book on the syllabus. The class read the one book and decided from there what the next book should be. If it was Jane Eyre, somebody might then suggest The Wide Sargasso Sea, which was a prequel and