Tag Archives: essays

2023 Books Read

I think I might have read more books by non-American authors than American this year. Countries represented below: Austria, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Ireland, France, Russia, Colombia. I revisited some old favorites, which I will continue to do in … Continue reading

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“The ability to think for one’s self depends upon one’s mastery of the language.” — Joan Didion

It’s her birthday today. Someone said that Didion’s (seemingly) simple sentences are like a perfect puzzle. If you remove one line from a paragraph, everything falls apart. Her writing is that well-constructed. She was a notoriously painstaking self-editor. She would … Continue reading

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“Would not these pointed Rods probably draw the Electrical Fire silently out of a Cloud before it came nigh enough to strike, and thereby secure us from that most sudden and terrible Mischief!” — Benjamin Franklin

A re-post for Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, born in Massachusetts on this day in 1706. My grandmother had a big illustrated copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac, which I had practically memorized by the time I was 6 years old. The illustrations … Continue reading

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2022 Books Read

Some re-reads this year, but a lot of new-to-me authors as well. New novels written by faves. Been a year of upheaval and transitions. I’ve managed to keep up my regular reading schedule. I just don’t feel right if I’m … Continue reading

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Stuff I’ve Been Reading

Been a while since I’ve done one of these. — The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick I had never read her before. I was familiar with her as “Robert Lowell’s wife” – she shows up repeatedly in his correspondence with … Continue reading

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2021 Books Read

I lived at three addresses this year. I moved twice. In the middle of a pandemic. It’s been a year of upheaval, transition, as well as endurance. For most of this year, the majority of my stuff was in storage. … Continue reading

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2020 Books Read

What a year, huh. What a dumpster-fire year. I read a lot, mostly in the mornings, and it helped create rituals for the days, which often seemed endlessly the same, interchangeable. I read a lot of long and challenging books … Continue reading

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Excerpt from Slouching Towards Bethlehem: ‘John Wayne: A Love Story’, by Joan Didion

For John Wayne’s Birthday A second excerpt from the essay collection: Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics), by Joan Didion This is one of the best things written about John Wayne. It’s not just an essay about who he was … Continue reading

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2019 Books Read

It’s been such a busy year for me as a writer. The busiest. I’ve had to “make time” for reading stuff that has nothing to do with anything writing-wise. I need to read for pleasure. Many of the books I … Continue reading

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Bookshelf Tour #11

Renegades, iconoclasts, “new journalism” and gonzo journalism. Individualists, all. Irreplaceable, all. The world wouldn’t know what to do with such voices now, and they didn’t know what to do with such voices then. None of them really “fit.” They are … Continue reading

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