The Big Read Blog (Archive)

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Gaithersburg Book Festival 2011 #GBurgBookFest by flickr user ShashiBellamKonda For Washington, DC bookworms, the National Book Festival is kind of like Christmas. So many authors! So many signings! So many books to discuss and readings that inspire. And then it’s over. And when that happens, it...
Parul Sehgal. Photo courtesy of Ms. Sehgal In honor of the National Book Festival this weekend, we asked literary critic Parul Sehgal to reflect on the power of books in her life. An editor at The New York Times Book Review, Ms. Sehgal previously worked as the books editor at NPR.org, and as a...
Mystery Writers by flickr user Nanagyei The last time Malcolm O’Hagan visited the Dublin Writers Museum in his native Ireland, he returned to the U.S. wondering about the museum’s American counterpart. Much to his surprise, he discovered it didn’t exist. “There are a number of author homes, which...
NEA staff member Jamie Hand, seen standing in the back, with her 8th grade Gettysburg Group, 1992. Photo courtesy of Jamie Hand The new school year is starting up, and I'll admit it: I'm jealous. I miss school. When the oppressive heat of summer fades, and the air starts to turn crisp, I always...
It's a great day for American literature! Today, the NEA announced $1 million in funding for the 2012-2013 Big Read . As we toast our 78 new grantees, we thought it would be a good time to remember the core message of the program: that reading can change lives, change minds, and change communities...
June 29 2012   Island Hammock by ssyjuco via stock_xchng (First off, my apologies to William Shakespeare for mangling his words for my title. He'll be better represented later!) Well folks, today is our last Big Read blog post before we take our summer hiatus. (Don't worry, we'll be back in...
Dreams of Other Places by flickr user malias Ah, summer. A time to throw off the responsibilities of work and school, grab a backpack and a ticket out of town, and hit the road. As we dream of upcoming vacations, real or imagined, we look to the literary greats to inspire us and feed our love of...
Library by flickr user thejester100 I believe in libraries. It’s not an uncommon thing to believe now-a-days, with librarians getting more attention and programs like The Big Read surrounding us, but it’s not a mainstream idea, either. I think that should change. When I was a kid, elementary school...
The Art and Science of Paying Attention (Printers Row Lit Fest, Chicago, IL). Photo by Maya Stein When most people turn 40, they throw themselves a birthday party. When writer and poet Maya Stein turned 40, she got on her bicycle and began a 40-day trip from Amherst, Massachusetts, to Milwaukee,...
Relaxing photo by halvemaan via stock Summertime is (finally) upon us, and with it, long lazy afternoons of iced tea and a good book. Since I'm always on the hunt for the next good read, I decided to ask some of the NEA staffers here about their summer reading plans. "I read mainly nonfiction, but...

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