The Big Read Blog (Archive)

September 25, 2007 Hartland, Michigan "Road work ahead," say many of the signs in Michigan -- the unofficially nicknamed Orange Barrel State, I'm told -- and truer bumblebee-colored words were never posted. So much roadwork will define this blog/job this fall that they aptly combine into one...
September 14, 2007 Charleston, South Carolina As program director for the Big Read, I could probably stand to have a little more in common with our target audience. The Big Read welcomes everybody, but it?s got a special soft spot for younger and so-called reluctant or lapsed readers. Well, I?m...
September 11, 2007 Brunswick, Georgia If a native of Savannah is a Savannan, is a native of Charlotte a Charlatan? I just flew from one to the other, and in an hour I leave for Washington. Ordinarily it can be tough to do a Big Read justice if I wait beyond the next morning to write up my...
September 7, 2007 Washington, DC "I've always liked listening to the radio...That's one of the reasons why in a lot of my books there's somebody listening through a wall to somebody talking. Somebody's always talking in another room. Maybe that's the radio." -- Ernest J. Gaines I don't trust a...
September 4, 2007 Washington, DC "I remember the newspapers dying like huge moths." --Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 Have you heard the good news? According to the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll, 1 in 4 Americans didn?t read a book last year. Drinks on me! Er?what? This news doesn?t make you want...
August 28, 2007 Washington, DC Did you see that piece in the New York Times last week about JT Leroy, the abused-kid-turned-truck-stop-hooker who transformed himself into an acclaimed writer of literary fiction -- until he turned out to be a female freelance writer who'd transformed herself into...
August 24, 2007 Washington, DC When I was in graduate school at San Diego State University, I took a seminar in Edith Wharton and Willa Cather that changed my life. The course changed me because it provided the chance to concentrate on the best novels of two truly exceptional writers; to compare...
August 21, 2007 Washington, DC Are all books created equal? Or are some books more equal than others? These are the questions we stumbled into last week when I made a careless suggestion: Why not mount "quality challenges" to those books in local libraries that offend standards, not of decency, but...
August 16, 2007 Washington, DC Lucy Maud Montgomery Lucy Maud Montgomery is to Canada what Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder are to the United States. And I have just returned from communing with her. As well as with Anne Shirely, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, and of course, Gilbert Blythe...
August 14, 2007 Washington, DC Errato, the muse of blogging is, a harsh mistress. In addition to the typos, misattributions, gaffes and goofs that keep sneaking like gremlins into seemingly pristine copy, never forget the other, less forgivable kind of goof: saying what you meant to say and then...

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