The Big Read Blog (Archive)

March 16, 2007 Baltimore, Maryland As if it weren't challenging enough to remember which Big Read city I'm in from one whistle stop to the next, I'm about to write up my impressions of Maryland from here in Galesburg, Illinois. So if I start rhapsodizing about the lonesome whippoorwills and waving...
March 1, 2007 Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta, capital city, in Chattahoochee R. Valley among Blue Ridge foothills, is an almost aggressively modern metropolis...Despite its strong ties with Eastern capital & atmosphere of commercialism & efficiency, it is still fundamentally a Southern city,...
February 22, 2007 St. Louis, Missouri Boon's Lick residents showed an eagerness for literary greatness when they included among their Fourth of July toasts in 1817: "The Territory of Missouri -- may it become the Nursery of Literature." -- The WPA's Missouri: A Guide to the "Show Me" State It's not...
February 21, 2007 St. Louis, Missouri A short post today to reflect a shortish day yesterday, begun with Washington University's frank, funny Cheryl Adelstein picking me up at Lambert Field, then ended a few hours later with Lowell Bergman's Frontline lullaby for my former profession, newspaper...
February 16, 2007 Starkville, Mississippi "When I write, I aim in my mind not toward New York but a vague spot a little east of Kansas. I think of the books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a countryish teen-aged boy finding them, and having them speak to him. The reviews,...
February 15, 2007 El Paso, Texas Prohibition served to awaken the city to its possibilities as a tourist resort. Thousands flocked in to troop across the river to Juarez, and El Paso throve accordingly. Today thousands of out-of-State visitors come here. El Paso gives its visiting dignitaries a...
February 13, 2007 Melbourne, Arkansas "In a culture that now seems long ago and far, far away, T.S. Eliot was a rock star. The poet made the cover of Time magazine in 1950, and several years later 14,000 people turned out in Minnesota to listen to him talk about "The Frontiers of Criticism." --...
February 8, 2007 Hartford, Connecticut "If books are not good company, where will I find it?" -- Mark Twain, in a letter to M. Fairbanks "I am reading Zora!" -- lapel buttons visible on coats all over Hartford, Connecticut The first person to email the blog and tell me who "M. Fairbanks" was will...
February 7, 2007 Washington, DC "John Carroll chose the site [for Georgetown University] on the 'old Potomak [sic] bluffs' in preference to present Capitol Hill, which he regarded as 'too far in the country'. Georgetown's history, from the early days when students followed a regimen designed 'to...
Washington, DC February 1, 2007 Thrusting its dark granite bulk and square clock-tower in stubborn nonconformity above the general level of other [Federal Triangle] buildings, and determinedly blocking completion of the grand circular plaza planned for opposite facades of the Internal Revenue and...

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