Practice resurrection

I'm alive. I survived my third pregnancy and so did the rest of my family--although just barely. And now Little No. 3 is six months old and sitting up and where the hell has the time gone? But at least I've been reading in absentia. First, the greatest disappointment of my recent reads: Tell the…

William Styron’s “Lie Down in Darkness”

I really, really wanted to love Styron's first novel, published in 1951 when Styron was 28 years old. But I didn't love it. I barely even liked it. There were standout moments, of course, beautiful, glowing descriptions of Tidewater Virginia that makes me homesick as hell, but the overall mood of the book is unalleviated…

Kid books don’t have to suck

So we recently went on a book-buying binge around here. But not for me, this time. For the boys. Yes, I know they are barely aged 3 and 5, but that's all the more reason to expose them to great literature while they are still nice and impressionable. There are so many good books out…

Two movies I will definitely be seeing

Well, what do you know? Tom Hanks will be playing lead role in a film adaptation of Dave Eggers' A Hologram for the King. Hologram is a fantastic book, and I can't wait to see the film! The very talented Mr. Eggers has also landed a film version of his novel You Shall Know Our Velocity, the script…

Two collections

I picked up Wells Tower's Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned and Karen Russell's Vampires in the Lemon Grove recently and tore through them both. Everything Ravaged is everything I love about a short story collection. Every story was strong -- in prose, in characterization, and in story. Tower is a remarkable writer. Most of his stories are about…

Mary McCarthy’s ‘The Group’

I just this morning finished Mary McCarthy's novel The Group, and while searching online for some commentary about what I consider to be a rather strangely abrupt ending (particularly for so long a novel), I came across the most bizarre book review I've ever read. It appeared in a 1963 issue of The New York Review of…

The World Cup of Literature

Three Percent is putting on a World Cup of Literature! It'll be a 32-book knock-out tournament that will run at the same time as the actual World Cup. They're looking for book recommendations and judges, so head on over and check it out. Should make for a good time.

Two books

I've recently taken a little job at my church, and that, combined with two boys under the age of five and the arduous task of making another human being, has left me with quite a bit less free time on my hands. To get you up to speed, I'm going to give you two books at…

Happy springtime

O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings   O sweet spontaneousearth how often havethedoting               fingers ofprurient philosophers pinchedandpokedthee, has the naughty thumbof science proddedthy         beauty                  howoften have religions takenthee upon their scraggy kneessqueezing andbuffeting thee that thou mightest conceivegods         (buttrueto the incomparablecouch of death thyrhythmiclover              thou answerestthem only with                                spring)