books

Twelve Nonfiction Books on Tanzania

In just a few weeks, I’m leaving for Tanzania! Naturally, my mind first turns to books about or from Tanzania. Last week, I listed six novels I’d like to read before/after the trip; this week, I’m focusing on nonfiction titles. Guides & Wonky Stuff Bradt Guide to Tanzania by Philip Briggs Hunger and Shame: Child Malnutrition and Poverty on Mount Kilimanjaro by Mary Theresa Howard The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania by Frank Marlowe Personal accounts The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuściński […]

Six Novels on Tanzania

This month, I head out for my next IRP trip: Tanzania! Naturally, my mind first turns to books about or from Tanzania. As I learned on my recent trip to Zambia, there are many fine books that I’m sure I won’t discover until I set foot in the country. But these titles should help me prepare for the trip. Unlike my research for Zambia, I’ve found a ton of interesting books from and about Tanzania. First, I’m looking at six novels that […]

Six Authors, Ten Books on Zambia

I am currently traveling in Zambia for work. Before I left, I did what I always do: searched for seminal works of literature about the country or by authors representing the country. I was quite surprised that Zambia remains a relatively unexplored country in literature. (Perhaps the world is waiting for my bestselling thriller about journalists in Zambia!) But I did find a few titles that are worth sharing, if you’re itching to read about Zambia—either as an armchair traveler, or in […]

“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson, better known as The Bloggess, is kind of a big deal. She has more than 342,000 Twitter followers–including Neil Gaiman–and a popular blog supported by ad revenue; maintaining her site and Twitter feed is a full-time job. After becoming an online superstar, she published Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir.

“District Lines”: New Literary Journal Devoted to DC

Today, Politics & Prose bookstore announced that they are releasing a new literary journal, District Lines. The publication will be produced on their print-on-demand machine, the unveiling of which I attended back in 2011. It’s a smart marketing move for the store; not only does it position them even more as a literary destination, it also showcases what the POD machine can do for any customer. Here’s more info about the journal: In a city known for its lobbyists, lawyers, and politicians, […]

“Angelhead” by Greg Bottoms

Title: Angelhead: My Brother’s Descent into Madness Author: Greg Bottoms ISBN: 9780226067643 Pages: 227 Release date: April 2005 Publisher: University Of Chicago Press Genre: Memoir Format: Hardcover Source: Personal collection (memoir class) Rating: 4 out of 5 When Greg Bottoms tackles the demons of his past, he’s being literal. In Angelhead, he writes of his brother’s heartbreaking decline into paranoid schizophrenia, and the terror and grief the entire family suffers. Greg Bottoms was a young boy when he witnessed his brother’s first […]

“If You Knew Suzy” by Katherine Rosman

After her mother’s death, Katie Rosman is left reeling. Her mother, Suzy, was only 60 years old, and the diagnosis of lung cancer came as a shock to the nonsmoker. After Suzy’s death, Rosman, a journalist, decides to investigate her mother’s life in order to understand how she faced her own death.

“This Boy’s Life” by Tobias Wolff

Toby Wolff is used to running–driving from Florida to Utah to Seattle to escape his mother’s boyfriend; moving to Concrete, WA, with his stepfather; dreaming of high school in Paris, France. But when he stops to face himself, he finds only scattered shadows of an identity.

February Reads

Have you heard about FridayReads? It began on Twitter with the hashtag #fridayreads, and quickly spread to other social networking sites, including Facebook. The idea is delightfully simple: Tell your friends what you are reading each week, whether it’s a book, magazine, newspaper, report–anything!

Top Ten Book Club Picks

I’ll admit, I’ve never been good about attending a book group. But I usually follow along, reading each selection in the quiet of my own home. So I’ve never before offered recommendations. If I did, however, I would look for books that have a lot of complexity, so that there will be many angles to approach a discussion about the book. They also have to be memorable–the kind of books you can’t stop thinking about long after you’ve put them down.

Subscription Saturday: Poets & Writers

I’ve had a subscription to Poets & Writers for a few months, and I highly recommend a subscription for amateur and professional wordsmiths alike. Each issue is devoted to an important part of being a writer: finding a literary agent, choosing an MFA program, establishing a writing community, staying passionate and inspired.

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