“Sideways on a Scooter” Event Review

“I was determined to be more than a casual visitor to India,” Miranda Kennedy writes in her new memoir, Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India. “I’d been saving everything I earned at my job as a producer at a public radio show so that I could pick up and go overseas to try my hand at becoming a freelance foreign correspondent. The lack of transcendent, transformative experiences in my life so far had disappointed me: My days seemed a []

Good news!

I was just accepted into the Master of the Arts Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University! I will be focusing on nonfiction; hopefully you’ll see a marked improvement here in my reviews! I’m hoping to branch out into freelance writing, and I’ve already placed one article at chinadialogue.net: “Bikes are green, but in the red.” Check it out!

48-Hour Book Challenge

Friday, June 3 11:03 a.m. I’m looking forward to a weekend of reading on the beach! For this reading challenge, I’m hoping to finish several books that I’m in the middle of right now. In no particular order: The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy A pretty diverse collection! I have no idea much time I’ll have to myself []

Another Reading Weekend

Aww snap. I must’ve pleased the gods of reading challenges, because they are granting me a second chance after I couldn’t give the Spring 24-Hour Readathon my all. Mother Reader is hosting the sixth annual 48-Hour Book Challenge (#48HBC on Twitter) on June 3-5. More from her site: The weekend is June 3–5, 2011. Read and blog for any 48-hour period within the Friday-to-Monday-morning window. Start no sooner than 7:00 a.m. on Friday the third and end no later than 7:00 a.m. []

“Great House” by Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss’s Great House is intricately crafted, beautifully written, poignantly populated, and kind of plotless.

Great House presents the idea that your furniture—the enduring collection of things with which you surround yourself—defines you. The characters’ furniture even serves as parts of their identities and personalities. Each of the lonely, troubled narrators externalize and objectify the conflicts within and between themselves, placing parts of their souls in their belongings in order to transcend their humanity, like Voldemort and his horcruxes.

My Mailbox: Miranda Kennedy, Susi Wyss, and More

In My Mailbox is a way for book bloggers to discuss all of the books that they come across each week.

Books I’ve received this week:

  • Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves
  • Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India by Miranda Kennedy
  • The Civilized World: A Novel in Stories by Susi Wyss
  • The Best Women’s Travel Writing: True Stories from Around the World, edited by Lavinia Spalding
  • The Art of Travel by Alain De Botton
  • My Mailbox: Ellen Feldman, Ned Zeman, and More

    I’m back from Indonesia! I’d hoped to have another video about books I received while I was gone, but I lost my voice somewhere in the jungles of Borneo. Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms by Carmela Ciuraru Wow, Ms. Ciuraru, with a tongue-twisting name like that I can see why you’d be interested in pseudonyms! This book looks fascinating, though; the author examines the lives of authors such as Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, and George Eliot, “plumbing the creative []

    Hello from Indonesia!

    That’s right, I’m in Indonesia! I’ll be traveling for the next two weeks, so I won’t be updating this site until I’m back. Until then, take a stroll through the archives to satisfy your hankering for books. Here are some of my most popular reviews: War by Sebastian Junger Zeitoun by Dave Eggers The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Room by Emma Donoghue

    “Skipping a Beat” by Sarah Pekkanen

    Julie and Michael Dunhill have it all: a gorgeous mansion in DC, a multi-million dollar business, co-ownership in the local basketball team. But everything they have fought for in life–the money, prestige, popularity–have only driven them further apart.

    My Mailbox: Sir Walter Scott, Jane Smiley, and More

    Books I mention: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott A History of God and In the Beginning: A New Interpretation of Genesis, both by Karen Armstrong At Paradise Gate by Jane Smiley Northwest Corner (and Reservation Road) by John Burnham Schwartz YogaNap: Restorative Poses for Deep Relaxation by Kristen Rentz

    “The Girl Who Played with Fire” by Stieg Larsson

    After firmly re-establishing himself as the fearless investigative journalist and publisher behind Millennium magazine—a publication once scorned for its inaccuracy that is now flying off newsstand shelves—Mikael Blomkvist is, once again, on top of his game. So when he is approached by Dag Svensson, a young man who has just spent years writing a dissertation on sex trafficking, Mikael is immediately taken by the idea of publishing Svensson’s controversial findings.

    My Mailbox: Cathy Alter, Judith Lasater, and R. Scott Bakker

    This week I received five good books in the mail—two review copies, and three that I bought for myself on a rainy day last week. The Storm at the Door by Stefan Merrill Block This book is being published by Random House in June, and I’ll be reviewing it in July with TLC Book Tours—I love those guys! More about the book: Inspired by elements of the lives of the author’s grandparents, this haunting love story shifts through time and reaches across []