Top Ten Halloween Reads

This week, I’m writing about the top ten books to read to get into a frightful mood for Halloween. I realized, in preparing this list, that I don’t read too many spook-tacular books–which is a real shame! As a result, many of these titles are classics that appeal to a more literary crowd–but all should be tempting to readers with a taste for terror. Next year, I hope to spend October reading more scary books in anticipation of the holiday; I’ll start []

A Time to Dance

Last weekend, Jack and I traveled to Lynchburg for his grandmother’s memorial service. It was wonderful to spend time with his family, celebrating the life of a woman who impacted us all and also celebrating the lives of those who are still with us. Jack’s aunt, Susie, celebrated her birthday while the family was gathered in Lynchburg, and I think we all had a great time.

Subscription Saturday: SPIN

The past few times I’ve browsed the magazine stands of local bookstores, the latest edition of SPIN magazine–dubbed the “Dance Issue”–has caught my eye. The cover features Skrillex, an American-dubstep musician that has amassed an incredible following in the short time that he has been performing. The headline? “The New Rave Generation.”

Readathon 2011: Bring On the Reading!

This weekend, beginning at 8 am tomorrow (Saturday) morning, I will be partially participating in Dewey’s 24-hour-readathon. I look forward to this readathon every spring and fall, and even though I’ll be traveling to Delaware this weekend, I’m still planning on getting plenty read.

“Maman’s Homesick Pie” by Donia Bijan

In the wake of a tragic accident that claims the life of her mother, Donia Bijan finds herself lost in memories of her family’s history—from pleasant memories of growing up on the second floor of her parents’ hospital in Tehran to fearfully fleeing Iran for their lives.

Top Ten Book Covers (and Titles)

I am a firm believer that you can–and should–judge a book by its cover. After working for a book publisher and now as a book reviewer, I have come to the realization that the time spent perfecting a book’s title and cover art is usually a pretty good indication of how successful the publisher thinks it will be.

Saying Goodbye

I’m writing this in advance of the weekend, because I will be without internet connection. This weekend, Jack and I will be traveling to Lynchburg for the memorial service of his grandmother, Gene Joiner.

Subscription Saturday: Productivity, Poverty, and Public Radio

This week, I’m back to reading more books, but a few articles caught my eye. Enjoy! Work “Letter From Nucla, Colorado: Dr. Don” by Peter Hessler The New Yorker, September 26, 2011 Hessler introduces us to “the life of a small-town druggist,” who dispenses medical wisdom and compassion in equal shares. The description and history of his town, Nucla, is fascinating. “What Looks Like Productivity” by Rachel Toor The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2, 2011 How do you stay on task–working []

“Holy Ghost Girl” by Donna M. Johnson

Donna Johnson had an unusual childhood. Her mother brought Donna and her younger brother, Gary, into the inner circle of David Terrell, a very popular big tent revivalist in the 1960s and 70s. Donna spent her childhood under the wing of the charismatic and megalomaniacal minister; the only home she knew was under the “largest tent in the world.”

Top Ten Surprise Endings

This week, I’ll be writing about the top ten book endings that left me with my mouth hanging open–because of a cliffhanger, because the ending was mindblowing, and so on. Because of my reading preferences, I’m not often left hanging off cliffs; I prefer books that build and allow me to solve mysteries before we reach the conclusion. But there have been a few books that pleasantly surprise me with the ending.

Fall for Reading

Every fall, as I head back indoors and curl up under a blanket, I eagerly survey my shelves for the books I’d like to read. After a rather lackluster September–because of moving and beginning school–I’d like to amp things up in October. Here’s the list of books I’m hoping to get to.