Some thoughts on
things, mainly books

Buffalo AlmanackPast Perfect Review: Revolutionary Road

Within these first ten pages, Richard Yates sets up the heart of his brilliant, heartbreaking work: a world where an audience of neighbors watches, whispers about and witnesses a downfall. Where the characters aren’t so much telling their own stories but instead lines they have memorized and performing roles in which they have been cast. READ MORE

The RumpusBook Review: Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor

With a light and lyrical touch, O’Connor traces Dickinson’s meandering thoughts, the pull she feels about finding the energy to write and her fleeting desire to be of the world. It’s a sympathetic rendering of a complicated mind that follows key moments in Dickinson’s life. READ MORE

HelloGigglesWhy Everyone Should Have a Book Best Friend (or BBF)

Let’s start with an undeniable fact: Reading is the best pastime ever. It makes your imagination buzz, your eyes open, your heart pound, and, if you’re lucky, it introduces you to the ultimate treasure: a best friend. READ MORE

HelloGigglesWhy I Kept My Last Name When I Got Married

When I tell people that’s how our conversation went, I see them loosen up a bit. They realize that it’s not a chip on my husband’s shoulder, that I didn’t slip a vial of liquid feminism in his coffee. I think the hard thing is for men and women to approach that conversation without the expectation of what should be done. READ MORE

HelloGigglesWhat I Learned About Clothes from Having Bed Bugs

As I tore through the trash bags, I realized that the majority of what I owned was not a fit to who I am. At the end of the day, I’m happiest in jeans and a t-shirt. It makes sense for what my day is like. I spend my working hours writing and my free time at the barn, in a forest, or on the couch reading. There aren’t many occasions for me to wear chiffon skirts and deep v-line dresses—and yet, I owned many of these kinds of pieces. READ MORE

The RumpusThe Last Poem I Loved: ‘Hope’ is the Thing with Feathers

A decade ago, in an undergraduate English class, I learned to love poetry. I scanned Emily Dickinson’s “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” and understood that the “Boots of Lead” were more than pallbearers. They were also scratchings from a pencil, words making up the feet of Dickinson’s poetry. Boom. A light switch. At that moment, I realized, ah, this is poetry. I like poetry. READ MORE

The RumpusThe Last Book I Loved: Never Let Me Go

The problem with writing about Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go is that I can’t discuss the plot. A blend of science fiction and literary narrative, the novel hinges on a secret, a secret so all-encompassing and imposing, so carefully revealed, that if I were to divulge it, I would ruin the book. That being said, here’s what I can tell you… READ MORE