Sunday, April 17, 2005
I have been teaching contemporary short fiction to my AP students to get them ready for anything on the upcoming AP test. I read on Chuck Palaniuk's web site that his writing was inflluenced by the work of Amy Hempel, so I added her to my syllabus. Then I read a review of this new collection of short stories in the New York Times Book Review last weekend and bought it (Borders Teacher's Appreciation Sale - YEA!) and read it in one sitting. These stories are moving and tricky. She is a master of minimalism and tends to play with her readers a bit. And the cover photo of her with her dog was taken by William Wegman.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
This is perhaps one of the most moving books I have ever read, so when the retired Spanish teacher in our book club chose it, I was happy to reread it. It is a memoir that Allende wrote as her daughter, Paula, lay in a coma for many days. She wanted to tell the stories of Paula's life so she would have a roadmap of memory when she regained consciousness. I think I have read everything Isabel Allende has written to date and she remains one of my favorite story tellers. I have the awesome chance to hear her speak at the Cleveland Public Library last fall and she was fabulous and VERY short.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
What a refreshing find. This book is pure fun. I read it while waiting for a delayed flight at the Chicago airport and Amy Rosenthal's humorous look at her own life made me remember a lot of moments from my own. I especially like when I got to the page in the middle of the book full of white space and the one word - intermission.
Friday, April 01, 2005
I had been putting off reading this book for a long time. Now that Foer's name is everywhere with review of his new novel, I decided to take it along on our vacation to San Antonio. It was almost too demanding for a vacation book, but I really enjoyed it. I finished it on the plane on the way home and immediately wanted to find someone else who had read it so that I could help myself understand the ending. The various narrators are hard to follow - especially the one who is supposedly translating for the character named Safran. It reminded me of A Clockwork Orange and even seemed a bit like the magic realism of Marquez.