Now Reading

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“I want you to understand exactly what you are getting: you are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest other people.”

From In the Islands 

Notable Books of 2013

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The New York Times released their list of “100 Notable Books of 2013.” The list reminded me that it was a very good year for books, and that I still need to read these:

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I loved The Secret History and can’t wait to read her next book — her first in 11 years! (Also: that cover.)

All That Is by James Salter. Light Years is one of my favorite books. I’ll read anything he writes. (This is another gorgeous cover.)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Atkinson’s literary thrillers never disappoint. If you haven’t read her, start with Case Histories.

And the best title on the NYT’s list goes to A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Asubel.


New Covers for Blume Classics

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Entertainment Weekly shares new covers for my two favorite Judy Blume books. Not a fan! These look like movie posters to me. I wish they retained a retro classic treatment, more like the Penguin Classics. Something about bringing a modern design to stories that are so representative of the era in which they were written feels wrong here.

Below, the original covers and the new.

Am I right? This cover makes me think of Twilight or something.


We must, we must, we must increase our bust . . .

I guess if these designs are bringing new young readers to these amazing books, that’s the important thing.

Here is the edition I remember having:





Elizabeth Gilbert

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For the record, I’m a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert.

I loved Eat, Pray, Love and do not think it is in the realm of chick lit (or “chick nonfic,” as I’ve heard people in publishing say . . . groan).

Gilbert’s next book Committed helped me form a point of view on marriage and commitment when I was in my late 20s and unsure about what those things meant to me. My copy is underlined and dog-eared.

I just read this feature on her in the New York Times and like her even more. Did you know she published her first short story in Esquire? That she was on staff at GQ? That she published three critically-acclaimed literary books before Eat, Pray, Love completely exploded? She’s the real deal.

I look forward to reading her new novel, The Signature of All Things.

The Signature of All Things

Reading Season

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We all talk about summer reading, but fall and winter are really those hunker-down-with-a-book months. I’m happy to say that I’ve been on a good streak. Had a rough patch there at the end of summer when nothing was really holding me. But these books have gotten me out of the slump.

Mumbai New York Scranton

Simple, sparse, moving, sad, pretty, and artful. Paints the picture of a tender young marriage. Enjoyed this one in two sittings. Reading it was like taking a nice deep breath.

(It was also initially recommended to me by my friend Dan, who has great taste.)

Love is a Mix Tape

Another book that paints a realistic yet moving picture of young love and commitment. Also very sad. But full of nineties music and pop culture, which I devoured. A very well-crafted memoir. You will love it if you came of age in the nineties (and if you ever lived in Charlottesville, where the story takes place, and where I went to school).

The Interestings


I’m 2/3 of the way through this one and can’t put it down. I adore the cover. It’s an expansive story following a group of friends from adolescence through adulthood, jumping around and showing how our most important relationships twist and turn – sometimes nearly to the breaking point – over the course of a life.


June 21st

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“Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it?

I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it.”

–Daisy Buchanan, ¬†The Great Gatsby


Happy longest day. Soak it up.

(Thanks, Dad, for sending this quote.)