Monthly Archives: December 2011

Out of Breath

I don’t read much young adult fiction, largely because I’m a not-so-young adult. My students and colleagues remind me that YA fiction is an important and often under-appreciated genre, so I’m always happy when I find a young adult book … Continue reading

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Curse the Names from Akashic Books

Accepting the Army-Navy Excellence Award in 1945, J. Robert Oppenheimer warmed that the time might come when “mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima.” Oppenheimer was warning of nuclear war. In Curse the Names (Akashic Books 2012), … Continue reading

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Let’s Have a Party, Child-Approved 1961

I have a bad habit of haunting the thrifts and local booksales and like many, I’m always on the look out for odd items. Recently, Let’s Have a Party by Helen Jill Fletcher (Paxton-Slade, NY, 1961) caught my attention. It’s a … Continue reading

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Holiday Reads

The fall term grades are in and now there’s a chance to catch up on some reading. I’m getting started on James Pennebaker’s The Secret Life of Pronouns (who knew?) and John McWhorter’s Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History … Continue reading

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Twilight and Dickens

My fall term linguistics class spent a little time on the origins of writing and the alphabet, including a look at Egyptian hieroglyphs. And we wondered whether The Book of the Dead was an example of ancient Egyptian vampire literature. … Continue reading

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What goes on a book flap

Here is a piece by Daniel Menaker (editor of Grin and Tonic) from The Barnes and Noble Review on the language of book flaps. It’s got 16 rules for writing the copy on books flaps. Words to use: “stunning,” “deeply,” … Continue reading

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Hammy and Grammy

Last week the New York Times Book Review did a couple of nice features on audiobooks, an under-reviewed genre. The Times stories “Wired for Sound” and “The Mind’s Ear,” got me to thinking about audio. I’ve always used audiobooks on … Continue reading

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