Post image for Monday Tally: Criticism, Campaigns, and Profiles

Awhile ago, maybe all the way back in 2011, I did a week link round-up post on Monday’s called “Monday Tally.” I’ve been reading a lot of great stuff online lately and wanted a way to share it, so I decided to bring this one back semi-regularly. Enjoy! Book bloggers are either detrimental to literature […]

Post image for Review: ‘Complications’ by Atul Gawande

For the last five weeks, my grandfather has been in and out of the hospital. He’s 85-years-old, but up until the last month he’d been in relatively good health, still out working on projects in his yard and reading books that I would recommend. But five weeks ago (really, longer, it’s hard to tell when things started going awry), he became very weak, started falling frequently, and became more and more confused.

Post image for Review: ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ by Mindy Kaling

I’m not sure what to write about Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? except that it was an entirely delightful read.

Mindy Kaling is probably best known as a writer, producer, and actor on NBC’s The Office. But Kaling is also an accomplished Off-Broadway playwright and actress, and just the sort of warm and funny person a reader could want as a friend.

For some reason, I’ve always had this impression that all collections — essays, magazine writing, short stories, you name it — were all about the same. All of the entries would fall on a sort of bell curve — a few would be terrible and a few would be stellar, but most would fall somewhere between mediocre and pretty good. It didn’t matter what the theme of the collection was or who was in charge of putting it together, it was just a natural part of a collection and how different pieces appeal to different readers.

Short Reviews of Short Nonfiction

by Kim on February 17, 2012 · 10 comments

Earlier this week I posted about some of my favorite online sources for finding great essays to read, but the post was light on actual recommendations. I’ve been slowing working through some short nonfiction on my Nook — individual pieces you can buy for between $.99 and $2.99 at the online book retailer of your choice — that I wanted to review.

Post image for An Easy, Online Introduction to Nonfiction

One of my reading goals for this year was to read an essay every single day. Reading essays — both online and in collections — has helped remind me about all the great, short nonfiction there is out there. And, I think we’re living in a particularly robust time for long-form writing, which makes it easy for readers that are tentative about trying nonfiction to find something to enjoy.

When I first heard that there was going to be a documentary made about what it is like to work at the New York Times, I may have squealed. Loudly and repeatedly. Just maybe.

Although I’ve never wanted to work at the Times, that newspaper — for better or for worse — is the standard of journalism in the United States. During my first visit to New York for the Book Blogger Convention in 2010, I was one of those total dorks that took a photo in front of the New York Times building (well, Care took the photo, I just posed like a total fan girl).

Post image for Off the Stacks: ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)’ by Mindy Kaling

What It’s About: Mindy Kaling is an Emmy-nominated author and actress on one of my favorite shows, The Office. She’s also a comedian, playwright, and astute observer of what it’s like to be a female in comedy in Hollywood.

Why I Want to Read It: I love The Office, and I love Kaling’s Twitter feed, which makes me think the book will be right up my alley. I’ve been disappointed by some books by young, female essayists (Sloan Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake let me down), but I get sense this will be more astute.

Post image for BAND October Discussion: Nonfiction Anthologies

The host for our October nonfiction discussion was the awesome Ash of English Major’s Junk Food who asked about her favorite form of nonfiction — anthologies — and asked us to share some of our favorites.

I have always wanted to be the sort of person that gets into essay collections. I can’t tell you the number I’ve bought over the years, vowing to start reading them right away, that then take a neglected place near the bottom of my unread books shelf. I’m addicted to buying nonfiction anthologies, but can’t seem to actually read them.

Post image for Off the Stacks: ‘In Other Worlds’ by Margaret Atwood

What It’s About: In Other Worlds is an exploration of Margaret Atwood’s relationship with science fiction – from her first reading and writing attempts as a child through her studies at Harvard and culminating in her work as a writer and reviewer. The book collects Atwood’s lectures, reviews, and other writing on the topic together in one book.