Mary Daniels Brown

Book Club: Clear your schedule — the National Book Festival starts NOW

This issue of our newsletter is devoted to the Library of Congress National Book Festival, which begins in less than an hour! It all kicks off at 11 a.m. with Michael J. Fox talking about his new memoir, “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality,” and then U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo will …

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Clue Attitude: Agatha Christie in Contemporary Literature and Pop Culture

Hey mystery lovers, check out all these great mentions of the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, in contemporary literature and pop culture! Source: Clue Attitude: Agatha Christie in Contemporary Literature and Pop Culture   Oh dear, I missed Agatha Christie’s birthday, which was yesterday (September 15). So here, with my apologies for being late, is …

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Painted wall mural featuring portraits of People of Color

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Books!

Each year the U.S. celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. The holiday was started by President Lyndon Johnson as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The observation begins on September 15 because that date is the anniversary of independence …

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feature: Life Stories in Literature

Quotation: “characters come to tell me their backstory”

“When I embark on a writing project, my characters come to tell me their backstory. Very little of it—perhaps none—might be referred to in the final draft, but it’s there nonetheless, hiding in the decisions that each character makes, driving their reaction to every event. They tell me, these characters, of past incidents, big and …

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Teacher Pulled From Classroom After Highlighting Inclusive Materials

A third grade teacher was pulled from the classroom after highlighting inclusive and activist literature on social media. Source: Teacher Pulled From Classroom After Highlighting Inclusive Materials   I’m no longer content with burying stories like this in weekly links lists. These types of actions need to be brought to general attention in the same …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Students Protest Book Bans in Pennsylvania School District Last week’s Literary Links included an article about censorship in a Pennsylvania school. Here’s a follow-up: “students have spoken up, demanding that materials by Black and Brown authors be reinstated in the classroom.” Becoming the Thing That Haunts the House: Gothic Fiction and the Fear of Change …

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stack of books and open notebook. Label: Quotation

Quotation: Pat Barker on “The Silence of the Girls”

Pat Barker on Briseis, the main character of the novel The Silence of the Girls, based on the women from Homer’s Iliad: “You can sometimes struggle for months to get the voice of a new character, but Briseis’s voice was there from the beginning, as if she was impatient to make herself heard. If I …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Dread, War and Ambivalence: Literature Since the Towers Fell The events of 9/11 irrevocably changed the course of global affairs. They also changed culture. It will likely be easier to say how a century from now. But with 20 years’ hindsight, The Times’s book critics reflect below on some of the influence of that day …

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book covers: Second Place, A Crime in the Neighborhood, Atonement, Montana 1948, This Tender Land, Ordinary Grace, God Spare the Girls

6 Degrees of Separation: Prize-Worthy Coming-of-Age Novels

This month we start with 2021 Booker Prize nominee, Second Place by Rachel Cusk. Here’s the book description from Goodreads: A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. His provocative presence provides the …

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