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Black background with text: Don't let censorship eclipse your freedom to read. Right to Read Day April 8, 2024

Celebrate Right to Read Day!

Organized pressure groups have used their power—and long lists of titles—to wage an aggressive campaign to empty library shelves of all books they deem inappropriate instead of allowing people to decide for themselves what they and their children read. These groups have redirected their aim from schools to public libraries, which saw a 92% increase […]

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“A Nation of Lunatics.” What Oscar Wilde Thought About America “Rob Marland on the Irish Writer’s Grand Tour of the Gilded Age United States” This article caught my eye because I had just finished catching up on the second season of the HBO series The Gilded Age, which includes a trip to the opera by

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A stack of 3 closed books (left); an open notebook with a pen on top (right). Title: 12 Novels Thata Changed How I Read Fiction

#6 “The Short History of a Prince” by Jane Hamilton

Related Posts: #6 The Short History of a Prince by Jane Hamilton © 1998 Date read: 2/24/2000 This book would not have the same effect on me if I read it now for the first time as it did when I read it more than 20 years ago. Some issues that we now take for

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Betty Smith enchanted a generation of readers with ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ − even as she groused that she hoped Williamsburg would be flattened Rachel Gordan, assistant professor of religion and Jewish studies at the University of Florida, discloses that Betty Smith herself had a different experience of life in Brooklyn than does the

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‘God forbid that a dog should die’: when Goodreads reviews go bad “I’m a professional critic, and an author of a literary novel. I’m a snob. I care about my book, and the authors I feel are my competitors,” writes Lauren Oyler. In this piece, another chapter in the continuous Goodreads controversy, she states that

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A stack of 3 closed books (left); an open notebook with a pen on top (right). Title: 12 Novels Thata Changed How I Read Fiction

#5 “The Debt to Pleasure” by John Lanchester

Related Posts: #5 The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester © 1996 Date read: 7/12/1998 I don’t recall ever feeling the need to like fictional characters, yet this topic recurs periodically when readers condemn a book they’ve just finished because “I didn’t like any of the characters.” But if I ever did feel such a

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A stack of 3 closed books, next to an open notebook on which rests a ballpoint pen. Text: Literary Links: Life Stories in Literature

Literary Links: Life Stories in Literature

When Consciousness Itself is the Protagonist: A Reading List I’ll let River Halen themselves describe the origin of this list of “books that bend reality and the self”: As I was writing my book Dream Rooms, a book about the years that led up to my coming out as trans, I found myself fascinated by

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A stack of 3 closed books (left); an open notebook with a pen on top (right). Title: 12 Novels Thata Changed How I Read Fiction

#4 “The Church of Dead Girls” by Stephen Dobyns

Related Posts: #4 The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns © 1997 Date read: 9/23/1997 I used to think that the most important consideration in any work of fiction is, hands down, point of view. But this novel made me realize that context is just as important. A first-person narrator tells this story, about

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Too Enjoyable to Be Literature What a wonderful short piece! It’s only four paragraphs long (one of which is a block quotation), but it so aptly expresses a reader’s joy of recognizing and appreciating a literary work.  That literary work is Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. And Helen Garner has the same

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You May Be Surprised by What Scares You “Fear may be a linchpin of horror, but as a recent anthology attests, the true bedrock of the genre is mood.” Stephen Kearse writes, “even in my favorite works of the genre, horror scenarios generally intrigue rather than scare me; I’m more likely to ponder than to

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