Colorful fireworks against a night sky with overlay: 2022

Welcome, 2022!

(Feature Photo by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash ) After the debacle of 2021, I’ve been awaiting the arrival of 2022 with high ambivalence. When I woke up this morning and remembered that today is the first day of 2022, the phrase guarded optimism immediately came to mind.  So, in the spirit of guarded optimism, I …

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Book covers: Rules of Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow, The Lincoln Highway, Lincoln in the Bardo, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, At Swim-Two-Birds, The Searcher

6 Degrees of Separation

Kate has set as this month’s starting point a story that begins on New Year’s Eve – Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Because I’m still figuring out what I want to do in terms of a reading plan this year, I’m going to look at my TBR shelves for inspiration here. Every book sitting …

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stack of 3 books plus open book with pen. Title: In Memoriam

Notable Deaths of 2021

It always saddens me to post the annual list of literary figures we’ve lost during the current year, but the task is especially painful on a day that has seen the announcement of the death of Betty White. For many years I compiled an annual list of the obituaries of literary figures. But compiling the …

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Discussion

I’m Signing Up for the 2022 Discussion Challenge!

I usually finish off the year with a plan for next year’s reading that includes my list of challenges, but this year I’m still figuring out how I want to move forward. However, one thing from the past that I want to continue is the annual Discussion Challenge. I’m aiming for a minimum of 12 …

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stack of 3 books plus open book with pen. Title: Literary Stories of the Year

The Biggest Literary Stories of 2021

Literary Hub has assembled an informative round-up of 2021’s biggest literary stories. They published it in three parts: The Biggest Literary Stories of the Year: 50 to 31 The Biggest Literary Stories of the Year: 30 to 11 The 10 Biggest Literary Stories of the Year Others got in on the “biggest literary events of …

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stack of 3 books plus open book with pen. Title: The Best Books I Read in 2021

The Best Books I Read in 2021

I had intended to have a much fuller report of my 2021 reading to post, but time has caught up with me. So here’s the short version. I read 41 books this year, with a total of 13,139 pages.  Shortest book: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (164 pages)  Longest book: Second Generation by …

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stack of books and open notebook. Label: Quotation

Joan Didion on Writing

“INTERVIEWER You have said that writing is a hostile act; I have always wanted to ask you why. JOAN DIDION It’s hostile in that you’re trying to make somebody see something the way you see it, trying to impose your idea, your picture. It’s hostile to try to wrench around someone else’s mind that way. …

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Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Here’s an abbreviated version of Literary Links for the holiday weekend. The Joy of Writing by Hand Writer Nicholas Russell says, “During quarantine, drowning in screen time and desperate for any reminder that I had a physical form, I took up writing by hand once again. This time, it was less about keeping up correspondences …

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Remembering Joan Didion

I’ve been unable to stop reading all the articles about Joan Didion that have appeared since the announcement of her death yesterday.  As a nonfiction writer, I knew her through her perceptive nonfiction pieces. But these articles have made me realize that I need to read her fiction as well. Joan Didion, ‘Goodbye to All …

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