Serendipity Strikes (AKR Moment)

Have you ever had an Amy Krouse Rosenthal (AKR) moment? Yesterday, I casually bought Terry Tempest Williams' book, "When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice." I read the title and decided to buy it. I didn't look inside. It just seemed like something I needed to read. When I opened it this morning, I … Continue reading Serendipity Strikes (AKR Moment)

Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

There's an ongoing discussion in the kid lit world about why boys don't want to read "girl books," meaning books that star female protagonists or feature fairies or princesses on the cover or in the title. Is this "preference" intrinsic, or are they steered away from such interests, starting at a very young age? Shannon … Continue reading Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

In a nation overtaken by arguments about immigration and the building of walls, Shanthi Sekaran's new novel underscores the complexity of the situation. But immigration issues are more than a decorative backdrop in Sekaran's novel. They provide the disturbing context for its premise: two women fighting for the right to raise one child, one of … Continue reading Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

In honor of National Poetry Month and Perfect Picture Book Friday, I'm shining the spotlight on a brilliant Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award Winner from 1997: "They took to the road in Waycross, Georgia Skipped over the tracks in East St. Louis Took the bus from Holly Springs Hitched a ride from Gee's Bend … Continue reading Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

Return from the Abyss

Summer slips away, leaving room for Fall. The first order of the day is to talk for a moment about a friend's book of poems, Selene by Michael Odom.  I see this book as a reflection of an obsession. A woman. A sorceress. A corpse. An eternal ambivalence, love and hate. The cover uncovers, revealing the … Continue reading Return from the Abyss

What Lies Between Us – Nayomi Munaweera

This past Saturday, a friend and I hosted a women's literary dinner at my home. The guests of honor were Nayomi Munaweera and her devastating new novel, What Lies Between Us. First, a little background. Fifteen years ago, Nayomi was earning a PhD in English Literature when she realized she wanted to write fiction instead … Continue reading What Lies Between Us – Nayomi Munaweera

Cry, Heart, But Never Break – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I was so moved by another writer's beautiful post about grief, including a picture book recommendation, that I wanted to share it for Susanna Leonard Hill's PPBF. Here's the book: And here's the post. Enjoy!! http://joycorcoran.com/2016/03/30/convergence-grief-books-life/ Title: Cry, Heart, But Never Break Author: Glenn Ringtved Illustrator: Charlotte Pardi Publisher: Enchanted Lion, 2016

Umberto Eco – On Memory, Books, and Computers

Umberto Eco died on February 19, 2016. He was a brilliant man who wrote fascinating books.  He also had an encyclopedic memory. Here's a brief interview filmed by David Ferrario. In the interview, Eco discusses memory, computers, and a terrifying future.  For those of you with serious book envy that may trigger a Pavlovian response, … Continue reading Umberto Eco – On Memory, Books, and Computers

LitQuake – The Bridge Between Fiction and Nonfiction

The conversation last night, between two Pulitzer prize winners—Adam Johnson and TJ Stiles  kept me scribbling notes while I tended bar. Yes, I volunteered to work the event. Johnson recounted how his journalism professor would identify all of the false quotes he had created while reporting on community meetings, quotes that Johnson thought told the … Continue reading LitQuake – The Bridge Between Fiction and Nonfiction

Books as Art

Richard Wagener, wood engraver extraordinaire, stood at a table displaying his wares during Roadworks, an event sponsored by the San Francisco Center for the Book.   His books begged me to touch them. I obeyed. Loom, Wagener's collaboration with the New Zealand poet, Alan Loney, pairs Wagener's wood engraved loom prints with lines from the poem … Continue reading Books as Art