The Half Year Book Report (#5)

Here are the books I finished from January 1 through June 30 2019. Of particular note is that I just discovered Curtis Sittenfeld and clearly enjoy her work, since I read two of her books this period and am in the middle of a third. And then got to meet her at LitFest, along with some other wonderful authors Helen McDonald, Erika L Sanchez, Melissa Febos, and Ross Gay. Curtis was as lovely as her writing is. But…the highlight of LitFest was meeting my favorite, favorite, favorite essayist Sloane Crosley! She came right up to my table as I was enjoying the pre-panel discussion catering and we chatted for a few minutes. If I lived in NYC, I’d want to be her best friend. She’s just so cool!  Continue reading →


Poetry entered and exited my life very early on. It was a natural extension of the nursery rhymes that I couldn’t get enough of as a child. Then my literary genius cousin gave me a copy of TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and I went on a poetry kick for a few years. I wrote a bunch of childish poems that the aforementioned wordsmith cousin was proud of and passed around among her professors at Daemen College.

(As an aside, I had completely plagiarized one of the poems in the set and she had no idea until I told her last year. She was horrified. I had been 8 years old! And I’ve had plenty of writing instructors talk about how copying lines from a work you love is a good way to get the creative ideas flowing. They obviously don’t advocate trying to pass them off as your own, but did I mention that I had been 8 years old when I committed this cardinal writer’s sin??) Continue reading →