December 8, 2011
This Christmas, don't give your wine lover the standard issue 750ml. Give him or her another type of mind-expanding experience: books. There are wine books that are didactic in nature and books that read like novels and books that are novels that incorporate wine, food, culture and a spicy intrigue. Then, there are those books that upset conventional belief and challenge the status quo. Here are my picks for each category: "A History of the World in Six Glasses" by Tom Standage, $25 (didactic)
November 1, 2011
Our bookshelf is looking a bit sad lately. So we enlisted some of the young staff at Enoch Pratt Free Library branches to give us their picks for books they're loving right now.
February 1, 2009
All week on Read Street, folks have been describing their polygamous reading habits. I was shocked - shocked - to learn that some people are reading three, five, even 10 books at once. I'm a one-book man, the kind of guy who makes a commitment to a book and doesn't abandon it when the next pretty cover happens by. I can imagine this scene, when one of the polygamist readers comes home: "So where have you been all night? I've been here, with that Barnes & Noble bookmark stuck on page 135, just waiting for you to come back."
January 19, 2009
The National Endowment for the Arts has good news for authors, at least those who write fiction. For the first time in 26 years, the number of Americans who read literature for pleasure has risen, according to its latest survey. More young adults are reading than ever, even if they're now getting their fiction and poetry online. Call it an astonishing reversal of decades-old cultural decline or just good old-fashioned escapism - the survey counts supermarket pulp fiction as well as classics like War and Peace - but the fact that recreational reading is growing again offers hope for the continued life of the mind.
June 16, 2008
I had thought it was just me. In reading the cover story in the new issue of The Atlantic, however, I learned that I am not alone. There are at least two of us who have forgotten how to read. I do not mean that I have lost the ability to decode letters into words. I mean, rather, that I am finding it increasingly difficult to read deeply, to muster the focus and concentration necessary to wrestle any text longer than a paragraph or more intellectually demanding than a TV listing. You're talking to a fellow whose idea of fun has always been to retire to a quiet corner with a thick newspaper or a thicker book and disappear inside.
June 1, 2008
The Tempest Tales Stand the Storm By Breena Clarke Little Brown and Co. / July 2008 / $24.99 After achieving international success with her debut novel, River, Cross My Heart, which was an Oprah book-club pick, Washington native Breena Clarke has returned with a gripping novel about a family's heart-wrenching journey out of slavery. The Coatses managed to purchase their freedom only to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles trying to establish a new life in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood.