As you’re likely aware, Valentine’s Day is barreling down on us yet again. But if you’re struggling to find a gift for the literature nerd in your life, struggle no longer! Because this week, the perfect item arrived in my mailbox:
Already anxious about your Christmas shopping? Wondering what to get the literature nerd in your life? (After all, you can only buy them so many book cover T-shirts from Out of Print. Of course, they also offer sweatshirts, scarves, mugs….)
Well, look no further! Hitting stores in late December, Family, Friends & Foes: Human Dynamics in Hispanic Worlds marks the newest anthology in a series on Hispanic literature that includes other such favorites as:
I’m currently enjoying a getaway (in Cambodia!). But I couldn’t resist sharing this little treat: The New Yorker retitles famous novels (Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, etc.) as Friends episodes here.
A week or so ago, I stumbled across this Buzzfeed article. The program discussed within, Recovering the Classics, seeks to breathe new life into classic literature by inviting contemporary artists to submit fresh cover designs for these oft-overlooked gems. Upon reading that any artist could submit, I had a brief, flashing thought:
Hey! I dabble in art. And I like books! It could be fun to contribute a cover.
Alaskan black bear salmon fishing
Texas armadillo & bluebonnets
(See above for a few examples of my watercolors.) But then I paged through Buzzfeed’s selection of favorite covers. My immediate response?
Over the long, luxurious holiday that was Chinese New Year (Happy Year of the Monkey, y’all!), my husband and I had a few visitors: Tien, a Foreign Service Officer from another post, and her one year old daughter, Violet.
I’m still on the fence about whether I should be proud or embarrassed that I had a DVD of Disney’s The Little Mermaid on hand for Violet’s entertainment (I have no little kids of my own on whom to blame this). Regardless, the film quickly lulled her off to dreamland, leaving her mommy and I to chat about childhood memories of our favorite red-headed mermaid.
If you’ve noticed some radio silence ’round these parts, it’s because my husband and I recently enjoyed a lengthy R&R back in the States. Usually, I’m pretty rigorous with myself about my writing time. But with long-missed friends and family to see–and a few chilly surf sessions thrown in for good measure–I granted myself permission to take a blogging break.
But of course, all holidays must come to a close; thus I’ve returned to both my writing and my Chinese language lessons.
The transition back has been less than elegant.
As I found myself staring off with my Chinese lǎo shī (teacher) at that first lesson following my six-week siesta, I knew I was doing a pitiful job concealing my lack of practice in the interim. All my vows to rehearse my vocabulary, to practice Mandarin conversations with my husband… all were forgotten in the happy busyness of the Christmas/New Year season.
This reading coincidence was by no means deliberate. Rather, it was born of two quirks of mine.
No. 1–I’m nearly always reading 2-3 books at any given time. I’ve been doing this since I was a wee lil’ reader. I think it comes from wanting to have a book pre-positioned in any room I might enter. That way, in true lazy American fashion, I can plop into a seat with whatever volume happens to be nearest. Continue reading “The Style & Times of Alice Hoffman”→