Publication News!

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:

And may I recommend, in particular, Chapter 4: “ ‘In This Madhouse’: Myth, Message, and Kaleidoscopic Kin in Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude“?

It just so happens to share its author in common with this blog. And that makes for notch number 4 in my lit anthology gun belt!

Image result for huzzah meme

FEATURED IMAGES PROPERTY OF SUSSEX ACADEMIC PRESS (COVER DESIGN PROOF) AND MakeAMeme.org.

Like what you’ve read? Follow my blog via email or WordPress (on the sidebar), or shoot me an email (using the footer).

Advertisements

THE NEW YORKER: Famous Novels Retitled Like Episodes of “Friends”

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.

“Reports of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”

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.

(See above for a few examples of my watercolors.) But then I paged through Buzzfeed’s selection of favorite covers. My immediate response?

Never mind on that whole, me-contributing-thing.

The artists who have submitted designs are brilliant. Not just in terms of artistic mastery, though that’s undeniably present. Instead, what really caught my attention was the dynamism of the covers, the way they captured each novel’s essence. Continue reading ““Reports of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated””

The Little Mermaid & Literary Diversity

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.

I still adore Disney‘s fun-and-song-filled take on the story. But adulthood made me curious about Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale. Reading it left me jaw-dropped… and kind of grateful that Disney pulled the wool over my three-year-old eyes, safeguarding my innocence. Continue reading “The Little Mermaid & Literary Diversity”

Dotted Lines & Dynamic Books

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.

Proof that Dad and I faced off with the 48°F water and 20-25 MPH northerly winds to go Post-Christmas surfing.
Proof that Dad and I faced off with the 48°F water and 20-25 MPH northerly winds to go Post-Christmas surfing.

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.

And now I’d be paying for my laziness à la linguistic humiliation. Continue reading “Dotted Lines & Dynamic Books”

The Style & Times of Alice Hoffman

By sheer accident, I wound up reading two of Alice Hoffman’s novels simultaneously: Practical Magic, from the earlier half of her canon, and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, her most recent novel until The Marriage of Opposites‘ publication just this August.

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”

Meditative Books & Movie Rights

As an aspiring novelist, I have a semi-psychotic relationship with contemporary books.

Obviously I love reading. And there are plenty of books I enjoy “well enough”–unique, entertaining reads I wouldn’t mind recommending. These are books about which I can’t complain. But there’s also not much I-wish-I’d-gotten-there-first about them, either. For me, Anita Amirrezvani’s The Blood of Flowers and Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Painted Girls fall in that category.

Then there are the books that have my husband making this face:

Dog Hiding His Face

Why? Because for weeks days, I’ll periodically burst into a rant about how terrible Book X was. How unappealing the characters. How poorly researched. How unbelievable the conclusion. I’ll now confess that my husband was right (I really hope he doesn’t read this): the fury I felt over the ending of Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy was perhaps disproportional (though not nearly so much as that of those making death threats over it). But I’ll save my Allegient thoughts for a future post. Continue reading “Meditative Books & Movie Rights”