“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
“You’re never too old,
too wacky, too wild,
to pick up a book
and read to a child.”
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”
This 2010 debut novel by Kimberly Chang is a wonderful immigrant story with the young protagonist (based on the author, herself),coming of age under the worst of circumstances and overcoming, magnificently,the highest of obstacles. She is from China, surrounded by a foreign language and culture as she enters the U.S. Her misunderstanding of words and phrases she hears in English are almost humorous to the reader as she enters seventh and eighth grade to discover that she has a “talent for school”, especially in the areas of math and science.
She and her mother are sponsored by a spiteful, jealous aunt to whom they are indebted and forced to live in squalor in a condemned apartment in the Bronx. The girl finds herself “growing up between two worlds” and experiencing the thrill and anxiety of young love. The love story has an unusual but satisfying ending. As she “staggers under…
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Outstanding photos and beautiful words from an author who frequently provides both. Check out her blog.
Morning lights the east with liquid flame as the earth and I shrink into ourselves, frozen and pensive. Even so, with such beauty as this you almost wish you could live forever so the memory of it would never fade. The dog, dismisses my philosphical mood and with her usual abandon, races across the field with every evidence of selective deafness. Ignoring both blandishment and command with her lopsided grin, she chases her breath in circles and greets the birds. Why, after all, would she want to come back to a nice, warm house and breakfast when there are moments like this to be had?
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Apparently I am on something of an architecture kick. In addition to finding one of the most incredible library parking garages in the world, I’ve discovered a stellar bus stop.
Those are words I never thought I would type.
When bus stops come to mind, I typically don’t think of anything extraordinary. The stop nearest to my old apartment had no sidewalk leading to it, and though it was supposed to be a covered bus stop, the roof had blown off long ago. I spent many damp mornings there waiting to catch a ride into town.
One bus stop in Singapore is a little different.
In tandem with DP Architects, the Singaporean government has worked to create an experimental bus stop in the Jurong Lake District. The bus stop is intended to inspire people to take greater ownership of their community and features free WiFi, phone charging stations, bike parking, and…
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Not too long ago, I included on this blog my favorite quotes about writing. Today, I offer some of my favorites on reading:
“But do not read, as children read, for fun, or like the ambitious read, for training purposes. No, read for your life.” Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, in a letter to a friend.
The habit of reading, I make bold to tell you , is your pass to the greatest, the purest, and the most perfect of pleasure that God has prepared for His creatures. It lasts when all other pleasures fade. It will support you when all other recreations are gone. It will last until your death. It will make your hours pleasant to you as long as you live.” Anthony Trollope, Victorian novelist (1815-1882).
And, a couple of more modern ones:
“One must be careful of books, and what is inside…
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The two books I read this past week are both love stories from a child’s point of view but with very different messages and very different viewpoints.
The first, The Day I Became a Bird, written by Ingrid Chabbert and illustrated by Guridi, a Spanish artist, was published in 2016 by Kid’s Can Press. It is a very special book. The story goes: Boy meets girl and wants to catch her eye. Girl cares about nothing but birds, “…There are birds on her pants and dresses. She wears birds barrettes in her hair. She draws birds on her notebooks and folders. And when she speaks, her voice sounds like birdsong.” So, the boy makes a bird costume and wears it to school despite all the teasing and hard-to-maneuver times, for he has eyes for her. Then, attracted by the costume, their eyes meet, and the rest is a beautiful story…
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I recently came into contact with a writer. Nothing unusual about that around here, but this wasn’t through blogging or any of the usual channels. We talked for a while, establishing that there were a whole load of coincidences leading up to our encounter, which seemed to break the social ice… and then we got down to talking about writing.
For a number of reasons, this writer had lost confidence in the book they had published… a first novel with what sounded like a great plot. Having read a fair bit of it, I could see the effort that had gone in to producing a gripping story and a well-presented book. The writer, though, had noticed the minor flaws and, as such things do, they had taken over, dulling what should have been justifiable pride.
I remember both those feelings vividly… that moment when you finally hold your first book…
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