Blood Meridian, Chapter Nineteen- “You done been paid.”

blood meridian sky Huge developments!  HUGE!  THE HUGEST!!!

Okay, this was a great and exciting (but also bloody and disturbing) chapter.  Tempting to jump to the end, but that’s not how we do things here at the good ship Dunce Academy.  But hang in there; it will be worth the wait. Continue reading

Waiting List Woes

Before I say anything disparaging, let me first make clear that I probably live in the best public library system in the country, if not the world.  The facilities are exceptional, they have an unbelievably current and comprehensive selection, the librarians are friendly and intelligent and well-read.  And the wait-list system itself is wonderful and very useful.  Pretty much any book you can think of, my library system has it, usually several copies, often in multiple media (i.e. hard copy, large print, CD, e-book).  And I can request a hold on a book from any library in the system, to any library in the system, and it will usually be there in a week or less.  Very efficient and necessary to my insatiable reading needs.

But Continue reading

Momma Don’t You Worry- Book Review

momma dont you worryOccasionally, we here at the Dunce Academy get the chance to read new authors.  Such was the case with Louie Lawent’s Momma Don’t You Worry, a touching tale of childhood and the complicated dynamics between a child and his mother as he starts to recognize/exercise his independence.

If you’ve ever thought writing a children’s book would be easy, Lawent can prove you wrong.  Despite the relatively short length and facial simplicity of the tale, it needs to work on multiple levels at once.  Thanks to Lawent for the chance to read this sweet and moving story.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor- by Thomas C. Foster

“Humankind cannot bear too much reality.”  T.S. Eliot.

Based on the title alone, I had been wanting to read this book for quite some time.  And the subtitle, “A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines” only further piqued my interest.  Having finished the book, I find the title to be more accurate than the subtitle; this certainly seemed like a guide to how many professors dissect literature, for better or worse.  But as to “lively and entertaining,” while it may be the most lively and entertaining guide of its kind, I’m not sure that’s saying much. Continue reading

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls- by David Sedaris

I have been amused by every David Sedaris book that I have read.  As is so often the case with talented and prolific authors, each new one I read becomes my new favorite.  This was the case with Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, not, I don’t think because this is necessarily his most funny, but because it was, to me anyway, his most relateably human. Continue reading

Magical Library Book Recommender

For as far back as I can remember, I have strongly believed that libraries are just about the coolest places around.  I love the books, the ambience, the possibilities.  But I have come to realize that one of the most unsung yet greatest parts about libraries is their librarians.  Intelligent, helpful, bookish, they are great sources of information.  I have received many excellent book recommendations over the years from thoughtful librarians, especially Dunce One, aka The World’s Strongest Librarian.

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Three Must-See Movies for Book Lovers

Who doesn’t love a love story?  I know I do.  Of all the movies I watch, a lot of them end up being romantic movies.  Within that genre, my hands down favorite sub-genre is literary romantic movies, or movies with a strong writing/art component.  Because there is no one here to stop me, I will christen the sub-genre “Writerly Romance”  (if this catches on as a concept, don’t forget that you heard it here first).  Three great ones I’ve seen recently are Words and Pictures, Not Another Happy Ending, and The Longest Week. Continue reading

“The Opposite of Loneliness,” by Marina Keegan

Opposite-LonelinessDo you want to leave soon?

No, I want enough time to be in love with everything…

And I cry because everything is so beautiful and so short.

-Marina Keegan, from the poem “Bygones”

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