Grammar Haiku

My favorite of last year’s National Grammar Day haikus:

I am an error
And I will reveal myself
After you press send

And my [so far] favorite grammar poster:

Created by WritingCom

Created by WritingCom

Available for sale on WritingCom’s store on Zazzle.


This isn’t Cinderella.

BlanketsBlankets by Craig Thompson

I don’t know what I expected when I chose this graphic novel from the HPL’s “Read 15 in ’15” list (…). I was just trying to make sure I had a title from as many of their categories as possible. The only other graphic novel I’ve ever read is Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, and my takeaway then was, well, that wasn’t any of the comics I read as a kid, the beautifully drawn and colored ones about mythical characters like Robin Hood and King Arthur and Thumbelina and Moses.

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Coffee Table on KBBI — Good reads for summer!

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I was a guest on Coffee Table on KBBI this morning, keeping company with Shady Grove Oliver and Terry Rensel as we talked about our favorite reads with people who call in. It was a blast, as always–thanks, guys!–and without further ado, here’s the books we talked about on the air.

Cow Woman of Akutan (there’s a title for you) by Joan Brown Dodd
The Wind is not a River by Brian Payton

The Martian by Andy Weir
Astoria by Peter Stark (Lee compares this book to Alfred Lansing’s Endurance, one of the great survival stories.)
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

A Thousand Prayers by James Sweeny
The List, a collection of short stories also by James Sweeny

Shadow Show by Sam Weller
Hyperbole and a Half (another great title) by Allie Brosh
I’m a Stranger Here Myself and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (Dana inserts herself here with her favorite Bill Bryson book, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid)
The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley (Shady says its a great adventure story).
All’s Fair by Mary Matalin and James Carville (Shady says it’s a horrible book but you won’t be able to put it down. I just ordered a copy from the Homer Bookstore, so sold!)
Among Others by Jo Walton
Also, she’s been reading a lot of Agatha Christie, and says it’s interesting to see how Christie’s craft evolved over the years (decades)[century]. If you have yet to encounter Dame Agatha, Dana recommends Murder on the Orient Express. (They made a terrific movie out of it, too.)

Murder on the Orient Express

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin, a history Terry says reminded him of Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly.
Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright (which Terry recommended in response to my recommendation of Read My Pins, see below)
Winston Churchill, Winston Churchill’s War Leadership and Churchill’s Political Philosophy, all by Sir Martin Gilbert. (Terry says these books are small, about 116 pages each, and a quick way into the life and character of Churchill, if you’ve always wanted to read about him but were daunted by the massive amount of books with his name in the title. Like me.)
The Martian by Andy Weir (Dana says she’s halfway through and loving it.)

If I Should Die by Matthew Frank
Sniper’s Honor by Stephen Hunter
The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Euphoria by Lily King
The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
The Plantagenets by Dan Jones
Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright
You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld
Dana says you can read her reviews of these books on her Goodreads page.

You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack

And a shoutout to the Homer Public Library’s Read 15 in ’15 reading challenge, because Shady and I and Terry are all participating. Click on the link to download a list of 150 books in various categories, and pick 15 of them to read in 2015. You can fill out an online form about a book you’ve read and leave a few comments, too. They’re printing out the comments and posting them on a bulletin board in the library so you can stop buy and get a few ideas. I’ve read seven from their list so far and every one has been a book I never heard of or something I wouldn’t have picked for myself. Fun.

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An eyewitness account of the last 40 years of American history.

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New AmericaThe Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

This is the book you read if you want an eyewitness account of the last 40 years of American history, leading specifically to the Great Recession and told from the viewpoint of the people who lived it. You could teach American History 102 directly from its pages and your students would learn a hell of a lot more than from some dusty old textbook.

Packer alternates his narrative among half a dozen Americans, interspersed with profiles of people you all know, like Newt Gingrich and Oprah and Jay-Z, and towns like Tampa, which was ground zero for the bad mortgage boom and bust. But principally we’re seeing what happened to us through the eyes of two white southern men and a black woman from Youngstown, Ohio. What follows is the single most engrossing nonfiction read I have held in my hands since, since, hell, I don’t know when.

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The History of Kate Shugak in 20 Objects – 4

WARNING: Spoilers spoken here. Continue reading