Mini Book Reviews

A boy sits amid the ruins of a London bookshop following an air raid

A boy sits amid the ruins of a London bookshop following an air raid

I’m going to share my thoughts about some of the books I’ve read recently, though I should be preparing the syllabus for my summer class that starts next week. I hope you will forgive me for at lest one of these things. These reviews are for novels, novellas, and short-story collections that particularly struck me in my sabbatical reading, and so I highly recommend all of them (the order below is pretty random). Perhaps in another post I’ll share some of my recommendations from the tons of graphic novels I’ve also been reading, if anyone’s interested. Given my devotion to the miniature, be not surprised at the lengths of these reviews.

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Magpie Monthly — June 2015

Here I am again, trying out something different–a monthly magpie post. Above is a video of an Australian magpie (Sqwark) and a pup (Whiskey) playing in the yard. Irredeemably cute. Many thanks to Laura, who recently re-linked to this video on Facebook and reminded me of it.

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Mini Magpie Monday

magpie 2015-03-02Here I am, attempting another Magpie Monday in miniature form.

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Mini Magpie Monday

il_340x270.374868572_4lz2I’ve not done a proper Magpie Monday in quite a while, so I thought I’d try something short. A miniature Magpie Monday, if you will.

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What Have I Been Up To?

Magpie (2013) by Niroot Puttapipat

Magpie (2013) by Niroot Puttapipat (click on the image to go to his website)

I’ve been neglecting the blog most egregiously, I confess, but I’m hoping to start posting regularly again (well, semi-regularly. Or at least more frequently than a few times a year?). Last spring I was awarded tenure, and it’s taken me this long to let out the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding for the four years I was tenure-track.

This spring I’m on sabbatical from teaching, which makes me feel all kinds of things, not the least of which is how I wish more jobs allowed for sabbaticals (my own trajectory took me twenty years to get here). Taking some time away, to get recharged and re-focused, is something that everyone needs, and I wasn’t aware how much I needed this time until I was taking it. I’m very, very grateful for sabbatical; in no way do I take this opportunity for granted. Still, I feel like I’m not quite doing sabbatical right (why does every day feel like Saturday, which I usually reserve for housework and errands?), but there you go.

So I thought I’d write a bit about my sabbatical projects, of which there are many. Not all of them are going to get done—my application was extremely ambitious, and I haven’t listed here everything I thought I might do—but I’m going to give it the old college try. Writing them down is my attempt to keep myself honest. Here’s the general breakdown of my sabbatical, and I’ll follow up with a few specifics:

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