Daily Archives: April 28, 2013

Sunday Links

A fascinating find.

Shelf Love

Welcome to our occasional feature in which we share bookish news and commentary that we’ve come across in recent weeks:

  • How is blogging similar to boiling granite? Tom shares his thoughts at Wuthering Expectations (with help from Emerson).
  • Kathleen Rooney at the New York Times Magazine talks about the way Jack Handey — yes, Jack Handey, of Deep Thoughts — has freed up genuine poetry, and the way she teaches it to undergraduates.
  • Levi at I’ve Been Reading Lately shares some suggestions from Ford Maddox Ford on the uses of books (and bacon).
  • Jenn at The Picky Girl mulls over Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and what it means to be an American.
  • Lisa Leff writes an excellent long-form piece for Tablet Magazine about Zosa Szajkowski’s “salvaged” archival Jewish documents, rescued from the Nazis during the Holocaust in France. Here, she discusses possession, rescue, and the delicate nature of archiving.

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized


An Abundance of Katherines

abundance katherinesColin Singleton, the hero of John Green‘s An Abundance of Katherines, is a dumpee. Time and again, 19 times in fact, he’s been dumped. Every time this prodigy, who’s just graduated high school, has been dumped by a girl named Katherine. He developed his penchant for Katherine’s when he was 8. Some “relationships” lasted minutes, some months. Losing Katherine XIX devastated him. Thus to shake off this bad feeling whiz kid Colin and his friend Hassan take to the road in Colin’s jalopy, which he calls Hearse

The story is clever and I enjoyed Colin, Hassan and Lindsay. Yet I was so keenly aware of Green’s cleverness that I never got lost in the book. I was always aware that Green was telling a story. It’s quite clever, though far from realistic. The boys drive to a small town in Tennessee where they meet Lindsay, who’s a beautiful woman, their age, who is a tour guide for the Archduke Ferdinand’s burial site. Before you know it, Colin and Hassan are working for Lindsay’s mother and living in their pink mansion. The boys must interview old folks for an oral history of Gunshot, Tennessee. While they’re in Gunshot, hanging out and working, Colin has time to figure out an equation that can predict how long a relationship will last and which party will dump the other.

There’s a lot of banter and interesting esoteric remarks. It’s a fast read, and I liked that the cover shown above was designed by a reader. In fact, it’s a lot better than the professionally designed earlier covers, if you ask me. The novel’s end is rather pat and predictable. Still it’s a decent book.

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in American Lit, contemporary, YA


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