Cindy's blog

Breaking the First Rule of Book Club by Rebecca Howard

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I want to talk about book clubs.  I’ve been involved with several over the years and have found them to be deeply rewarding—each in their own ways.  There are a few dangerous pitfalls that book clubs have to strive to avoid, though.  In no particular order, here they are:
1) The book club becomes a wine club
2) The book club becomes a whine club
3) Not everyone reads the book
4) One individual (who typically has not read the entire book) dominates discussion
5) The same person selects titles each month

It's an Honor Just to Be Nominated by Rebecca Howard

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This may be true, but it’s also incredibly sweet to win.  That’s why I couldn’t be happier that Louise Erdrich’s latest novel The Round House is this year’s recipient of the National Book Award for fiction.  Erdrich is a storyteller of remarkable skill who can create a tone that is at once heartbreaking and tragic.  Using lush, poetic language, she describes settings that few

Feast on This by Laura Raphael

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Some books are light confections, amuse-bouches that please in the moment but as soon as they are closed, disappear from the mind as quickly as cotton candy on the tongue. These lovelies absolutely have a place in my personal reading diet, and they are far harder to write than they seem.

The Past Is Never Dead by Rebecca Howard

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Recently I watched the movie Lincoln, an epic film that was based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s tome Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln and adapted for the screen by the brilliant Tony Kushner.  It was not lost on me that this remarkable film’s script was created by the same Pulitzer Prize winning playwright responsible for

The PoMo Historical by Nick Abrahamson

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Postmodern seems to be one of those words academics love to throw around, while others might see the term at best as nebulous or at worst intimidating.  Like the prefix ‘meta-’, or perhaps an art movement, it can mean many things simultaneously: postmodernism has its hallmarks, some elements that reappear across works within the tradition.  But it doesn’t have to be scary.  Think of Post-rock, also a very vague term for a music genre that is mostly defined by long instrumentals.  This can refer to movements of Bach-ian complexities.  Or a cinematic band such as Explosions in the Sky that s

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