Raise your hand if, despite your intention to show up with just the right token of love or appreciation, these scenarios feel familiar:
- Your mama taught you never to arrive at a social function empty-handed, but you usually run out of time to choose a host gift and end up grabbing a questionable bottle of wine from your fridge at the last minute.
- You want to make a thoughtful gesture when a friend experiences a loss, but you don’t have a clue what to say.
- You realized (too late) you gave your nephew the same birthday present three years in a row. Oops.
Ready for some fresh ideas? Hit the bookstore to find go-to gifts for life’s common occasions:
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What to do on a rainy summer day? Read! What about when it’s too hot to play outside? Read! During rest time at camp? On road trips? At grandma’s house? Read, read, read! Read the rest of this entry »
Amazing how much you can read during the summer, isn’t it? Lucky for readers everywhere, fantastic new books are coming out every week. If you’re looking for your next great read, consider these titles our own staffers are enjoying most these days: Read the rest of this entry »
In 1985, when I was a graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, my best friend Lucy and I would become obsessed by what we read. We belted out Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” for a full semester. We tried to memorize the first chapter of García Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. We fell in love with many short stories. I was there to learn how to write short stories so there was a whole raft of them I obsessed over, but none were as close to me as “The Ideal Bakery” by Donald Hall. Read the rest of this entry »
Twenty miles from here, twenty miles north, the funeral mass was starting. Yale checked his watch as they walked up Belden. He said to Charlie, “How empty do you think that church is?”
Charlie said, “Let’s not care.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Beloved” is not a word usually associated with critics, but Jim Ridley, who spent 20 years as a film critic at the alt-weekly Nashville Scene and another seven as its editor, was absolutely beloved. When he died in 2016 after collapsing in his Scene office, the wave of sorrow rippled far beyond his personal circle. Many people who knew him only through his writing felt as if they’d lost a brilliant friend. A new collection of his work, People Only Die of Love in Movies, confirms that, in a very real sense, they had. Ridley’s voice was dazzling, honest, joyful, and a consistent force for good in the cultural life of the city he loved. Read the rest of this entry »