Ann’s Blog

Notes from Ann (and Geraldine): History Lesson

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(photo: Vineyard Gazette)

Not too long ago I was out walking Sparky when one of my neighbors stopped me on the street and asked me what she should read on vacation. I’m good at this game. I asked her what she liked. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Context

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There are a lot of different ways to read Jesmyn Ward’s new novel Sing, Unburied, Sing, and one of them is as a stand-alone achievement: a beautifully written story of a family’s struggle through poverty, prison, and drugs, bound together by the tremendous protection of the love they feel for one another. If you read the book this way you’ll probably have a great experience with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: The Backlist

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Imagine you have a new baby who’s getting all the attention from everyone who walks in the door, while meanwhile your perfectly well-behaved older children don’t get the time of day. Imagine how lovely it would be for someone to say, “I think this new baby of yours is so terrific that I’m inclined to invite your 7-year-old to the park.” Wouldn’t that be nice? Or conversely, imagine someone saying, “I love your 7-year-old so much that I’m going to babysit your new baby, because based on past experience, I know your children to be delightful.” I bet both scenarios would rock a parent’s heart with joy. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: LESS is More

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Excuse me for interrupting, but I found the book I’ve been looking for, and it seems quite possible it’s the book you’re looking for too. It’s called Less by Andrew Sean Greer. I read it because the glowing front page review in the New York Times Book Review promised I would laugh out loud. The review also said it was well-written and big-hearted, but it was the promise of a good laugh that made me get in my car and drive straight to Parnassus. I need a laugh right about now. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: The Main Events

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I’ve started writing a new novel, which I will say, based on common sense and no experience, is nothing at all like being pregnant. However, writing does make my tastes change. Ask anyone at the store, especially Cat who runs the First Editions Club and is the person I’m most likely to be talking to about books (she reads everything. She seems to magically inhale books in her sleep), I’m a lot less likely to like a novel when I’m writing one myself. I have very little patience with books that are slow, or have plots that seem purposefully convoluted or aggressively artful. I feel like I’m trying so hard to be clear in my own writing, shouldn’t others have to be clear as well? I pick things up, I put things down. I don’t exactly trust my own judgment these days. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Maile

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I met Maile Meloy around the time Miley Cyrus was going into the first grade, a point I make only because their first names are pronounced the same way and now you’ll always remember. I knew Maile before she’d published her first book, before she’d had her first story in The New Yorker, and the thing that has always struck me is how good she is at anything she puts her mind to. She was on the U.S. Women’s Kayak Polo team and traveled to other countries with a small boat. She can ride a horse, install door hardware, speak Spanish, fly on a trapeze, solve IT problems, edit a manuscript (I have greatly benefited from her talent in this category), and teach a kid to read. She’s the person everyone wants to sit next to at a dinner party. She’s also a magnificent friend. She could have done anything she wanted to do with her life, and the fact that she decided to be a writer is our good fortune. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Flood

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There have been some water issues at our house. Read the rest of this entry »