On the Sacredness of the Books That Shape Us: My Ordinary Experience Reading The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials is one of my most beloved series of all time. I have visceral memories of reading it for the first time--how I felt after reading the cliffhanger at the end of The Subtle Knife, knowing I'd have to wait a year or more before finding out what happened next. I remember sobbing... Continue Reading →

Summer Housekeeping

It's been a while since I've updated the blog. I moved to a new place, started a new job, adopted a dog, and have been settling into the daily rhythm of fiction wrangling (i.e. writing a novel). I thought I'd immediately settle into a book blogging routine but it took me a few months to... Continue Reading →

Just A Bite: Water by The Spoonful, Quiara Alegria Hudes

I just finished a book, a brilliant, funny, beautiful, moving, smart, heartbreaking book. Ninety-two glorious pages of deeply felt, richly imagined, perfect, stunning words. It won’t take you very long to read, so you can go and get it from your local library immediately and you don’t even have to stay up late reading it. If you have not read this play, you are lucky, because that means you get to read it: Water by the Spoonful, by Quiara Algeria Hudes.

Welcome to Book Open!

I have been a reader all my life. When I was a kid, I remember sneaking books under the covers with a flashlight after I was supposed to be asleep. In the fifth grade, I remember reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time. We had a few minutes every day for personal reading time, and I was so excited and impatient to get to this activity that I walked around the classroom, announcing dramatically to everyone who would listen the name of the chapter I was about to start, Fog on the Barrow Downs. I remember exactly where I was when I finished the last book in Mercedes Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar trilogy. I was fourteen, in my bedroom, and I remember finishing the book, taking out my journal, and writing page after page about the book, in purple glitter pen, crying. In my early twenties, I remember staying up all night with two of my dearest friends, taking turns reading aloud to each other the entirety of The Old Man and the Sea. I have a clear memory from just over a year ago, sitting at my kitchen table, so deeply moved and humbled by a scene in Kim Fu’s For Today I Am A Boy that I had to put the book down and walk around the house, taking deep breaths. Books have shaped who I am in deep and abiding ways.

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