Page To Screen: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Few YA books are as daring as E.L. Koningsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It's a thinking book. It's also an unthinking book. For those who aren't familiar with the story, Claudia Kincaid is an upstate New York girl with three brothers who feels like there's nothing to set her apart from … Continue reading Page To Screen: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Reading Rarities: A Beginner’s Guide To Goat Yoga

Admit it, you totally thought this was clickbait, and if you did I can't blame you. However, truth is stranger than fiction and goat yoga really is a thing. No, there aren't goats doing tree poses and chatarangas, although I wouldn't put it past them, but people do practice yoga outside with goats wandering around … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Beginner’s Guide To Goat Yoga

Reading Rarities: Life of the Party

Tupperware. The plastic. The convenience. The legend. And of course, the parties. Remember those? They're still very much a thing. I've never been to one, but they look fun. Tupperware pioneered plastic housewares right around the time when plastic was coming into its own, and pretty much every American household has Tupperware somewhere. Well, almost. … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Life of the Party

Page To Screen: The Black Stallion

Who else had to read The Black Stallion for school? I did. Fourth grade. I can't remember anyone complaining about it. In fact, Black Stallion books were kind of the rage in my class. For those who haven't experienced it, the novel follows New York City teenager Alec Ramsey and his friendship with a mysterious, very wild … Continue reading Page To Screen: The Black Stallion

Reading Rarities: ABC of Aviation

I've grown up hearing and talking about airplanes. My dad was a single-engine pilot for many years. Well, technically he still is, but he hasn't got a current medical certification, so there's that. My knowledge of planes is purely academic while Dad's is practical, but it's our thing. One year I bought him a pack … Continue reading Reading Rarities: ABC of Aviation

Nora’s Revenge

It's a cliche that necessity is the mother of invention. Before she really made a name for herself as a crafter of witty film repartee, Nora Ephron was an essay writer for the New York Post and Esquire. She also dated and married fellow journalist Carl Bernstein in 1976. Happiness was short-lived, though, as Bernstein cheated on Ephron … Continue reading Nora’s Revenge

Reading Rarities: A Field Guide To the North American Family

Ah, that elusive, nubelous entity, the American Family. The whole world finds the American Family intriguing. They can't really help it, seeing as American Families are ubiquitous. Everyone from the Jeffersons to the Cleavers to the Bundys are known in every country. The fictional American family, at least the ones found in sitcoms of a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Field Guide To the North American Family

Reading Rarities: A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California

As the saying goes, you never really know someone until you climb in his shoes and walk around in them. Lately I've been walking with John Steinbeck, one of my favorite authors (and a fellow Californian), in Susan Shillinglaw's A Journey Into Steinbeck's California. Far from being a simple tour guide of Steinbeck haunts, Journey is a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California

Reading Rarities: Joan Of Arc In Her Own Words

No one is ever quite indifferent to Joan of Arc once they've found out about her. She's been called a witch, she's been called crazy, she's been called a mystic. Some people think her Voices were actual Saints and others don't. Either way, we all know Joan's a towering figure to many, and because of … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Joan Of Arc In Her Own Words

Page to Screen: The Diary of Anne Frank

If she had lived, Anne Frank would be ninety-one this year. Her diary, technically known in English as Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl, was first published in the Netherlands in 1947. The diary has been translated into sixty-five languages, sold over thirty-five million copies and is one of the most widely-read books outside … Continue reading Page to Screen: The Diary of Anne Frank

Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

Dear friends, unless you've been in the military, I'm guessing your thoughts look something like this right now: "Yikes." "Wow." "This looks boring." Also highly likely: "What is it?" That was my question when I spied Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies while poking around Winston Smith Books several years ago. I asked the cashier about … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

Reading Rarities: A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy

It goes without saying that we're all spending extra time at home right now. A lot of extra time. It also goes without saying that it can be hard and weird because, among other things, it's a real slowing-down process. We don't know how long we're going to have to live this way and a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy

Page To Screen: A Night To Remember

The late Walter Lord is kind of a legend among Titanic buffs and historians. When he wrote A Night To Remember, which was published in 1955, he basically inspired the public fascination with the ship that continues today. Pretty much every book written about the Titanic uses Walter Lord's work as a source because he's that OG. How did Lord … Continue reading Page To Screen: A Night To Remember

Reading Rarities: John Lennon In His Own Write

If he were alive today, John Lennon would be turning eighty this year. It's also the fortieth anniversary of his death. Kind of amazing, isn't it? Gee whiz, time flies. Once the Beatles had a number one song in America, lives that were already on fast-forward went into hyperspace. In 1964 alone, the group toured … Continue reading Reading Rarities: John Lennon In His Own Write

Reading Rarities: The Diary of A Victorian Lady

OK, I'm kind of excited about this Rarity. Well, I get excited about most of the stuff I review, but this book is a little different. The Victorian era and Victorian women in particular are such enigmas. Sure, we have novels and other works from Victorian women, and we have a pretty good idea of … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The Diary of A Victorian Lady