Book Keeping: A Reader's Community

Excerpts

GopnikSplash

Although there’s much more research to do, playing and learning go together. Clearly, letting children play is important. But is there any more to say about the role of caregivers? Can parents somehow help children play better?

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He woke every night at the same time, the small hours — when it was darkest. His upper torso jerked; his eyes opened. His hand flailed for the lamp on the bedside table but met the impediment of the mosquito net. It took a moment or two to lift the net and find the switch on the base of the lamp, then he would sit upright, breathing heavily, absorbing the paradox of having woken so hot that he was damp and cold.

They May Not Mean To but They Do

Molly Bergman moved to California, and it broke her mother’s heart. There are daughters who spend their lives trying to escape their mothers, who move to their particular California the minute they’re able to, who never stop moving to California.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can’t shake them, even long after the reading’s done. In The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth. In this excerpt, we are introduced to the eponymous painter.

Save Room for Pie by Roy Blount Jr.

Roy Blount Jr. is one of America’s most cherished comic writers. He’s been compared to Mark Twain and James Thurber, and in his latest work, Save Room for Pie, he applies his much-praised wit and charm to a rich and fundamental topic: food. Here Blount examines the Yankee distrust of that most litmus-like of vegetables— okra!

The Secret Life of American Musicals by Jack Viertel

Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical? And how does love make it onstage? In The Secret Life of the American Musical, which MORE has praised as an “engaging, insightful anatomy of a singularly American art form,” Jack Viertel takes musicals apart and puts them back together. We are proud to share this excerpt with you today!

Leonard by William Shatner

Leonard Nimoy was more than just a pretty half-Vulcan face. He also enjoyed a successful recording career, conducted numerous photographic projects, and even—you may not know this—published seven books of poetry. In this section from Leonard, William Shatner’s reminiscence of their friendship, he recalls the passion behind Nimoy’s famous impassivity.

Hemingway in Love by A. E. Hotchner

In June of 1961, A.E. Hotchner visited an old friend in the psychiatric ward of St. Mary’s Hospital. Ernest Hemingway had just undergone a second round of electroshock treatment at the Mayo Clinic and was suicidal and paranoid, convinced that his rooms were bugged and movements recorded. It would be the last time they ever spoke.

The Last Love Song by Tracy Daugherty

The Last Love Song by Tracy Daugherty is an exciting new entry on the life and letters of Joan Didion, a writer celebrated as one of the foremost voices of her generation.

Louisa Meets Bear by Lisa Gornick

Louisa Meets Bear is something special, a piercing look into whether we can—or can’t—choose how and whom we love. Read the beginning of the first story below!

Academy Street by Mary Costello

Mary Costello has been lauded as “one of literature’s finest new voices,” and last December her newest novel Academy Street, won two 2014 Irish Book Awards–both Book of the Year and Eason Novel of the Year.

Find Me by Laura van den Berg

Things I will never forget: my name, my made-up birthday, the rattle of a train in a tunnel. The sweet grit of toothpaste.

Doing the Devil's Work by Bill Loehfelm

“I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them.”

Ted and I by Gerald Hughes

My father also learnt how to cure mole skins, pinning them to the underside of his school desk lid to dry out. (It might have also helped discourage people from borrowing his pencils.)

New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 by Shelly Oria

Because Shelly Oria grew up in Israel, writing in English did not immediately feel natural.After several years in extremis, she has come to learn that “crutch” and “crotch” are different, and has produced one of the most vibrant debut collections of the year.

Fully Alive by Timothy Shriver

All over the world today, volunteers come to the games to be reminded that fear cannot withstand a direct gaze. Over and over again, they find themselves believing anew in the power of their own imaginations to conjure distinctive visions of what is possible and to see that possibility as theirs to bring to life. […]

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter

THE SUV WAS A STUPID IDEA. Too obvious. Baby Girl had read in one of her brother’s old books how you had to build up your tolerance for fear until it became part of you, as natural and unassuming as your own hand. And how often did you think about your own hand? Not often. […]

Limbo by Melania G. Mazzucco

In Ladispoli the sea roars. Open sea, slapped by the wind, always rough. People who have traveled say it’s like the ocean.

100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl

I could lie to you and say that I intended to write something totalizing, something grand. But I confess that I had a more humble ambition—to preserve for myself, in rare private moments, some liberty of thought.

Goodhouse by Peyton Marshal

At the end of the twenty-first century—in a transformed America—the sons of convicted felons are tested for a set of genetic markers. Boys who test positive become compulsory wards of the state…