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Posts from the ‘News and Notes’ Category

This 12-Year-Old Boy Needs Books. Let’s Send Him Some.

Here’s your heartwarming story for the day.

Last week, a mailman in Utah was delivering mail to the home of a 12-year-old boy, Mathew Flores. The kid was reading junk mail and asked the mailman if he had any extra.

When the mailman, Ron Lynch, asked Flores why he was reading junk mail, the boy told him that he didn’t have any books. For fun, he reads newspapers and mail.

Flores’ family doesn’t have a car, and he can’t afford the bus pass to go to the library. So, no books.

“He didn’t want electronics. He didn’t want to sit in front of the TV playing games all day. This kid just wanted to read,” Lynch said.

So, like any good trustworthy mailman, Lynch did something about it.

He posted a photo of the boy on Facebook, with a description of the situation. The post went viral on social media and found its way to Reddit.  Read more

Rest In Peace, E.L. Doctorow

I rarely break my blogging schedule, but today’s an exception.

Last night, E.L. Doctorow died at the age of 84. According to his son, he passed away because of complications from lung cancer.

As I’ve read through the 101 Books, I’ve noticed how rare it is to actually have a living author on the list. Doctorow, who most famously wrote Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, was one of the few. Since I created the blog almost five years ago, I only recall one other author on the list passing away–that’s Doris Lessing, who wrote The Golden NotebookRead more

The Editor Behind To Kill A Mockingbird

The recent release of Go Set A Watchman is an interesting case study in the development of a classic novel.

With the novel’s publication last week, the New York Times published an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the process that transformed Go Set A Watchman into To Kill A Mockingbird several years later. Read more

Zadie Smith Talks Parenting: Are Two Kids Too Many?

Zadie Smith is one of those writers that, honestly, I had never heard of before embarking on this project. Yet, as I’ve read White Teeth and learned more about Smith, I’ve grown to respect her immensely, so much so that I’d love to somehow be able to interview her on this blog. Gotta try, at least, right?

Anyway, I’ll definitely be reading more of Zadie Smith’s work when this is finished. I love her writing style and witty humor.

Smith is the mother of two kids, and she took issue to an article written by journalist Lauren Sandler a couple of years ago in The Atlantic. The title of the piece? “The secret to being both a successful writer and a mother: have just one kid”


Sandler explained how many of the female writers she “revered” only had one child: Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, Margaret Atwood.

She quotes Alice Walker, who said female artists “should have children – assuming this is of interest to them – but only one … Because with one you can move. With more than one you’re a sitting duck.”

Zadie Smith took issue with Sandler’s article and responded. Read more

Kids Aren’t Reading–And That’s Their Parents’ Fault

Children don’t be reading, and that’s their parent’s fault.

I’m always leery when I hear “a new study says,” but for what it’s worth a new study says that one in four students agree with the statement “My parents don’t care if I spend any time reading.”

According to Acculturated, one in six boys said they had never been given a book as a present and one in five said they had never been to a bookstore. That’s nuts! Read more

Zadie Smith Hearts Jon Snow

You guys might know I’ve become a bit of a Game of Thrones fan boy. Can you believe that season 5 finale? Holy crap!

Anyway, while doing a little research on White Teeth author, Zadie Smith, I found this little nugget—which made me laugh, especially if you know my opinion on Virginia Woolf.

Smith recently wrote a short story called Escape from New York, so The New Yorker asked her which three people she’d take on a road trip with her.

She picked four. Her answer: Read more

You Can Own The House Where Fitzgerald Wrote Gatsby

In the housing market? Live near New York City? Have a spare $3.8 million?

If that’s you, then you could be the owner of the house where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby.

The Fitzgeralds rented the house, located in Great Neck just outside New York City, for two years in the early 1920s. He started writing the manuscript while living there and finished the novel when they moved to France.

The beautiful home has 7 bedrooms and 6.5 baths.

Can you imagine? Sitting under the same roof that Fitzgerald once wrote Gatsby? Well, for 3.8 million, you can do just that!

Anybody willing to loan me a little cash?

A few more photos of the house below. You can see all the photos over at Zillow.

Images via Zillow.


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