Reading Room Blog

07/13/2009 - 11:08am

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

When we're young, it seems there are endless possibilities for lives we might lead, and then as we grow older and the opportunities get fewer we begin to realize that the life we've been given is the only one we're likely to get. Here's Jean Nordhaus, of the Washington, D.C. area, exploring this process.

I Was Always Leaving

I was always leaving, I was
about to get up and go, I was
on my way, not sure where.
Somewhere else. Not here.
Nothing here was good enough.

07/15/2009 - 11:09am

Thank you for requesting a book match. If you liked The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, you may also like these titles and authors.

The Gazebo by Emily Grayson

Once a year for fifty years, Martin Rayfiel and Clair Swift have met at the gazebo in the square of a small town, but this year, they do not show, and it is up to Abby Reston, the local newspaper editor, to piece together the puzzle of these two lovers. (Catalog summary)


Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

07/01/2009 - 3:10pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

There's lots of literature about the loss of innocence, because we all share in that loss and literature is about what we share. Here's a poem by Alexandra Teague, a San Franciscan, in which a child's awakening to the alphabet coincides with another awakening: the unsettling knowledge that all of us don't see things in the same way.

Language Lessons

06/23/2009 - 10:14am

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Coleman Barks, who lives in Georgia, is not only the English language's foremost translator of the poems of the 13th century poet, Rumi, but he's also a loving grandfather, and for me that's even more important. His poems about his granddaughter, Briny, are brim full of joy. Here's one:

Glad

In the glory of the gloaming-green soccer
field her team, the Gladiators, is losing

ten to zip. She never loses interest in
the roughhouse one-on-one that comes

06/18/2009 - 9:21am

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Sometimes, it's merely the sound of a child's voice in a nearby room that makes a parent feel immensely lucky. To celebrate Father's Day, here's a joyful poem of fatherhood by Todd Boss, who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This Morning in a Morning Voice

12/06/2010 - 1:08pm

Thanks for e-mailing us for a Book Match. You did not give a title or author for a match, but just noted that you wanted historical fiction.

There are many types of historical fiction, and you may want to give us more specifics so we can narrow down the choices! But, here are a few general resources that may be helpful to you:

Historical Fiction Booklists

Historical Novels Database


06/23/2009 - 10:16am

 

If You Like the “Savannah Reid" Mysteries by G.A. McKevett

You Might Enjoy…

Susan Wittig Albert - The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries Series

Set in Texas, this series features herbalist China Bayles, who abandoned her career as a Houston criminal attorney to buy an herb shop in a small town located half-way between Austin and San Antonio, Texas. Each of her mysteries has a signature herb that is connected to a major theme, and each is liberally sprinkled with information on growing and using herbs.

06/12/2009 - 10:01am

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

One of the privileges of being U.S. Poet Laureate was to choose two poets each year to receive a $10,000 fellowship, funded by the Witter Bynner Foundation. Joseph Stroud, who lives in California, was one of my choices. This poem is representative of his clear-eyed, imaginative poetry.

Night in Day

The night never wants to end, to give itself over
to light. So it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows.
Even on summer solstice, the day of light’s great

08/28/2009 - 9:50am

If you haven't already read her
other books like "How to Deal," "That Summer," "The Truth About
Forever," and "Just Listen", you might want to check them out. Also, you might enjoy:


Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. (and anything by Joan Bauer)
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from
Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the
Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's
political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.

06/05/2009 - 9:00am

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

As we all know, getting older isn't hard to do. Time continues on. In this poem, Deborah Warren of Massachusetts asks us to think about the life lived between our past and present selves, as indicated in the marginal comments of an old book. There's something beautiful about books allowing us to talk to who we once were, and this poem captures this beauty.

Marginalia

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