The gothic novel is not dead: Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind

There’s a lot of great literature out there, but the books that make you stay up late at night, the ones that make you ignore your phone, the ones that make you late to meet friends are few and far between. Continue reading →

first rule is chuck palahniuk is really that cool

Chuck Palahniuk is cool. He’s the guy people read if they’ve only read two books out of school. He’s famous. He wrote Fight Club. Yes, it’s good, and the movie is really pretty. Brad Pitt is great. Edward Norton is great. Chuck’s name is known because his book was made into a slick movie. I’m the asshole that held it against him. I thought he can’t be that cool. But he is. He writes original stories that could actually happen. That’s the true beauty of his novels; they’re insane but believable. Continue reading →

Two friends ride the ferry to see two authors

A few months ago my good friend Ginny told me that Carlos Ruiz Zafon would be in conversation with Isabel Allende. This momentous event was happening at the Book Passage in Corte Madera.  I couldn’t wait, I marked it in my calendar and waited.

Finally, the day arrived. Ginny and I had cocktails on the ferry.

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The subtleties of pronouns in john irving’s in one person

The first time I heard the word dyke, I was in high school carpooling with two girls I hated who hated me. I didn’t know the definition but I assumed it had something to do with the two girls walking on the sidewalk with their arms wrapped around each other and their hands tucked in one another’s pockets. To be honest, the very idea of homosexuality never occurred to me because I never thought about heterosexuality. I was an extremely shy, inexperienced girl who wanted to keep it that way. But looking at those girls, I thought, huh? Ok, what do I care what they’re doing? This book explores who cares what other people are doing and with whom. Continue reading →