Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sandscript Vol. 22 (2014)

Loaded with great stories, poems and visual art. (165 pp.)

Link to publication

Tin House - 56

Volume 14, Number 4

Has a number of nice short stories and a wonderful essay (by Robert Boswell) on characterization. (224 pp.)

Link to publication

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

This is the story of a real person, Kamila Sidiqi, who, with the rise of the Taliban and along with all other Kabul girls, was forced out of school and into taking care of their family. Without leaving the house, mind you. Not an easy task. Life during those 5-6 years of Taliban rule was not easy, but this girl and her sisters were extremely resourceful. It was nice reading a book that is not fiction, but which has such an amazing character and scene descriptions. Makes me think that I should also take a non-fiction writing class.

Link to book.

Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

By Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

This book was much better than I expected. I love cats, but somehow, when I first saw the book in My Little Library (those neighborhood boxes where you can exchanged books), I thought "Wow, this looks interesting, and a little corny." It turned out to be quite good. I was especially impressed by the introduction, which I read long before I actually started the book. But as I kept reading, I fell more and more in love with the cat. He is simply adorable. Eventually I felt like I didn't want to reach the end, because that means Dewey dies. Yes, he indeed died, but it still is a wonderful story. Sometimes it felt like Vicki talks more about her life than Dewey, but somehow it still seemed appropriate. And Dewey (perhaps conciously, to avoid criticism such as this) was always brought back again when it felt like he's been out of the picture for a tad too long. My favorite Dewey picture is the one at the head of Chapter 17: Dewey and the Modern World. He's sitting on top of a computer monitor and the expression on his face is simply priceless.

Link to book
Link to a video about Dewey and Tom (another Iowa cat)