Archive for June, 2009


Adapted from the popular “Fine Lines” column of the female-centric blog, this collection of essays offers sentimental retrospectives blended with a little literary criticism on beloved childrens and YA classics, most of which are popular with girls. The essays are written in the frank, effusive style of a well-read best friend, complete with exclamations of OMG. Beyond the fond remembrances of girlhood fictional crushes, however, lie compelling examinations of how spunky heroines and their sometimes controversial but all-too-familiar trials and tribulations helped a generation of readers navigate the perennially perilous waters of adolescence.

June 19th, 2009 at 4:46 am

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All Things Considered, June 10, 2009

You might think of girls’ fiction as one big Cinderalla rewrite — that scullery maid who finally gets her night at the ball. But if you’re seeking tips on weathering the economic crisis, your daughter’s bookshelf may be better than Suze Orman…

Buck Up: Life Lessons From Young Heroines : NPR

June 11th, 2009 at 2:45 am

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When life hands you pig bladders, make a balloon

That’s right: NPR let me borrow their station to once again expatiate upon the many skills evidenced by young heroines in tight spots, included but not limited to wolf-taming, applesauce-sugaring, and ripping up ball gowns for food. Oh, wait — that’s just to wear for another season. Still good to know. Click to listen to Buck Up: Life Lessons From Young Heroines.

June 11th, 2009 at 2:44 am

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Beach reads

The LA Times’ Jacket Copy blog included me in their 60 new books to read this summer. I understand you do not have to read all 60.

June 8th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

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I’m on eBay!

…thank god not for the dreaded .99.

June 7th, 2009 at 4:15 am

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BookExpo America

Signing Shelf Discovery

Date: Friday, May 29th
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Table 13, Author signing area
Location: Jacob Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001

June 6th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

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Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

“About Reading” panel
Moderated by Louise Steinman, with Laura Miller, Sara Nelson and Jane Smiley

Date: Sunday, April 26
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: UCLA

June 6th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

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Launched from her regular feature column “Fines Lines” for, this spastically composed, frequently hilarious omnibus of meditations on favorite YA novels dwells mostly among the old-school titles from the late ’60s to the early ’80s much beloved by now grown-up ladies. Her suggestions will prove superhelpful (not to mention wildly entertaining) for educators, librarians and parents.

June 6th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

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Watch the LAT Book Festival “About Reading Panel”


At the LA Times Book Festival two weeks ago, I sat on a panel about reading with the marvelous Laura Miller, Jane Smiley, and Sara Nelson. Then C-Span put it on TV!


You can watch the entire panel here, or, if you like, I’ve assembled some handy clips. (You’ll have to allow popups for the player to work.)

June 6th, 2009 at 8:47 pm

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TimeOut Chicago Recommends Shelf Discovery

For anyone who spent childhood summers reading as many books as possible, this is the season to revisit them. [link]

June 6th, 2009 at 8:42 pm

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‘Revolutionary Road’ by Richard Yates goes Hollywood —

I discovered Richard Yates under circumstances the author would have found irredeemably precious, on a residency at Yaddo, working my way through the library of former residents. The desiccated copy of “Revolutionary Road,” its spine half-flaked off, told the unapologetically bleak story of Frank and April Wheeler, a husband and wife in 1950s Connecticut suburbia who are alternately battened by insecurity and misplaced superiority. “Revolutionary Road” was dire without being maudlin, erudite without being show-offy, and cruel yet correct. It was masterful and it was not pleased with itself in the least, and it was exactly unlike every character it depicted.

‘Revolutionary Road’ by Richard Yates goes Hollywood” (Chicago Tribune, December 2008)

June 6th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

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Best Books of 2008: “Five Tales Of Uncivil Union”

Marriage By The Book” (NPR’s Books We Like, December 2008)

June 6th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

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Just After Sunset

Macabre Master Stephen King Returns To Form” (NPR’s Books We Like, November 2008)

June 6th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

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