It took me a month to read all of A Brief History of Seven Killings. That’s not unprecedented, but it is a break from my regular reading habits. I tend to move from title to title with great frequency and if a book is taking me longer than two weeks the odds are good that it will get set aside. Sometimes a book is just too long to devour in that amount of time, but usually it indicates a waning interest on my part. So, it’s a strong compliment when I say that Marlon James’s epic new crime novel/mini-history/literary tour-de-force tested my reading resolve, but never broke it. [Read more…]
I discovered One Book, One Chicago in the fall of 2012 when every single person I saw on public transit had their head buried in The Book Thief. I knew it couldn’t be coincidence that the whole city seemed to read the same book at the same time, but I was too new to know the secret. Luckily, a billboard popped up near my office with the One Book, One Chicago logo and The Book Thief cover art. A quick google search later, and I had a favorite Chicago Public Library program. One Book, One Chicago aims to engage the city’s readers in a public discourse on a single book supported by events, blog posts, and small group discussions to help build a culture of reading.
Pray for Peace
Some of you may have heard of John Lewis, a U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district who—with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and four others—was one of six leaders within civil rights organizations during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. But a lot of younger people may not know his name. Along with Andrew Aydin, Lewis’s Congressional aide, the duo released a graphic novel in 2013 about his fight for racial equality, now stretching over 50 years. While I may not be the first to review this, I thought it relevant to touch upon the importance of John Lewis and his role in a movement that changed the country. [Read more…]
Note: I originally had a 1200+ word review of this book written and all set to go…and then it was deleted by WordPress without so much as an auto-save-you-very much. After much pulling of hair and yelling of threats in a neighborhood Starbucks, I attempted a rewrite. This is the aforementioned <shorter> re-write, which hopefully contains 1/100th of the brilliance that the first post had. (I humble myself, sometimes, you must understand…)
Made of Books is a monthly column (partly inspired by hero Roxane Gay) where Christina discusses writing that has been meaningful to her, in one way or another.
I don’t know what compelled me to purchase Lit, Mary Karr’s third memoir, back in 2010. This seriously disappoints me because this book has so profoundly shaped how I think about reading and writing I feel that Lit and me should have some kind of origin story. Instead, I remember curling up on my parents’s sofa, Mary Karr’s sharp humor and gorgeous prose drowning out How I Met Your Mother or the sports my father was watching.
If you’ve ever wanted to see if joining Chicago’s live lit scene is for you, you can find out in a stage setting anxiety-free this fall. Story Club host and founder Dana Norris is continuing a series of storytelling shows and classes at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 and Oct. 20 at Holiday Club on N. Sheridan Rd.
When I was in college, I had few female friends — the ones I did have were not close, and more often than not they were the girfriends of my guy friends. I didn’t think much of it at the time, and possibly even prided myself on what I saw as passing as “one of the guys.” I wasn’t passing, and looking back now, I can see that while I was busy trying to be the cool girl surrounded by guys, I missed out on a lot by rejecting female bonds.
“You are all part of a Lost Generation” – Gertrude Stein to Ernest Hemingway
“Teenage angst has paid off well,
Now I’m bored and old.
Self-appointed judges judge
More than they have sold”
– Serve the Servants, – K. Cobain
Note: This article is best read while listening to Loud Music.
The idea of a generation of young people living and breathing and sharing the same cultural experience is not a new thing. It’s only in the 20th Century that Americans have, in an effervescent need to create a label for anything and everything under the sun, labeled themselves as belonging to part of a generation in an effort to unite and identify their own personal experience so as to make sense of the whole thing. Or something like that.