Book of the Day Archive
February 26, 2021
I stood in front of today’s schedule still holding my skateboard, still drenched from the ride over, and still desperately wishing that I hadn’t dropped out of college. But wishing wouldn’t erase Sam from the counter slot and rewrite it under the grill slot.
February 19, 2021
We didn’t always live on Mango Street.
February 18, 2021
I am an invisible man.
February 17, 2021
Yes. There is a witch in the woods. There has always been a witch. Will you stop your fidgeting for once? My stars! I have never seen such a fidgety child. No, sweetheart, I have not seen her. No one has. Not for ages. We’ve taken steps so that we will never see her. Terrible steps.
February 12, 2021
In the olden days, when wishing still worked, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful; but the youngest daughter was so lovely that even the sun, who has seen many things, was struck with wonder every time he shone on her face.
February 11, 2021
The first time Gayle slammed the bathroom door, her mother let it go. The second time, Mama’s ears perked up, listening for familiar sounds. The third time Gayle ran into the bathroom, Mama was up the stairs and on Gayle’s heels, witnessing what she already knew. Gayle, stopped over the toilet bowl, face flushed, body heaving, was pregnant. Again.
February 10, 2021
When people ask me what I do–taxi drivers, dental hygienists–I tell them I work in an office. In almost nine years, no one’s ever asked what kind of office, or what sort of job I do there.
February 6, 2021
Mr. Premier, Sir. Neither you nor I speak English, but there are some things that can be said only in English.
February 5, 2021
The primroses were over. Toward the edge of the wood, where the ground became open and sloped down to an old fence and a brambly ditch beyond, only a few fading patches of pale yellow still showed among the dog’s mercury and oak-tree roots. On the other side of the fence, the upper part of the field was full of rabbit holes.
January 29, 2021
I’d rather dunk my head in a school toilet than run cross country.
January 28, 2021
I’d never heard of Zimbabwe. But something about the way the name looked up on the blackboard intrigued me. It was exotic, and difficult to pronounce. It was also the last country in a long list that Mrs. Miller had written in chalk. She asked each student in my seventh-grade english class to pick one place for a pen pal program our school was starting that year.
January 27, 2021
Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have. Please don’t try to figure out who she is because then you might figure out who I am, and I really don’t want you to do that.
January 22, 2021
Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.
January 21, 2021
My mind is a brush made of feathers painting pictures of words I remember all that I see every syllable each word a twin of itself telling two stories at the same time one of sorrow the other hope.
January 20, 2021
Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.
January 15, 2021
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.
January 14, 2021
This is a true story. We are real people. We started out as kids in the toughest neighborhoods of Newark, New Jersey, and today we are doctors.
January 13, 2021
Naledi and Tiro were worried. Their baby sister, Dineo, was ill, very ill. For three days now, Nono, their granny, had been trying to cool her fever with damp cloths placed on her little head and body.
January 8, 2021
Intriguing Fact: The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word “psyche.” It means the study of the mind. I don’t want anyone to study my mind. That’s just creepy. But Dad says I no longer have a choice.
January 7, 2021
I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will burn it. Mine is the historian’s task, to record the events of the last century, showing God’s mighty hand in ridding these southern lands between the Garona and the Rose rivers of the heresy of the Albigensians.
January 1, 2021
Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow’s nest, being the ship’s eyes. We were two nights out of Sydney, and there’d been no weather to speak of so far.
December 30, 2020
Who are you, Sylvia Plath? A cold comet locked in place by gravity? A glint in the cracked ceiling above my bed? Something shimmers out of your chasm. Your language feels like words trapped under my tongue that I can’t quite spit out on my own.
December 31, 2020
He rode into the dark of the woods and dismounted. He crawled upward on his belly over cool rocks out into the sunlight, and suddenly he was in the open and he could see for miles, and there was the whole vast army below him, filling the valley like a smoking river.
December 25, 2020
One Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound–a sound a friend told me I’d never hear–the ringing of Santa’s sleigh. “There is no Santa,” my friend had insisted, but I knew he was wrong.
December 24, 2020
She is plucking her bird of paradise of its dead branches, leaning around the plant every time she hears a car. The woman will never find the old house behind the hedge of towering hibiscus at the bend of the dirt road. Not a gringa dominicana in a rented car with a road map asking for street names!
December 23, 2020
This was the beginning. Angie bit the end of her thumbnail awaiting the result. She had –unwittingly–found a rival. A rival was the last thing she needed halfway into her rerun of a freshman year.
December 18, 2020
I shall never forget the first time I laid these now tired old eyes on our visitor. I had been left home by the family with the admonition to take care of the house until they returned.
December 17, 2020
Shirley, my grandmother, was in study hall when Joe, my grandfather, walked in for the first time. As Shirley always told the story, she stopped on a dime at the sight of him.
December 16, 2020
I am the voice in the dark, calling out for your help. I am the quiet voice that you hope will not turn to silence, the voice you want to keep hearing cos it means someone is still alive. I am the voice calling for you to come and dig me out. I am the voice in the dark, asking you to unbury me, to bring me from the grave out into the light, like a zombi.
December 11, 2020
To us it is just dirt, the ground we walk on. Scoop up a handful. The gritty grains slip between your fingers. On wet days, heavy with rainwater, it is cool and squishy, mud pie heaven.