Book of the Day Archive
February 1, 2019
First of all, let me get something straight: This is a JOURNAL, not a diary.
January 31, 2019
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress.
January 30, 2019
It does no good to write autobiographical fiction cause the minute the book hits the stand here comes your mama screamin how could you and sighin death where is thy sting and she snatches you up out your bed to grill you about was was going down back there in Brooklyn when she was working three jobs and trying to improve the quality of your life and come to find on this page that you were messin around with that nasty boy up the block and breaks into sobs and quite naturally your family strolls in all sleepy-eyed to catch the floor show at 5:00 AM but as far as your mama is concerned, it is nineteen-forty-and-something and you ain’t too grown to have your ass whipped.
January 25, 2019
They took me in my nightgown. Thinking back, the signs were there–the family photographs burned in the fireplace, mother sewing her best silver and jewelry into the lining of her coat late at night, and Papa not returning from work.
January 24, 2019
On a morning in mid-April, 1687, the brigantine Dolphin left the open sea, sailed briskly across the Sound to the wide mouth of the Connecticut River and into Saybrook Harbor. Kit Tyler had been on the forecastle deck since daybreak, standing close to the rail, staring hungrily at the first sight of land for five weeks.
January 23, 2018
The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him “WILD THING!” and Max said, “I’LL EAT YOU UP!” and he was sent to bed without any supper.
January 18, 2019
I know I’m not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.
January 17, 2019
I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the ally behind the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out.
January 11, 2019
One winter morning Peter woke up and looked out the window. Snow had fallen during the night.
January 10, 2019
Listen, I was alive once – then I wasn’t.
January 4, 2019
Jim Gallien had driven four miles out of Fairbanks when he spotted the hitchhiker standing in the snow beside the road, thumb raised high, shivering in the gray Alaska dawn.
January 3, 2019
There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair.
December 27, 2018
I love being fancy. My favorite color is fuchsia. That’s a fancy way of saying purple.
December 26, 2018
The man who had spoken first asked,”You mean the research done in the late fifties? The plans to build a military base on the moon? I thought that was scrapped.
December 21, 2018
One September morning when Kobi was new to kindergarten, her dad, the great Alighieri, came to their classroom and did magic.
December 20, 2018
Uncle Satori says mastery is a well-worn path. (At least, that’s how my cousin Akiko translated it for me, though I rarely take her at her word.) If he’s right, then I am mastering a path of hatred, carving it deeper every day like the scars along my thighs.
December 14, 2018
Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
December 13, 2018
The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwheliming majority to turn on each other.
December 7, 2018
If one’s reputation is a possession, then, of all my possessions, my reputation means most to me.
December 6, 2018
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t chubby. Like being Indian, being chubby feels like it is just part of my permanent deal.
November 30, 2018
In 1978 all the fish I cared about died.
November 29, 2018
I remember the day the Aleut ship came to our island. At first it seemed like a small shell afloat on the sea. Then it grew larger and was a gull with folded wings.
November 23, 2018
What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. The boy possessed uncommon qualities, the girl was winsome and daring, and the ancient ghost . . . well, let it only be said that his intentions were good.
November 22, 2018
“Somebody must have told them suckers I was coming.” “Who?” I asked. “The Congs, man. Who you think I’m talking ’bout?”
November 16, 2018
Designing the creatures was only the first step. There was still the monumental task of building them.
November 15, 2018
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
November 9, 2018
They were children themselves, my mother and father, when they started having children in 1967 on the border of South Texas.
November 8, 2018
This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 130,000 years. The question motivating the books is: why did history unfold differently on different continents?
November 2, 2018
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
November 1, 2018
Nya is going to the pond to fetch water for her family, there and back, twice.