Book of the Day Archive
November 8, 2019
From the rooftop of Information Headquarters, Bingo and J’miah stood on their back paws and watched Little Mama and Daddy-O trundle away; their stripy gray and black silhouettes grew smaller and smaller in the deepening dusk.
November 7, 2019
My sister and I are staying in Grandpa Sawtooth’s old house until our father, Chief Bigtree, gets back from the Mainland. It’s our first summer alone in the swamp. “You girls will be fine,” the Chief slurred. “Feed the gators, don’t talk to strangers. Lock the door at night.”
November 6, 2019
Once upon a time, there was a pair of pants.
November 1, 2019
Scene One: The Younger living room would be a comfortable and well-ordered room if it were not for a number of indestructible contraditions to this state of being. Its furnishings are typical and undistinguished and their primary feature now is that they have clearly had to accommodate the living of too many people for too many years–and they are tired.
October 31, 2019
Emma-Jean Lazarus knew very well that a few of the seventh-grade girls at William Gladstone Middle School were criers.
October 30, 2019
Mike Speiser’s sculpting technique is a study in geometric perfection and economy of motion. Every cut, every shave, every subtle drag of his blade has a purpose, each forming a small piece of a much larger work, sprawling and unique. His peers call him Big Mike, for he is a mountain of a man, shaved head set like an amiable boulder atop broad shoulders and a mighty belly, six-two and more than three hundred pounds. He seems designed by central casting exactly for the purpose of wielding his main artistic tool–the towering, thundering 60-ton BOMAG Compactor.
October 25, 2019
We were all sitting around the big kitchen table. It was Saturday morning. Pancake morning. Mom was squeezing oranges for juice. Henry and I were betting on how many pancakes we each could eat. And Granpa was doing the flipping.
October 24, 2019
Now that the weather had changed, the moon of the falling leaves turned white in the blackening sky and White Man’s Dog was restless. He chewed the stick of dry meat and watched Cold Maker gather his forces. The black clouds moved in the north in circles, their dance a slow deliberate fury.
October 23, 2019
When it’s your turn in the chair, you stand at attention and forget about who you were when you walked through that door.
October 18, 2019
Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father. It had been said so often that John, without ever thinking about it, had come to believe it himself. Not until the morning of his fourteenth birthday did he really begin to think about it, and by then it was already too late.
October 17, 2019
Deep in the heart of India, a mighty mountain separated two villages. On Manjhi’s side, nothing grew. People were hungry. Children gave up walking the 40 long miles to school on the other side of the mountain.
October 16, 2019
A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.
October 11, 2019
The first time Moses dropped a dollar in my cup, I didn’t even know his name. I looked up at him, glad for the dollar. Maybe I said thanks, but it’s blurry sometimes, my memory is. Once moment clear as water, then another moment, and it’s like somebody’s erasing bits and pieces of it.
October 10, 2019
We wanted more. We knocked the butt ends of our forks against the table, tapped our spoons against our empty bowls; we were hungry.
October 9, 2019
History has failed us, but no matter.
October 4, 2019
From time to time, I bother to notice them. Tourists. They come reeking of their bug repellents and their sunscreens, and the clicker-snap of their cameras nibbles away at the song of the swamp until I wonder if they can hear it at all.
October 3, 2019
“You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born.
October 2, 2019
I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.
September 27, 2019
I sprang up from mother earth She clothed me in her own colors I was nourished by father sun He glazed the pottery of my skin I am beautiful by design.
September 26, 2019
Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. “Was I minus numbers?”
September 25, 2019
Mostly out of laziness, I decide to start my low-wage life in the town nearest to where I actually live, Key West, Florida, which with a population of about 25,000 is elbowing its way up to the status of a genuine city. The downside of familiarity, I soon realize, is that it’s not easy to go from being a consumer, thoughtlessly throwing money around in exchange for groceries and movies and gas, to being a worker in the very same place.
September 20, 2019
Ella cranked the handle on the phonograph, and the three Boswell Sisters crooned, with honey in their voices: “When I take my sugar to tea, All the girls are jealous of me…”
September 19, 2019
Among other public buildings in the town of Mudfog, it boasts of one which is common to most towns great or small, to wit, a workhouse, and in this workhouse there was born on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events, the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.
September 18, 2019
He went there to learn how to give a good perm and ended up just crazy about nails so He opened up His own shop. “Nails by Jim” He called it.
September 13, 2019
We’re running across long, wavy grass, racing for the first corner. I’m right at the front, being pushed on by the charge of legs all around me, the quick breathing of my schoolmates.
September 12, 2019
My parents still think I’m their little girl. I don’t want them to see me getting bigger, bigger every week, almost too big to hide it now. But if I don’t go home, where can I go? Jason said, You could get rid of it. I thought of how he tossed the broken condom in the trash, saying, Nothing.
September 11, 2019
Long before there was race and even before there was politics, there were Saturday mornings in the playground.
September 6, 2019
I was the closest kingdom to the queen’s, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it. The high mountain range that served as the border between the two kingdoms discouraged crows as much as it discouraged people, and it was considered unpassable.
September 5, 2019
The boy’s name was Santiago. Dusk was falling as the boy arrived with his herd at an abandoned church. The roof had fallen in long ago, and an enormous sycamore had grown on the spot where the sacristy had once stood.
September 4, 2019
My grandfather, the knife fighter, killed two Germans before he was eighteen. I don’t remember anyone telling me–it was something I always seemed to know, the way I knew the Yankees wore pinstripes for home games and gray for the road.