Book of the Day Archive
August 23, 2019
We live in the most confusing period in human history. In the past 200 years we have made more advances in science, industry, medicine, democratic government, and the status of women than in all previous centuries combined.
August 22, 2019
Not long after I moved with my family to a small town in New Hampshire I happened upon a path that vanished into a wood on the edge of town.
August 21, 2019
One summer night I fell asleep, hoping the world would be different when I woke. In the morning, when I opened my eyes, the world was the same.
August 16, 2019
Hot sun and hummingbirds. Orange trees with dark green leaves. These were some of John James Audubon’s earliest memories.
August 15, 2019
Dad had Uncle Eddie round, so naturally they had to come and see what I was up to. If Uncle Eddie (who is bald as a coot) says to me one more time, “Should bald heads be buttered?” I may kill myself.
August 14, 2019
July 1999. One woman stands alone, off to the side of the crowd. She paces back and forth–agitated, excited, impatient.
August 9, 2019
When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.
August 8, 2019
Let it keep, the moment when Officer Fish Lips met Abdul in the police station. Rewind, see Abdul running backward, away from the station and the airport, toward home.
August 7, 2019
Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. We’re moving today. I’m so scared God.
August 2, 2019
There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. There once was a very large lake here, the largest lake in Texas. That was over a hundred years ago.
August 1, 2019
When my parents met, it was love at first sight. They were standing on the terrace of an art school in an elegant palace known as the Museo Romantico, the Romantic Museum.
July 31, 2019
Brian Robeson stared out the window of the small plane at the endless green northern wilderness below. It was a small plane, a Cessna 406–a bushplane–and the engine was so loud, so roaring and consuming and loud, that it ruined any chance for conversation.
July 26, 2019
If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…. If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
July 25, 2019
The night Effia Otcher was born into the musky heat of Fanteland, a fire raged through the woods just outside her father’s compound. It moved quickly, tearing a path for days. It lived off the air, it slept in caves and hid in trees; it burned, up and through, unconcerned with what wreckage it left behind, until it reached an Asante village.
July 24, 2019
As summer wheat came ripe, so did I, born at home, on the kitchen floor. Ma crouched, barefoot, bare bottomed over the swept boards, because that’s where Daddy said it’d be best.
July 19, 2019
The men of Bravo are not cold. It’s a chilly and windwhipped Thanksgiving Day with sleet and freezing rain forecast for late afternoon, but Bravo is nicely blazed on Jack and Cokes thanks to the epic crawl of game-day traffic and the limo’s minibar.
July 18, 2019
Scene One: The exterior of a two-story corner building on a street in New Orleans which is named Elysian Fields and runs between the L&N tracks and the river. The section is poor but, unlike corresponding sections in other American cities, it has a raffish charm. The houses are mostly white frame, weathered grey, with rickety outside stairs and galleries and quaintly ornamented gables. This building contains two flats, upstairs and down. Faded white stairs ascend to the entrances of both.
July 17, 2019
I would never have gone after my mother with a knife, not when a credit card is cleaner and cut just as deep. It’s not like I was going after her at all–mostly what I wanted was to get as far away from her as possible, and her wife’s wallet was sitting on the dining room table with the mail, just waiting to be opened.
July 12, 2019
Hans Scholl held his head high and his eyes fixed straight as he stepped forward smarting, marching shoulder to shoulder with his comrades in the Hitler Youth.
July 11, 2019
For the first fifteen years of our lives, Danny and I lived within five blocks of each other and neither of us knew of the other’s existence.
July 10, 2019
I am immune to emotion. I have been ever since I can remember. Which is helpful when people appeal to my sympathy. I don’t seem to have any.
July 5, 2019
I went back to the Devon School not long ago, and found it looking oddly newer than when I was a student there fifteen years before.
July 4, 2019
Eleanor Roosevelt never wanted to be a president’s wife.
July 3, 2019
“Lord knows we are tired today as we gather here in fellowship and sorrow, in brotherhood and despair, for the going home ceremony of fourteen-year-old Bobby Green.” Pastor Loving rocked forward as he spoke.
June 28, 2019
Gramps says that I am a country girl at heart, and that is true. I have lived most of my 13 years in Bybanks, Kentucky, which is not much more than a caboodle of houses roosting in a green spot along the Ohio River.
June 27, 2019
I spent much of my childhood listening to the sound of striving. It came in the form of bad music, or at least in amateur music, coming up through the floorboards of my bedroom–the plink plink plink of students sitting downstairs at my great-aunt Robbie’s piano, slowly and imperfectly learning their scales.
June 26, 2019
He wished the phone would stop ringing. It was bad enough to be sick let alone having a phone ring all night long.
June 21, 2019
Maybe, while he was in jail, Tupac started thinking about his Big Purpose. That’s what D called it–our Big Purpose. She said everybody’s got one and it’s just that we gotta figure out what it is and then go have it.
June 20, 2019
Imagine for a moment that you are a manager of a day-care center. You have a clearly stated policy that children are supposed to be picked up by 4 p.m. But very often parents are late.
June 19, 2019
My grandmama Ola says yellow is the first color she ever remembers seeing. It was just there, she says.