laura

Memory Twisters by Laura

My memory is perfect. Except for all of the times when it’s not. (Which is, truth be told, pretty much all of the time.)

Despite this (or maybe because of it – I don’t remember), I tend to enjoy novels in which memory plays a thematic role… novels where characters either remember events differently, and it complicates the plot, or memories haunt characters, and it complicates the plot.

Girls, Girls, Girls by Laura

When my nephew was much younger and not yet acclimated to the pretend-gender-wars dynamic of family Game Night, he started to cry when my sister and I taunted the “boys” team with chants of “Girls rule, boys drool!”

(It’s okay. We apologized and explained, he felt better, and nobody remembers who won or lost because that’s not the point of Game Night, anyway, is it?)

But it reminds me of what it’s like to be a child – boy or girl – and how confusing, overwhelming, and lost you can feel when you’re expected to know the exact rules of each new situation.

Favorite Reads of 2011 by Laura

Fiction

The Old Romantic by Louise Dean

This was one I wanted to read again the moment I finished it – indeed, as I was reading it, I wanted to read it again, if that makes any sense. It clips along at a galloping good pace, with excellent dialogue, oddball yet believable characters, and some of the funniest scenes I’ve read related to family and class, ever. Good show!

An Open Letter of Apology to Ayelet Waldman by Laura

Dear Ayelet Waldman,

For years, I only knew you as Michael Chabon’s wife. Yes, I’d also read that you were a writer of some sort as well, but what mattered was that you were married to the guy who had me in thrall with the epic The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and hilariously weird Wonder Boys. What must it be like to be married to a genius like that? How did he butter his bread, what music did he listen to, what wonderful thoughts did he share with you during dinner?

I Love the (Literary) '80s by Laura

I am about to embark on the last year of my 30s. (No condolences necessary. I’m okay, really.) Which means I grew up in the 1980s and am one of those reviled as well as revered Generation X-ers, they of the mythical combat boots and flannel shirts, and, earlier, the sky-high “mall bangs” and neon bracelets.

An interesting thing has happened in the last few years. People my age are finally coming of age in the literary world, which means many more novels are being written with characters roughly my age, and with settings in the U.S. during the 1980s.

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