If you missed it, Saturday, April 27th was Independent Bookstore Day all across America. Here in Seattle, where I live, independent bookstores across the area participate in Seattle Independent Bookstore Day by issuing their customers the Passport Challenge. What is it? Stop at your favorite independent bookstore across Puget Sound, get your passport stamped, maybe buy some books, meet the book seller, get back in the car, and do it TWENTY MORE TIMES!
Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this year, which means that we are in for an early spring. If you recently weathered the polar vortex that caused frigid temperatures in the Midwest, record snow in the Pacific Northwest, blizzards on the East Coast, or even snowfall in places like Las Vegas and Maui (!), you’ve likely been holed up inside, ready to get out and enjoy the outdoors again.
If you didn’t know, today is Read Across America Day. Created in 1997 and taking place on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Read Across America Day is the one day a year specifically set aside to encourage children of all ages to read books.
If you’ve read and enjoyed either of Min Jin Lee’s two novels, Free Food For Millionaires or the National Book Award Finalist Pachinko, and you want to dig a little deeper into the author’s life, her process and what motivates her to write, treat yourself to this interview with her on The Literary Life podcast.
Narratives are powerful things. You live your life, make decisions, do your day-to-day work largely based on narratives you assume are true: narratives about the world, narratives about your obligations, your work, your family, and in author Dani Shapiro’s case, narratives about your identity.
The question pops up every so often when I’m reading a book: am I seeing the words on the page or hearing them being spoken in my head? When you experience audiobooks, the decision has been made for you—you are listening.
2019 is here and now’s your chance to capitalize on all that possibility in front of you. Maybe this is the year you want to try something new. Perhaps it’s your chance to say, “Goodbye and good riddance, 2018.” There could be a habit or two you’ve been meaning to kick, and this is the time to do it. The good news is wherever you are in your life, whatever you are planning your 2019 will look like, there will always be an audiobook for you and whatever particular thing you are doing/making/taking a break from that will make 2019 a great year.
Whether you are staying home, getting in the car, or taking a flight, give yourself or a loved one the gift of audiobooks this holiday season. Put an audiobook on in the car, in your earbuds or on your smart speaker (link to new smart speaker page) and get lost in a great story.
For many, it has become a holiday tradition to gather around whatever audio output device everyone now uses and listen to writer and humorist David Sedaris read the essay that made him famous: SantaLand Diaries. First read by Sedaris on NPR in 1992, SantaLand Diaries recalls Sedaris’ experiences the two years he was employed by Macy’s as a Christmas elf. With grim humor and dead-on observations, SantaLand Diaries set Sedaris on a trajectory of becoming one of America’s foremost humor writers.
In 2004, Gourmet magazine commissioned writer David Foster Wallace to write a review of the Maine Lobster Festival. I’m not quite sure what the editors of Gourmet were expecting, but I doubt they were looking to stuff their glossy with an essay north of 10,000 words with the thrust of the piece being a meditation on whether or not lobsters feel pain while being boiled alive. But that’s just what they got.
This year, on Saturday, November 24th, nestled in between two of the ugliest days of the year—Black Friday and Cyber Monday—is a beautiful little day called Indies First. Have you heard of it? It’s a celebration of independent bookstores. It stands in complete defiance of everything that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come to represent. It’s the day where you get to travel down to your local bookstore and peruse the shelves, shoulder-to-shoulder with other members of your community.