Leslie's Bookcase

celebrating and recommending unforgettable books

Category: Post-Academia (page 1 of 2)

My visit to the American Writers Museum

During my recent trip to Chicago, I checked out the new American Writers Museum.

I highly recommend this experience to all fans and beneficiaries of American literature (and if you are reading my blog I’m assuming you are both of these!!). I found it interesting, inspiring, and even emotional.

This museum just opened in May, and I think the word is still getting out about it. I am excited to tell you more!

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New TV show about a young Shakespeare – Will

I was “accidentally” eavesdropping on a conversation the other day – it looked like a first date and I just couldn’t help myself because I was well within earshot! Well thank goodness because that’s how I heard of this new show on TNT, Will, about a young Shakespeare.

The girl said she and her roommates or friends were getting together to watch it later that evening (this was Monday – it airs on Monday nights on TNT and is also “On Demand” if you have Comcast.)

Oh how I remember those fun days when I would watch my shows with friends! But now I prefer everyone to be in bed before I even start my show, so I can enjoy the TV to myself in the dark – ha!!

But I am soooo thankful to this girl for turning me on to this show which I checked out last night.

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Magpie Murders – so much fun!

I am thrilled (pun intended) to give the latest recommendation from my summer reading list: 

Magpie Murders!

Billed as a mystery/thriller especially for fans of Agatha Christie books, this book shines because of its clever use of intertextuality (don’t be scared of that word – instead just click on that word to read my previous post on this literary technique!). It is a book within a book.

For the record, I have never read anything by Agatha Christie, and I still loved this “tribute” to classic British crime novels.

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How to make your own Bloomsday pub crawl

Today – June 16 – all over the world and especially in Dublin, fans of literature are celebrating Bloomsday, the day on which the masterpiece  James Joyce’s Ulysses is set. Since I did my thesis work on the pubs in Ulysses  I think this day should be celebrated with a pub crawl!

(If you want to know more about Bloomsday and why it deserves a celebration, first read my post on reading Ulysses and celebrating Bloomsday.)

If you, like me, happen to live where no one else (that you know of!) is celebrating Bloomsday, it is entirely possible to pay tribute to the pubs of 1904 Dublin in your own city, assuming you have a decent variety of pubs and gathering places from which to choose.

As Leopold Bloom has shown us, it is even possible to stay sober during this adventure if you so choose!

Here’s your itinerary to celebrate Bloomsday (exact timing is optional):

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Why I love new books – a Blogoversary post

For my very first blog post on LesliesBookcase.com one year ago today, I wrote about why I love old books.

Before this blog, I had not read “new books” in many years because I had been working on my M.A. in English Literature, specifically studying Joyce’s Ulysses, and after that I was trying to read through my bookcases.

So for several years, decades even, best sellers and new releases were not on my radar, but now…

In the past year thanks to this blogging adventure, I have discovered how much I ALSO LOVE NEW BOOKS.

So in honor of my “blogoversary” here are  5 reasons I love new books. I apologize to my old books; please do know I still love you and plan to read you too (but maybe not as much).

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Moonglow, Moonlight, and the phases of the moon

Last week I finished the book “Moonglow” and saw the movie “Moonlight.”

My double moon experience was a coincidence, but it left me contemplating these vastly different life stories with references to the same moon.

Moonglow: A Novel

Moonglow was on my Fall-Winter reading list and it has since been named as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. It is based on the death-bed confessions of the author’s grandpa, including many stories he heard for the first time in the last week or so of his grandfather’s life.

The title here references the grandfather’s passion for space travel. I will never look at the official photo of the Challenger space crew the same due to one of the stories told in this book! Also, the first time he saw his wife was by “moonglow.”

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The joy of (and efficiency) of multi-booking – or reading multiple books simultaneously

I used to read one book at a time. I thought I owed it to each book to give it my undivided attention, and I wasn’t sure I could concentrate on multiple books at a time.

I’ve since discovered that reading multiple books simultaneously (what I am going to  call “multi-booking”) makes me a more efficient and even a more thoughtful reader.

How can this be?

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Something completely different: Multiple Choice

The Multiple Choice cover characterizes the book as well as possible: It reads as fiction, non-fiction, possibly poetry, and all of these genres together yet unlike any of them.

It’s not very often I can write that a book is completely different than anything I’ve ever read, but today I can.

Reading Multiple Choice is an experience I recommend to anyone who enjoys the study of literature, whether your study is formal or not. I expect this book will pop up on many modern literature syllabi.

As the title implies, the book reads in the format of a standardized test.

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When literature and TV collide

Literary cameos in HBO’s “The Night Of”

“Survival in here is all about your alliances….Those husky dogs knew that.” – Freddy from HBO’s popular new series  “The Night Of” in reference to Jack London’s Call of the Wild

I get really excited when I see references to literature (or intertextuality) usefully inserted into an already great story line – it makes me pause, rewind, quote, and blog. So here goes:

If you are not watching HBO’s new drama “The Night Of” I STRONGLY recommend it  (no serious spoilers here). 

I want to reflect on a scene from episode 4 that offers some fascinating literary cameos when Naz, a soft-spoken university student who is in prison awaiting a trial for murder, meets with Freddy, a smooth, smart, and powerful longtime inmate who is essentially running the prison.

First, Freddie “educates” Naz on the “two most popular books in the prison library.”

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Intertextuality: why it won’t leave me alone

Books in a bookcase stand at attention, physically touching, yet unable to share their content with each other.

Or so it appears…

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