I used to find it almost impossible to start a book and not finish it.  You want to know how it turns out, right?  You don’t want to miss out on what may turn into a wonderful read.  Well, my new rule is that bad books don’t get better. Did I just say ‘bad?’  Surely […]

Finish reading

Somehow I’ve survived another week of writing instruction.  My 3rd graders are enthusiastic and clever, but something usually seems to keep them from doing their homework.  My 5th graders, ditto.  Don’t ask about 4th grade. In one of Kerouac’s early novels he talks about meeting Neal Cassady, who latched onto Jack, begging him to teach […]

Finish reading

Changing the rules is not by any means the only way to lose a reader.  Aldous Huxley, who is a masterly writer, does a textbook job of losing his reader twice in After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, a laugh-out-loud vivisection of California excess in the late 1930’s. The first hundred pages is a […]

Finish reading

I have just begun Cyril Connolly’s Enemies of Promise, which, like Orwell’s “Inside the Whale,” is an examination of the state of English literature.  In his youth, Connolly was widely supposed to have a great career as a writer before him, but what he became instead, mostly, was a literary critic.  I generally don’t read […]

Finish reading