Author Archive

Mary Oliver

January 17, 2019

Poet Mary Oliver died today at age 83. Writing for more than 50 years, Oliver’s last book was ‘Devotions: selected poems’ from 2017. A biography is expected out soon. Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 as well as the National Book Award.

Beloved author, John Burningham

January 10, 2019

British children’s author and illustrator, John Burningham, died January 4th in London. A Kate Greenaway medal winner (twice- 1963 and 1970), Burningham wrote and illustrated award-winning books including the illustrations for Fleming’s “Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang.” My favorite Burningham title, “Mr. Gumpy’s Outing,” reminds me of so many happy rereadings with my daughter.  His widow, Helen Oxenbury, is also a children’s illustrator.

Title: Mr. Gumpy's Outing, Author: John Burningham

Obituary: Audrey Stone Geisel

January 3, 2019

Mrs. Geisel was the second wife of Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and recently passed away on December 19th, 2018 at the age of 97.  Married in 1968, Audrey Geisel was keeper of the Dr. Seuss estate and established Dr. Seuss Enterprises. She also donated thousands of letters and other Seuss items which are held at the Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego.

Guardian’s best books lists for children

December 23, 2018

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Some of The Guardian’s titles that made the best lists for 2018 are USA born and others UK. There’s a rehash of ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ on the list and a new Jacqueline Wilson title. Other familiar names include one of my favorites, Hilary McKay (‘The Skylark’s War’).  David Almond also has a title on the list (‘The Colour of the Sun’). The Guardian includes a section on the best children’s poetry books of 2018, a category most USA lists ignore.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

December 13, 2018

cover_imageA single, white woman in her 20’s decides she is going to spend the year sleeping as much as possible. We know that our main character (not named) is beautiful and financially stable due to the inheritance of her deceased parents.  She purchases an apartment on the Upper East Side- all cash- and quits her job at an art gallery. Finding a doctor in the yellow pages who indiscriminately prescribes medications that will send her sleeping for three days straight at a time, she awakens to eat animal crackers, watch endless movies on her VCR (this is the early 2000’s), pop some more pills and go back to sleep. Along the way we get  glimpses of her detached father, self-absorbed mother and intermittent, vain lover. She is an only child, now orphaned, who has only one friend: Reva.  She wakes up to stroll to the bodega down the street and then back home. The author lists her days something like this: watched ‘Working Girl’ 27 times, ate animal crackers, popped 4 Xanax, 3 Benadryl and woke up 2 days later. Reva is the most colorful character; a bulimic from Long Island having an affair with her boss who barges in to visit her friend, although our main character can barely tolerate her and passes out in the middle of conversations.  She laconically stumbles through the days, weeks and months of her life in a stupor.   ‘My Year of Rest’ is best read in the dark days of winter as you enter a chosen hibernation helped along with an overflowing pharmaceutical selection.

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