Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 29

The Comps List of Life

In my graduate program in English, there was this daunting hurdle called comps and this rather lovely associated artifact called the comps list. To be successfully “comped,” you were expected to know a hundred-year period of literature thoroughly and demonstrate that knowledge in an oral exam in front of a committee of your professors. The […]

June 19

Mommy Daddy Evan Sage

It’s probably no surprise that I’m a person who is content to browse in a bookstore for hours.  It’s my idea of a perfect lazy afternoon or date night.  Browsing, I think, is like treasure-hunting; I scan and skim and scour until — eureka! — I discover that I am holding a veritable treasure chest […]

June 16

On Summer Reading

When I was a teenager, I had one surefire way of earning what seemed like a ton of money for only a week of work: I organized and ran our family garage sale. While a Tupperware container full of crumpled dollar bills and grimy quarters may seem like a reward in itself, there was a […]

June 11

This is Not a Cancer Book

There have been a lot of YA cancer books–I mean a lot: Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Lurlene McDaniel’s If I Should Die Before I Wake, Jenny Downham’s Before I Die, and Lois Lowry’s A Summer to Die (that is just to name a few). These books depict teenagers who battle valiantly, sometimes fighting the odds but other times enduring […]

June 08

Prairie Lights Featured on

Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa, where we ladies met an age ago, is also home to one of the best independently-owned bookstores nationwide:  Prairie Lights.  It’s a place where you can browse expertly-curated fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  Where you can lose hours on the magical floor of children’s books.  Where you can […]

June 04

What Stacy is Reading Now: Girls I Know by Douglas Trevor

It’s been a long time since I was so engrossed in a book that I read it until I fell asleep…and then got up and read with PJs and coffee as soon as I woke up. Girls I Know was one of those books.  I started it on a rainy Memorial Day weekend (while the […]

June 03

The High Street by Alice Melvin

I traveled to San Francisco a year ago to attend a conference, and while my friend and I were out browsing in a charming shop, I found this book.  I had already spent too much money by this point, but once I laid eyes on The High Street, there was no not buying it.  It […]

June 02

Why CEOs Need Shakespeare

There is not a lot of love these days for our old friend William Shakespeare. The ominously titled “How I Replaced Shakespeare” in a recent issue of Time magazine details the increasing focus on non-fiction in schools as a response to the soon-to-be-implemented Common Core Standards. Another recent piece in The New York Times about […]

Chapter One

Once upon a time, a graduate program in the English Department at the University of Iowa brought a handful of ladies to Iowa City.  They each hauled with them boxes upon boxes of novels and essays and poems, gradually discovering that the only thing they loved as much as reading those books was talking about […]