February 13, 2013
Thursday, Feb. 14 "Calvert Conversations," local-history discussions. 10-11 a.m., Calvert Library Twin Beaches branch, 3819 Harbor Rd., Chesapeake Beach. Free. 410-257-2411. "My Furry Valentine" pet adoptions, special rates at the Tri-County Animal Shelter, noon-5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. 6707 Animal Shelter Rd., Hughesville. Dogs, $50; cats, $5. 301-932-1713 or 800-903-1992 or www.charlescountymd.gov . "Kids Just Want to Have Fun," for children in kindergarten through third grade,...
January 9, 2013 |
For so long as I can remember, Washington has suffered from a bad literary rap. Its literature is assumed to consist of ephemeral books by journalists about ephemeral events, ephemeral hack novels about ephemeral melodramas on Capitol Hill and at the CIA, and ephemeral, not to mention unreadable, presidential memoirs. Well, over the years this city has managed to produce plenty of those, but as the accompanying list of suggested reading makes plain, it has also inspired work of quality, variety and, in some cases, genuine...
January 1, 2013 |
In an Alexander McCall Smith book, main characters are so careful of the feelings of others that they can spend hours parsing an interaction with a grocery store clerk and use marmalade to unlock the mysteries of humanity. Then there's Professor Dr. Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of "Unusual Uses for Olive Oil. " The scholar at Regensburg's Institute of Romance Philology combines the demeanor of an absent-minded professor with the vanity of a Real Housewife. (Also, it's best to keep him away from...
December 25, 2012 |
If a lot of recent fiction is inward-looking, safe, middle-class and domestic, then these three collections provide a bracing antidote. All of them are concerned with outcasts and loners, the has-beens and never-weres, the powerless and underprivileged, territory that often is left unexplored by the cosmopolitan, bicoastal writers who dominate the literary landscape. This is fiction taken straight, with no chaser. Sherman Alexie's Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories (Grove, $27)
December 11, 2012 |
Bookstores crumble under Amazon's hegemony. Book sections vanish into journalism's glory days. And book critics fade behind a cacophony of online reviews. But Oprah abides! In the latest demonstration of Her awesome power, the talk-show diva smiled early on a debut novel scheduled for release in January. Knopf, one of the nation's most prestigious publishers, immediately bowed to O's wishes, more than doubled its print run and moved the release up a month — into the...
December 2, 2012 |
As states across the country implement broad changes in curriculum from kindergarten through high school, English teachers worry that they will have to replace the dog-eared novels they love with historical documents and nonfiction texts. The Common Core State Standards in English, which have been adopted in 46 states and the District, call for public schools to ramp up nonfiction so that by 12th grade students will be reading mostly "informational text" instead of fictional literature.