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Wichita Eagle Reading Challenge 2019

This is my first year to try this reading challenge. It's great having time to read in retirement - and writers have to read, right? Here's my proposed list - subject to change at any time, depending on availability, or recommendations on Facebook.

BOOK WITH A FACE ON THE COVER: Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. CLASSIC/RETELLING: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. MEMOIR OR AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Captive in Iran by Maryam Rostampour & Marziyeh Amirizadeh. TRANSLATION: Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko. AVOIDED OR UNFINISHED: Most Haunted Island by Gay Baldwin. CHARACTER WHO IS UNLIKE YOU: Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. LAUGH OUT LOUD: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. RECOMMENDED BY A CHILD: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. AWARD WINNER: Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. GENRE THAT IS UNUSUAL FOR YOU: Sundrop Sonata by Ann Fell. BY AN AUTHOR COMING TO KANSAS: The Collector’s Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro. SET IN YOUR BIRTHPLACE: Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave.

Some of these titles would fit more than one category. So far I've read the first 4, almost 5. Read More 

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Like my father before me, I enjoy reading and writing parodies! This one is based on Tennyson's poem "Ulysses" which I memorized in high school. Keeping the meter and structure of the original, I adapted its theme to a world lit class I took in Texas.

with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It little profits that a student mom,
By this hot stove, amid these scattered toys,
I dole out Popsicles to neighbor kids.
I cannot rest from reading. I devour
Words like a worm. All time I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
Who studied English with me and alone.
When Emma strolled through Rouen with her love,
Or Ivan lay cold in his coffin, I
Was there; with Wordsworth I beheld the Lakes;
I cried as Matryona's home broke up.
For always reading with a hungry heart,
Much have I seen and known, much tragedy
In Greece, Japan, Algeria, and France,
From Gretchen's dungeon dark to Room Nineteen.
Still in those titles yet unread there gleams
A promise of untravel'd realms ahead.
How dull it is to pause or make a C.
To know we could do better with more time!
Our sight grows dim, but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note may yet be read.
There lies the book, the Norton Anthology,
With Van Gogh's face imploring. Come, my friends.
'Tis not too late to turn another page;
Peruse the text, and do not fear to state
Your true opinions; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the syllabus, and read
The whole anthology before I die.
It may be that the themes will tax our brains.
It may be that we must repeat the course
Back here with Dr. Perkus, whom we knew.
Though much is tested, much abides, and though
We are not now so fresh and starry-eyed,
Our lives are richer for this literature.
And so we shall read on, but summer's here.
The pool looks cool; I'm cutting class; goodbye!

© Hazel Spire
Published in Homeward Tracks, Dallas 2004. Read More 
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