This weekend is the Brooklyn Book Festival and if you’re here and looking for something to do, I highly recommend making a visit to Downtown Brooklyn to check it out. The festival itself is on Sunday, September 20, but there’s also a full day of events on Saturday, September 19, called Children’s Day, and other events this week. Some events are indoors but a lot of them are outside on Cadman Plaza — easy to get to from Manhattan or elsewhere in Brooklyn!
Most of the nonfiction I read falls into the memoir category, with an emphasis on travel. But one of my favorites is Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, a book for book lovers. If you haven’t read it, buy it now. It’s short and you’ll read it so quickly you’ll wish it were longer. I’ve read it a couple times and love all of the essays, but one of my favorites is called “My Odd Shelf”.
First posted December 24, 2013.
Excerpts from “What Christmas Is as We Grow Older”
By Charles Dickens
Time was, with most of us, when Christmas Day encircling all our limited World like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and every one around the Christmas fire; and made the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete.
I’ve been thinking a lot about travel writing lately. Part of it is figuring out what kind of stuff to write about on this blog, part of it is that I have some travel coming up soon, and most of it is that I just love travel writing. My travel reading falls into four major categories: guide books for trips I’m going to take (mostly skimmed), books by Bill Bryson, books by Frances Mayes, and books about American women (usually in their twenties or thirties) moving to Paris.
Yesterday I had some time to kill in midtown. I’d rushed up to go to a doctor’s appointment (I am finally ear infection-free!) and had a little over an hour before I was meeting my friend for dinner. Sometimes when I have time and don’t know what to do with myself, I wander, especially if it means I can chat with my mom on the phone, or catch up with a friend.
But yesterday I had a book I was knee-deep in and loving (this one, in case you’re curious) and so I needed to find a spot to read. There are a few outdoor public spaces with benches in that part of town, but it wasn’t quite warm enough. Also, I wanted hot chocolate. I peeked into the café at Barnes and Noble, but didn’t see a free table, so I went into the atrium of the building B&N is in and headed for a café.