Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

NOW IN PAPERBACK! and READING!   Leave a comment

BIG NEWS! The hardcover of Please Excuse My Daughter – A Memoir went on a diet and it’s now in paperback.

Also, next week APRIL 14th: I will be reading with the great Arthur Phillips at the Pens Parentis After Work Reading Series
6pm-8pm
At the gorgeous upstairs library at Todd English’s newest NYC venue: The Libertine located inside the stunning new Gildhall Hotel at 15 Gold Street, NYC
http://www.penparentis.org/reading-series/reading-series.html

Posted April 8, 2009 by julieklam in Books

The Legend of the Six-Word Memoir   3 comments

A while back, my agent, Esther Newberg, forwarded me an email about the upcoming Six Word Memoir book, a follow-up to the best-selling Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs By Writers Famous & Obscure. This one would be about Love and Heartbreak. I wrote a submission (so did Esther and hers was fabulous.)   The new book is on sale now and both Esther and my six-word memoirs are excerpted in the February Reader’s Digest.

I remember when I first heard about the Six-Word phenomenon. In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway bet ten dollars that he could write a complete story in just six words. He wrote: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  He won the bet.

When I first heard this, I got shivers. It evoked in me exactly what it was supposed to, a chilling montage in Victorian, Goreyesque black and white of the death of a newborn –at what hands? Thyphoid? A terrible accident? Murder? And on and on. Hemingway earned his genius status once again.

That was long before I had a child in 2003.  Because I wasn’t sure whether I would have another one, I kept all of her things, packed away in boxes at my parent’s house.  I didn’t do the second kid, I got dogs instead.  My mother asked me about a month ago if she could give the clothes to Goodwill and I checked in with my friend Jancee who’s first child is due in May. “I want them!!” She told me. I was kind of surprised because Jancee is such a germaphobe that I call her Howard Hughes. I just figured she’d want everything new and pristine. Au contraire, she wanted EV-ER-Y-THING.

So my mother brought it, five Hefty bags of baby clothes.  I went through some of them, stopping to ooh and ah at the itty-bitty snuggly baby sleepers and tissue thin Ralph Lauren ruffley dresses, and in one bag, I found another bag. Accessories. Hats and socks and shoes. And in that bag I discovered a pair of pale pink 0-3 month mary-janes with the tags still holding them together. My six-word story for them went, “Seventy bucks!  What was I, nuts?”

Posted January 24, 2009 by julieklam in Books

It’s Banned Book Week!   2 comments

This is from The ALA website.  As you read the list think about some of the geniuses who try to ban books. I’m thinking of one very specific tall-haired Alaskan….

The most frequently challenged books of 2007

The following books were the most frequently challenged in 2007:

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received a total of 420 challenges last year. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.  According to Judith F. Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number of challenges reflects only incidents reported, and for each reported, four or five remain unreported.

The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons:  Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons:  Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons:  Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons:  Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons:  Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved,” both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

The most frequently challenged authors of 2007

1) Robert Cormier
2) Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3) Mark Twain
4) Toni Morrison
5) Philip Pullman
6) Kevin Henkes
7) Lois Lowry
8) Chris Crutcher
9) Lauren Myracle
10) Joann Sfar

Posted October 1, 2008 by julieklam in Books

Jancee Dunn “Don’t You Forget About Me”   5 comments

Jancee Dunn, my inimitable best friend’s new book is ON SALE NOW!

The Los Angeles Times says, “Dunn’s deft sense of pacing and her old-fashioned niceness make “Don’t You Forget About Me” a breezy, entertaining summer read that never insults the reader’s intelligence. This is a seemingly modest achievement that should not be underestimated.”

So run, don’t walk, go get it!

Don’t You Forget About Me

Posted July 30, 2008 by julieklam in Books

Washington Post Book World   Leave a comment

This review is in the Sunday, June 29th Washington Post Book World. I don’t really understand it all, so let’s call it a rave!

Posted June 27, 2008 by julieklam in Books

Too hot to post, but not too hot to link!   2 comments

Today is (fill in with all of the egg frying cliches about heat).  It’s 97° but it feels like 315°.   Whenever I think of a heat wave, I picture open hydrants (which I’ve seen two today), being pregnant in the black out (which I was) and the cranky face of my dad sitting in traffic with his shirtsleeves pulled up…. which brings me to today’s link.

You’ll be hearing about this more, but my friend Tom Vanderbilt’s upcoming book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) is getting a ton of buzz, as they say in the industry, and he’s got a kick-ass blog up. Check out the GMAC driving test. I scored a 70% and I was real happy!

Posted June 10, 2008 by julieklam in Books

Summer Reading   4 comments

Patrick, my linking-friend over at Vroman’s Blog posted a very sharp summer reading list with his personal literary goals (including a certain book by a certain me). It got me feeling nostalgic of past books that I’ve read over a summer that defined that time for me, more so than a fall book or a spring book.

It was over summers that I devoured everything by Chaim Potok, and Sophie’s Choice, and the great baseball books of Lawrence Ritter (especially The Glory of Their Times….) James Agee’s A Death in the Family , the big fat hardback of Clockers that my brothers had autographed for me by Richard Price… and All The King’s Men, and on and on.

They are all on my shelves now…. not far away from the books that I failed at, that every so often shout, “Hey Stupid, you ever gonna finish me?”

Posted May 28, 2008 by julieklam in Books