CLP Blog

Margaret Atwood with plants

Margaret Atwood, the Dark Queen

Fri., Mar. 24
It feels like it may never be warm again. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m doomed to shivering, sniffling, bundling up, waiting out the awful, bitter torture that is winter in Pennsylvania. Although I am 100% ready for spring, I will admit that the camaraderie of discontent (ugh, this weather!) and the pervasive gloominess of a snowy March make for perfect Margaret Atwood…

My Year of Reading Memoir: Tangles by Sarah Leavitt

Thu., Mar. 23
I chose Tangles: A story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me by Sarah Leavitt. Tangles is 1) a graphic memoir, 2) was written by a woman, 3) was published in 2012 (just hitting the five year mark), and 4) has only 832 ratings on Goodreads. I feel really fortunate though that it fit my criteria, because Tangles turned out to be a profoundly affecting story of a daughter losing her mother and a mother losing herself.
cover for Why Not Me

Yes, Women Are Funny

Wed., Mar. 22
When Women's History Month was approaching, I thought I was going to write about Gloria Steinem, leader of the second wave of feminism and co-founder of Ms. magazine. Her book, My Life on the Road (2015), is definitely worth a read. But I decided to focus on women who are living the lives that second wave feminists fought for. It is still a struggle in a man's world, even in Hollywood. But being a feminist doesn't mean you can't laugh.
Robin McKinley reviews a manuscript with two dogs in her lap.

Me and Robin McKinley

Tue., Mar. 21
Working in a library means I’m always surrounded by books.  I talk about books, think about books, and read about books.  This has made me acutely aware of how many books there are and how many I should read.  Because there is so much to read it is rare that I read anything more than once.  But what, you might wonder, do I reread the…
Book cover for Guera by Rebecca Gaydos.

Giving Into an Ever-Changing Poetry Collection

Tue., Mar. 21
Floating somewhere between fantasy and reality, between the mind and the body, is Güera, the latest poetry collection from Rebecca Gaydos. Published in 2016, the book is divided into five distinct parts, including prologue and epilogue. What struck me initially was the sparseness of each page, made up of stanzas that read as prose instead of verse. However, as I began to read, the weight of each word became immediately apparent.
cover of Olive Witch

An Interview with Olive Witch Author Abeer Hoque

Mon., Mar. 20
Abeer Hoque was born in Nigeria to Bangladeshi parents and moved to Pittsburgh when she was thirteen. She struggled to find her place in America, and eventually moved to Bangladesh on her own, where she still didn't quite fit in. She details her multicultural growing-up and coming-of-age story in a new memoir called Olive Witch. Abeer will be at CLP - Main on Wednesday to give a reading and answer questions, but I was able to catch up with her via email in advance of her event.
Photo of Maeve Binchy in her office with an orange tabby cat.

Short Stories from Irish Writers

Fri., Mar. 17
Maeve Binchy was one of the most famous contemporary Irish writers—her books appeared on best-sellers’ lists and as a part of Oprah’s Book Club.  If you liked Binchy’s novels, try her short stories! DB83749 Maeve Binchy A Few of the Girls: Stories A collection of short stories from the Irish author of novels such as Evening Class (DB 44308). Most of the thirty-six stories explore…
cover of Far From the Shamrock Shore

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a Quick Review of Irish-American History

Fri., Mar. 17
Why are we all wearing green today? How is it that one particular ethnic group came to figure so fully—politically, culturally—in the American story, to the point that as a society we endorse the notion that “today, everyone is Irish”? It is an odd historical circumstance: papists finding not only freedom, but generating incredible prosperity in the WASPish land of the United States. The story…