Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Long Chalkboard

Ever since I had my baby, I haven't found time to read very many books. When he was first born, I pretty much just read parenting books while I tried to figure out what I was supposed to do with a new infant. Now, with my son finding new ways to create mischief, just looking at a book makes my brain feel fried and I usually end up just going to bed. Lately, my interaction with books has consisted of going to the library with my son and watching him tear everything from the shelves while I patiently try to read to him. I have piles of books at home waiting to be read and it's only getting bigger. What to do, what to do...

Last night, I was staring at the bookshelf as I often do when I want to read but am too tired to. Then I saw it - the perfect book to get me reading again. It was The Long Chalkboard and Other Stories, a book that I'd read a couple of years ago, a book that is simple, yet at the same time stimulating. In other words, when you're exhausted it won't fry your brain. I picked it up and read it immediately. Written by Jenny Allen, it's almost like a graphic novel; the illustrations by Jules Feiffer remind me of The New Yorker cartoons. The book is a collection of three short stories that are kind of like bedtime stories for adults. They are bittersweet, intelligent tales that are simplistic on the outside, but also have deeper meanings and make you think. It's also extremely witty, complete with quirky characters. Needless to say, I felt great after reading them and I now feel one step closer to reading on a regular basis. I definitely recommend this charming book of tales - maybe you could even have somebody read them to you at bedtime!

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  1. It sounds great. Are they education-related stories (hence, the chalkboard...)?

  2. No, the chalkboard is the "star" of the first story, but it's not education-related. The second story is a sweet romantic tale, and the third one involves chili. It's a really fun book to read!


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