The Rhythm of Reading


Karmen MacKendrick

For a child from an extended family that loved both children and books, there is a sensory rhythm built into reading, an indulgence of words, pages that turn with a satisfying swish (or, later, a delicate onionskin crinkle), the voices that go with warm laps. One of my particular childhood favorites was Dorothy Haas’s A Penny for Whiffles. Penny is a girl with copper colored hair, and that she was Penny-like in two senses at once was almost too much of a pleasure. Whiffles is the onomatopoetic pony who, without knowing it, has been searching for Penny all along. His gratifying name, such a pleasure to say, made me want to pet his velvety nose. Continue Reading ›

Books that radically transformed my worldview as a political scientist


Dr. Ehsan Ahrari

In this age of booming social media and explosion of information, written works—essays or books—have to compete not only to capture the attention of readers, but, most importantly, to open new vistas of understanding of the unremittingly complex world around us. Continue Reading ›

Power of Books


Amy Speier

As an only child, I spent many hours with my head buried in a book. Growing up, my mother and I moved around often, landing in Chandler, Arizona, when I was 8. I sought the companionship of other adolescent, pre-teen characters written by Judy Blume and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was a shy girl who proudly claimed a blue, ten-speed bike in front of my elementary school in 3rd grade after earning second place in a state-wide Read-a-thon. I remained the odd new girl throughout my elementary school years, like Margaret in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Continue Reading ›

Bookshop of the Month: December

“Books are weapons,” says the manager of London’s socialist and trade union bookshop, Bookmarks. “Our customers haven’t given up. They’re optimistic that change is still possible and that we can fight to make it happen.”

Instead of hiding with hot chocolate, hand-knitted socks and all things hygge, read December’s uplifting profile of Bookmarks, and get ready to change the world in 2017.

My German Books


Barbara Katz Rothman

I’m a Brooklyn Jew. It’s a particular ethnic category – however many generations of Eastern Europe, immigrant great grandparents who made it to Brooklyn and then three generations of not going anywhere. Continue Reading ›