Back to Madame Bovary

I gave up on this gorgeous novel on p. 56 on November 1, because it was so meandering to the point of near plotlessness. But I gave my niece a copy for Christmas — she has a longer attention span — and as I wrote the inscription Christmas morning, decided to give it another go. I don't expect to finish it, or even try, but return to it — periodically — almost like a book of poetry, which it resembles. (I need a daily rush of prose inspiration regardless, but especially in the heated writing phase of my gay soldiers book. The technique certainly helped me with Columbine.) So I plunged in again this morning, and quickly came to Part 2, as Madame has just moved to a new market town, and p. 61 u

Sunset! (Christmas homecoming)

I just had a wonderful time visiting my family in Chicago for Christmas. So good to see everyone. (And it cleared my head to break through on a chapter that was giving me fits in my gay soldiers book.) It always feels good to come home, though. Usually. I'd not been out of NYC enough, and starting to OD on it a but, but as we descended toward JFK, the most gorgeous sunset greeted us. None of these pics employed a filter — it just looked that great. Here's my favorite shot: This next shot was actually moments earlier, the first that caught my eye. I think it's the Far Rockaways, which I mostly know from the Ramones song "Rockaway Beach." I felt kinda bad for everyone still cueing up to get ho

I signed 'Columbine' copies around Chicago

I'm visiting my family for Christmas, and signed several copies of Columbine at local bookstores around the Chicago suburbs the past few days: 4 copies: Barnes & Noble Old Orchard, Skokie, IL. 3 copies: Barnes & Noble Evanston, IL. 6 copies: Barnes & Noble Schaumburg, IL. 2 copies: Barbara's Bookstores at O'Hare at Terminal 2. You can phone them to order a copy, or I sign periodically at several NYC stores. Columbine ordering information here. If you know Korean speakers, here are direct links to the new Korean Columbine translation. And let any teachers know about the free Columbine Teacher's Guide. I made good progress on my gay soldiers book while driving (dictating). I hope to be signing

More on Huck Finn—on the Facebook response

So I posted here about giving up on Huck Finn, and also on my Facebook page. That drew a lot of heated reaction, by people who loved the book. My take on much of the response was essentially, No it did have a plot, because it was a character study, a commentary on race, a picaresque novel. Exactly. It had all those wonderful things, which is why I gushed so hard in my first post about Huck. But it didn't have much plot, so my interest waned. (But also, because it did all those other things extraordinarily well, and accomplished them in in the first 50 page. Then he continued covering similar ground with lots more incidents, none of which were very fulfilling for me, because I got it already,

Giving up on Huck Finn—I think

Halfway through The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I think I’ve given up. The writing is glorious, scene-setting vivid and satire hysterical, but . . . no plot. I get it, got what I’m going to. I need a story to sustain me. I do actually need to go back and study some of it more. Maybe I'll read a bit more then. I started A Little Life. Update: I got quite the Facebook response to this, and posted much more about it here.

New Korean translation of 'Columbine'

What an exciting day. My Korean translation of Columbine just arrived. It looks beautiful. I love the tasteful layout inside and the elegant title pages for each section as well. I've gotten such a great response from Korean-American readers, and happy Koreans can finally read it in their native language. Of course we included all the updates in the expanded American edition, including the afterward, epilogue, school diagram and journal scans from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. I can't wait to show it to my Korean friends and sister-in-law, to have them read some passages to me. Here are direct links to purchase the book from major Korean retailers: YES24 Kyobo Check out my earlier post on K

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