Tag Archives: Books

Excerpts from The Cardinal and the Monarch (modified)


Modified excerpts from my short story, The Cardinal and the Monarch

You’re sitting in the library of an old, log cottage that has faint, woodsy scents of oak and pine. You glimpse the pile of splintery wood that sits and waits for its turn to feed the fire, letting off a delicate, yet dirty aroma. The fire itself, which is surrounded by an array of granite stones, crackles and pops, whispers and sizzles. The flames dance and devour the wood, and embers descend like vivid raindrops. You’ve been sitting here for a while now, taking in the earthy, rich steam from your cup of French Roast. But its boldness is slowly overpowered by the fire’s thick, primitive aromas of ash and smoke. Suddenly you’re whisked away to your sixth grade camping trip, something which you would rather not remember. You decide to distract yourself from the memory, so you stand up from the comfort of the sofa and wander over to the bookshelf. You pick up the old books and flip through their worn, stained pages. You note the hints of vanilla and almonds and dust. Then you start to wonder if any of the pages have absorbed the distinct scents of its readers, because you’ve forgotten that sometimes a smell can not only take you back to a certain place, but also a certain person. Because then you would know exactly who blissfully flipped through the pages and absorbed the story the way the pages absorbed them. Maybe it was your grandmother, so you start searching for the scent of her perfume, with its floral notes, soapy, pure. You fail, but you have a better idea. You make your way from the library to the winding, creaking staircase, up to the room where she used to sleep. Bottles of perfume still line the dresser, Chanel No. 5, Norell, some with unknown names. You pick up the classic and timeless Chanel No. 5 and gracefully inhale a complex, woodsy mixture of citrus and linen. You don’t remember Grandma ever having worn this one, so you continue your search. And you find it, that comfort, that familiarity. It’s the Norell, with its golden bottle and floral, cedar-like scent. You inhale and it’s like hugging her all over again. It’s like being at her house again, with frozen snicker bars and greasy Luigi’s pizza. You linger by the dresser for a few more minutes, contemplating whether you should spritz the Norell, one time on each of your wrists. But you decide not to, because it was sacred, something that didn’t belong to you, and so you make your way back downstairs to the library. The fire is dying down; what was once a kaleidoscope of proud and blazing flames is now a subtle, fading crackling of lightly-glowing ashes. You glance in its direction before heading to the cottage kitchen, where you pour yourself a small glass of Chardonnay. Meandering back to the library, you sit by the dying fire, wine in hand. You try to smell the harmonious aroma of rich, buttery vanilla and citrus fruits that you know so well. But for some reason, all you can smell is that floral, cedar-like scent. It lingers just like a memory, like a past that won’t let you go…

Book Review — The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

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This article was previously published on www.myingmag.com. ing Magazine is Michigan State University’s student-run publication covering life, arts, entertainment and more.

Winter is often referred to as a time of quiet reflection; for some, the season can evoke melancholy, and for others, hope. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey perfectly captures this haunting ambiance of winter in which characters grapple with both love and loss.

“She knew the snow and it carried her gently… She knew the land by heart.”

Inspired by a Russian folktale, The Snow Child transports readers to the haunting Alaskan wilderness in 1920, where characters Jack and Mabel hope to heal and start anew. Despite loving each other unconditionally, they are burdened with memories of their stillborn baby, which causes them to drift apart. After the first snowfall, they decide to build a child out of snow together.

“Sculpted in the white snow were perfect, lovely eyes, a nose, and small, white lips. She even thought she could see cheekbones and a little chin…How could she speak her surprise?”

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Cuteness overload: Tell-A-Tail uses puppy love to encourage Flint kids to read


While it maybe the most adorable reading program you’ll ever see, Tell-A-Tail also is effective. Photo by Mike Naddeo.

This article was previously published on flintside.com. Flintside is an online news magazine about the Flint region.

FLINT, Michigan—A young girl runs towards the Children’s Learning Place inside the Flint Public Library. She holds a book in her hand, excited and eager.

The dogs are here today.

She rushes past the fish tank, puppets, and Legos and heads right to the quiet German shepherd in the corner, resting on his dog bed. The owner is close by, and invites the young girl over.

With a huge grin, she kneels down on the floor next to the dog, gives him a loving pat on the head, opens her book, and begins to read.


To the dog.

This is Tell-A-Tail, an incredibly cute and unique program at Flint Public Library designed to encourage children to read.

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10 Book Quotes That Teach Valuable Life Lessons

It’s been a long day. You’re finally ready to relax and let all your worries slowly melt away. You pour yourself a hot cup of tea, slip into some sweatpants, and open a brand new novel. You’re not even halfway through the first chapter when it happens; as a bookworm, it’s one of the greatest feelings: finding a quote that just ignites something in you. Perhaps it’s something you’ve been trying to say, but could never find the right words. Maybe it’s the kind of quote that makes you want to find the nearest highlighter, or even take a photo and frame it on your wall. There’s a distinctive beauty in words and how they can evoke certain emotions.

Books are simply magical. Think of it this way: Reading a book is like traveling. When you travel, you acquire new and inspiring perspectives. Just as if you’re visiting a different country, you’re delving into a new world when you read. You’re guaranteed to learn and carry those lessons with you for the rest of your life.

So, I’ve decided to share some quotes that have really encouraged me. I hope they inspire you as well.

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