Monthly Archives: December 2012

BRUCE by Peter Ames Carlin

If you grew up in the ‘70s or ‘80s, particularly if you went to high school in New Jersey at that time, then you will understand why I HAD to read this book.  Bruce Springsteen wrote the soundtrack to my … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Music, Nonfiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

THE ELEMENTS OF STORY by Francis Flaherty

It is Christmas Eve morning, and although I am supposed to be on the road already, I didn’t want to leave home without telling you about this helpful book.  It’s subtitled Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing, but fiction writers could … Continue reading

Posted in For EDUCATORS, Literacy Instruction, Nonfiction, Storytelling, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Sometimes I’m a little slow to pick up on cultural references.  This explains why I only recently figured out what “SMH” means.  Naturally, once I did, I smacked my head.  I had a similar reaction while reading Peg Tyre’s excellent … Continue reading

Posted in Change, Education Reform, For BUSINESS PEOPLE, For EDUCATORS, For PARENTS, Investigative journalism, Nonfiction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NOTICE AND NOTE by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

As I read this book, subtitled Strategies for Close Reading, I kept thinking about the contrast between good readers—who have lots of experience with reading and use their background knowledge about genres to figure out what’s going on—and struggling readers, … Continue reading

Posted in For EDUCATORS, Nonfiction | Tagged , | 1 Comment


I am pretty sure that most of my friends will like this book as much as I did, and not just because of the ironic title.  Which is not to say that we are messy people, per se.  Katie Roiphe’s … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, Humor, Nonfiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment