words kill, words give life

an education

Posted in books and stories, Uncategorized by Kaitlin on March 16, 2010

lynn barber, an education, book, cover, american, us, inspiration, adaptation, memoir, nonfictionLynn Barber’s memoir is a quick read – I read it in an afternoon.  I’ll admit, the only reason I bought this was because I had heard good things about the movie, but Barber’s voice makes it a must. She is succinct, but knows when to dab an extra bit of description.

The movie, “An Education,” is based on an article published in “Granta,” which Barber later expanded into the book. Her memoir starts with her earliest memories and continues into 2009. She has led a fascinating life.

Barber worked for “Penthouse” and published the revolutionary book “How to Improve Your Man in Bed.” She also worked for “Vanity Fair” and wrote “The Heyday of Natural History” chronicling how Darwinism affected Victorian natural history books. Barber is a dryly witty Scheherazade, an incredibly versatile new journalist and all this young writer could ever hope to be. lynn barber, smoking, author, photo, writer, black and white, woman, interviewer, journalist, an education, bookGay Talese step aside, this writing major has a new idol.


i don’t care about your band

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 15, 2010

The cover of this book by Julie Klausner first caught my eye, the title made me pick it up, and the endorsement quote by the ever funny  Rachel Dratch convinced me to buy it. Like I expected, it is a humorous look at a series of failed relationships. However, I was totally unprepared for it’s detours into psychoanalysis.i don't care about your band, book cover, julie clausner, cupid, heart, arrow, swimsuit, red, pink, blue, polka dots, what i learned from indie rockers, trust funders, pornographers, felons, faux sensitive hipsters and other guys i've dated

Klausner’s funny, but I don’t need the explanation that, unlike most girls who “drift toward the more unsavory characters in the dating pool,” she and her dad had a great relationship. When she leaves the action to analyze her motives, my attention leaves too. If you don’t mind a book that is half “laugh at my life” and half “this is why I’m crying,” then this is the book for you.

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BTW, and this is probably the writing major in me talking, “I don’t care about your band” could use one more good copy edit. I’m talking multiple words that are missing a letter or misspelled, plus some awkward  phrasing that slows the read.

excuses & lies

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 12, 2010

excuses & lies, knock knock, book, cover, inset, preview, urban outfitters, lines for all occasions I picked up this little gem in Urban Outfitters today. Now, I pride myself on being a pretty good liar, but even the best cons need a little help sometime. And this book may be the best assist a tired fibber could ever have.excuses & lies, knock knock, book, cover, inset, preview, urban outfitters, lines for all occasions

twitter + literature = ?

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 11, 2010

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“Twitterature” is a new book by nineteen-year-old University of Chicago students Alexander Aciman (left) and Emmett Rensin (right) with the goal of reducing more than eighty pieces of literature into less than twenty tweets, “to its purest, pithiest essence.”

You may doubt the purity of its abridgments, but “Twitterature” is undeniably pithy. My only complaint is that I didn’t think of it first.

the boy who couldn’t sleep and never had to

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 8, 2010

I’m uber-excited that I got this book in the mail. Watch the author, D. C. Pierson, explain his writing tips, and you’ll want to read it too.


the beginnings of an as yet untitled fiction

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 5, 2010

by yours truly:

Something tickles my nose. Unwilling to open my eyes, I twitch a nostril. Then, I hear a faint buzzing as it moves to rest on my cheek. A fly. I softly blow and it leaves. It’s the time of evening when everything monochrome. A breeze brings the sound of the river and I reach for my sweater.

It’s wet and sticky. The ground must be muddy. Standing, I shrug my arms through the clotted cashmere. I tug it down before folding the throw I was lying on. It’s sticky, too. Oh well, I need to do laundry anyway.

I head for home through the trees and gathering dark. Hopping up the two steps, I pull out the key. When I push on the knob, the door opens. Did I forget to lock it? A chill runs across my back despite my sweater.

My hand slides up the wall finding the light switch. The lamp lies on its side light spilling across the floor. Two streaks of red pass over the threshold leading to a slumped form in the middle of the room. My landlord.

“Mr. Petersen?”

I drop the throw and step into the room.

“Mr. Petersen, are you alright?”

Red covers the front of his shirt.

“Oh, my God, are you bleeding?”

He sits legs splayed like an abandoned baby doll, red-splotched shirt in place of a bib. Two steps bring me to him. I slowly kneel beside him.

“We’ll go to the hospital, OK?”

I reach two fingers towards his neck to check his pulse. Not meeting the resistance I expect, my fingers squish as my knuckles pass his skin.

I scream and jerk back my blood-soaked hand.

The motion knocks his head back. His throat opens to the bone, and in the middle of his windpipe, sits the mouthpiece to my clarinet.

“he’s a stud, she’s a slut…

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on March 4, 2010

and 49 other double standards every woman should know” is a book by Jessica Valenti, author of “The Purity Myth” and founder of feministing.com.  It’s a hilariously detailing of stereotypes and a helpful look at how to fight them.

On stud vs. slut, Valenti states, “If you have a vagina, chances are someone has called you a slut at least once in your life.” And some of the double standards she chronicles are equal-opportunity offenders.

The chapter “he’s tough, she’s a tomboy” details her accepted childhood love of sports, while the boys who avoided sports were called girls. “You see, it was understandable for me to want to be a tomboy and do ‘boy’ things–because men are better, after all.”

gift guide no. 2

Posted in books and stories by Kaitlin on December 6, 2009

…the promised gift guide for the person who is always reading (aka the bibliophile).

For $5 and under

Readers can read their initials even when they’re wiping their mouths if you give them Monogram Cocktail Napkins.

Your friends may not be librarians, but they’ll feel like it after you present them with a 50 pack of Library Cards. (Unfortunately, this might mean you actually have to return any books you borrow from them.)

“Beatrix the Bookworm” is an adorable rounded corner little print. She’ll be right at home amongst your book lover’s shelves.

For $15 and under

Erase the worried search for a page-marker with bookworm bookmarks, a set of 20 with 5 of each design. Bonus: these bookmarks can serve as quick answers to the question “How’s that book?”

Maybe you can’t afford to buy a room full of books, but you can give that old book smell with “In the Library.” It’s a 2ml absolute perfume from CB I Hate Perfume (If you’re near Brooklyn, consider the gallery-only accord, “English Novel”).

If they’re always reading, they need somewhere to keep their books. The Quo-Tote carries the load and lifts the spirits with a Lewis Carroll quote: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

For $25 and under

Are your neighborhood readers the snooty type? Then they’ll love the display opportunity of the ZigZag Bookholder. Perfect for holding a few ostentatious tomes or keeping well-worn favorites near.

Perchance the book lover also loves to write? The Overdue Notebook may look like a library book, but it never needs returning. It’ s pages are a truly unusual assortment of  “graph paper, lined paper, and others printed with images of receipts, instamatic photos and passport stamps.”

All bibliophile’s may not be shy, but all will find “I think I’m in Love” T-shirt cute. It shows a quick glance between two peeps who have their noses firmly glued between the pages.

For a gag

To test the quality of suspected glamor press, PublishAmerica, James D. Macdonald challenged a group of writers to pen the worst book possible. Separately, they each wrote one chapter without knowing which chapter it would be, the plot, the setting or the characters’ relationships. The results were the travesty “Atlanta Nights” (by Travis Tea) and the knowledge that “PublishAmerica will publish any work, regardless of quality, despite their claims.”

For those willing to drop some serious cash

If given the choice, bibliophiles would probably sit cozily wrapped in a classic smoking jacket reading in their libraries all day. D&G offers a modern take on this most stylish of lounge-wear for around a grand with a blue satin men’s blazer and black velvet women’s blazer.

Keep reading for gift guides for the person who: knows everything about movies, is fashion obsessed, is really weird but interesting, has everything, has nothing, doesn’t have everything but you still never know what to get him, and has everything because she made it all herself.

If you send out holiday cards, why not send one to:

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20307

Because no matter what you feel about our government and the war, soldiers are people who deserve way more than a card.

a little twilight

Posted in books and stories, diary, movies and television by Kaitlin on December 1, 2009

I was planning on posting a review of  “New Moon,” but I’m a tad busy and there are so many really good articles (and parodies) about the Twilight phenom, I thought I’d just link to some.

If you were wondering who “wears the pants” in Bella’s relationships, check out Team Edward, Team Jacob: New Moon’s Gender Revolution.

To read how “New Moon” might be a good thing for women in Hollywood, see New Moon Brings a New Dawn in Hollywood.

And if you want to write a bestseller just like “Twilight,” read Twilight: A Follow-Up, and a Promise.

My favorite “Twilight” parody ’cause “I’ve got like a black belt in fangs.”

Get a look at Peter Facinelli (Carlisle) getting in on the parody action.


PS – In case you were wondering, I am still writing. I’ve got about 10,000 words so far. Check out the wordle I made with the first chunk of my book – My wordle

the mysterious Mr. Gorey

Posted in art, etc., books and stories by Kaitlin on November 15, 2009

Edward Gorey was a writer and illustrator with a penchant for fur coats, cats, ballet, tennis shoes and macabre Edwardian settings.

He illustrated book covers  and spot illustrations for Doubleday Anchor early in his career, and later illustrated his own books. A favorite is “The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” the alphabetical telling of 26 children’s deaths with illustrated rhymes.


His animation for PBS’s “Mystery!” brought him even more attention.

If you like the surreal, gothic or kooky, then you should def check out Mr. Gorey’s fabulousity.