This week, relive your youth with children’s books, lessons learned in high school, and one man’s exquisite life story.
On Your Kindle
Tinkers, by Paul Harding
This short, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel will have you hoping for subway delays, so packed are its few pages with rich detail and haunting sentiment. Tinkers tells the story of George Washington Crosby, a clock repairman (or “Tinker”) who reflects upon his life as he lies dying. Images of unmanageable family drama and struggles with epilepsy are juxtaposed with intricate details of mending clocks, linking the highly controlled with the uncontrollable.
On Your Smartphone
Seeing Red: To Write is to Edit, by Josh Ritter
This heartfelt and astute article by singer-turned-novelist Josh Ritter details the importance of editing. Ritter anecdotally relays how his father, armed with a red pen, taught him to write well and reflectively by editing his high school essays, which lingered with Ritter as he became a songwriter and, more recently, a novelist.
This brief essay is a good read for aspiring writers, as well as for any of us who might occasionally forget that success is rarely achieved without hard work.
On a Podcast
I recently stumbled across this blog, drawn by its name and compelled to stay because it brought back memories of some of my favorite childhood times spent reading. The blog produces three podcasts a week, each in which its hosts discuss a different children’s book. The podcasts and blog are excellent go-tos for women with kids and those without—if you’ve ever spent an afternoon rifling through your old books at your parents’ house or the children’s section of a bookstore, then this is for you, too.
A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Thinking about children’s books made me reminisce about one of my all-time childhood favorites, A Little Princess. Though the story was written in 1905, many of its themes are still universally applicable: generosity, kindness, and belief in oneself. This is a feel-good novel in a quick, easy-to-read format. Plus, as a story originally published in serial form, its chapters often end with a dramatic flair. You’re sure to stay engaged between commutes and find yourself waiting in anticipation for your next slice of the story.