Writing that requires a receptive readership as flexible as the prose.



Short essays on libraries, literature and life.

As an eclectic writer, editor and academic, Monson (Nonfiction/Univ. of Arizona; Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir2010, etc.) defies conventional continuity to make leaps of connection, not only between paragraphs, but even within a sentence. He continues to challenge the very meaning of meaning, daring readers to come to terms with “the book, the book about the book,” and the very concept of the library, be it public, prison, personal, seed, digital or abandoned and repurposed. “A library is a synonym for slow, a silent coil into the past’s dust,” he writes. “Quick transmission of anything here won’t get you anywhere.” Monson writes of the future reader, even lover, with whom he connects through a book and of the life that you leave behind, not merely in the books that you’ve written, but the ones you’ve read: “You get at least two afterlives. One resides in memory, not yours, but another’s. You don’t get to choose whose. The other is in the disposition and dispersion of your books.” These essays are more often playful than impenetrable, though they defy easy paraphrase or analysis. The author suggests early on that readers start with the section called “How to Read a Book,” which he places in the middle of this book and which he begins, “Read this first. Or read this last.” He later advises to use the book “like a game. Reading is participation, but I want more of you. So mark it up. Annotate a page. Trade a boring essay with another copy.” Each reader will have a different experience with the book, which the author suggests is as much the reader’s book as the writer’s.

Writing that requires a receptive readership as flexible as the prose.

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1555977061

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Graywolf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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