A Tribute to Wendy Wasserstein

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein has died.

There are a number of beautiful obituaries for her on the web right now and I'm sure they'll continue as the day goes on, but the one I find the most comforting is from The Miami Herald.

I loved Wendy Wasserstein's work. I loved them for their wit, for their ridiculous humor, for their unabashed blatant political statements. I even loved them for the things I hated: the similar characters and dialogue, the whining, the pseudo-man bashing. Maybe it was because I could see their flaws and respect her work anyway. Maybe it was because I, too, am a Jewish girl with overprotective parents. Maybe it was because her characters saw what they wanted and went after it-- a character trait I admire. Whatever it was, her work inspired me to continue writing.

Sometimes it's about timing. She caught me at the exact right moment with The Heidi Chronicles, a pick from my 10th grade English class. Her plays led the life I wanted (well, except for the dead-end romances with schmucks), told with the sense of humor I stole as my own.

I followed her career as my own began, even forgiving her missteps (An American Daughter, which disappointed me when I saw it on Broadway) because every interview I read of hers was a delight. She was a woman I admired; a woman I wanted to befriend.

I never did, but I thought about writing to her a lot. To tell her that her words danced across my mind, reverberated, making me feel dizzy and real. To tell her that her feminism was my blueprint; that her work and her life meant something to me even though I later discarded her brand of identity for my own. That her books sit on my office's inspiration shelf and that even now I thumb through them on bad days reminding myself why I write.

Her death makes today one of those bad days. Yet, even though she is no longer with us, she still inspires me and reminds me why I write. This time, it is to her.

Ms. Wasserstein, you'll be sorely missed. Thank you for all you've done for me.


How Do You Read?

Pop Quiz: How do you read? What are your preferences? Hard cover, paperback, ebook? Do you ever read books onscreen (via PDA, cell phone, ereader, monitor)? Would you?

My preferences: paperback (easier to haul around in my purse). I'm trying to get into the ereader thing. I started Silas Marner on my PDA/cell phone.

Two new book reviews up in the Book Review section. I also moved all the 2005 reviews over to the Book Review Archive.

Currently Reading:
The iTetralogy, Pg. 255.
Scion brochure.
Silas Marner, Pg. 2.


My eRead Over The Ocean

Our friends over at Britain's Observer report on a story about the next big advance in publishing: the ebook.

Yeah, I know, sort of old news. But the article is a great read, especially because it wanders through all points of view.

Most exaggerated quote from the article:
Weisberg, a passionate bibliophile who delights in trawling secondhand bookshops for modern first editions, concedes that a book is a lovely thing and believes that hardback books will become more like illuminated manuscripts after Gutenberg. 'You will keep in your home only ones you find attractive, or have a sentimental connection to. Owning printed books will eventually become synonymous with collecting them.'

Of course, I think that's a bunch of bunk. And I'm a big fan of ebooks.

A quote that makes more sense from the same article:
"When the e-reader emerges as a mass-market item, the shift will be very rapid indeed. It will soon be a dual-format market."

Yeah, much better.

In other news, three new reviews coming this week (hopefully). One's in the can, one's in my head, and one's still being read.

Currently reading:
The iTetralogy, Pg. 168.
The New Yorker, current issue, Pg. 27. (Yeah, I know it's not a book, but it's what I'm reading.)


New Year, New Me

And, we're back.

First, a thank you to all of the very, very patient BookADay readers.

I've looked at BookADay in 2005.
Here it is, by the numbers:

10 reviews posted, about one per month, except when on sabbatical
48 posts, 2 more than in 2004

That's not good enough.

When I originally started this my goal was to share what I was reading. I had always been that friend people asked what was good to read. But, I've been a miserable friend, the kind who doesn't return your phone calls because she's off hiking the Alps or something. Part of that is because I began reading a lot of books for a contest that I was judging at the time, so I got away from the core, replacing it with news and other tidbits. Part of it was because I was too busy/lazy to update on a regular schedule. Part of it was because I was trying to find my voice on deciding what I would and wouldn't publish. (Regular readers know about my good review/bad review debate.)

Speaking of reviews, I'd like to announce the BookADay Awards for Excellence in 2005.

BookADay Reviewer of the Year

Shane Wilson.
Shane's diligence and prolific review writing has kept BookADay going this year, almost single-handedly. I'm incredibly grateful to his fervor, anger, and well written book reviews.

This year there's only one category. Next year, I'll ask you to read the awards wearing a tux with tails, and I'll write them in a flowing dress with plenty of bling. Seriously, congrats and thank you to Shane.

It's a new year and I've think I have it figured out. Which could mean I don't have it figured out at all. Anything's possible.

Due to wonderful advances in technology (way to go Palm Treo and Blogger Mobile), I can now post from just about anywhere. I'm going back to the core--less news more books. Which means more reviews and more regularly scheduled posts. And, if I'm going to be off traveling, there will be guest contributors to keep this going. Because I owe it to you, and truthfully, to me as well.

New features for 2006:
-Search capabilities of reviews. People have asked for this and I'm going to figure out how to make this happen. If there's a developer in the house,
-More indy book reviews. I'm currently working through a stack that will be up in the next few weeks.
-Possible new design.
-Much more fun and exciting innovations I can't tell you about because I haven't thought up yet.

Thanks again to everyone who reads BookADay. There's a new review by Reviewer of the Year Shane Wilson up in the BookADay Book Review section.

And now...your regularly scheduled post ending.

Currently reading:
The i Tetralogy, Pg. 68
Tori Amos: Piece by Piece, Pg. 18

2006 Books Completed:
1. Spook: Science Tackles The Afterlife
2. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Total Pages Read: 583


What? Still On Leave?

It's the New Year, for crying out loud.

Yes, yes, I've heard your cries and I apologize.
Putting together a nice big post, including a year wrap up.
New reviews as well.

Coming January 9.