The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Things They Carried

July 23, 2009 Washington, DC The title of Tim O'Brien's novel The Things They Carried comes from the book's opening section in which we are introduced to First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Dave Jensen, Ted Lavender, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Rat Kiley, Kiowa, and the narrator Tim...
June 17, 2009 Minneapolis, MN It?s about 7 a.m. and a steady stream of Big Read grantees are making their way to the Hilton?s front desk to check out and store luggage before day two of orientation. We?re going nonstop from 7:45 to about 3 with only a quick break to grab a boxed lunch and keep on...
June 16, 2009 Washington, DC As you read this, I?m in Minneapolis for The Big Read orientation. I can?t as yet divulge who?s getting a grant in this round*, but I can tell you that I?m here with nearly 800 people who are gearing up to read big starting this September. Tim O?Brien, author of Big...
June 11, 2009 Washington, DC Warning: I?m currently reading The Things They Carried , so you?re probably going to be seeing more than a few related posts over the next few weeks. I am already completely gobsmacked by the opening section, not just the story, but the skillful use of rhythm and...
June 5, 2009 Washington, DC Another sneak peek this morning at Thornton Wilder, who is debuting on The Big Read list this fall. As I read through an advance copy of the Reader?s Guide to The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town , I was struck by the opening quote, taken from a 1929 letter by Wilder...
June 3, 2009 Washington, DC This fall Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried will debut in The Big Read. Here's a sneak peek from the Reader's Guide: "[ The Things They Carried...
March was named for Mars, the Roman god of war. According to the Reader's Guide for Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms -- one of three Big Read titles that addresses war-- the novel "became Hemingway's first bestseller, selling 100,000 copies in twelve months. It was adapted for the stage a year...
June 3, 2008 Washington, DC Last week in Los Angeles, thousands of publishing professionals descended on BookExpo America, the publishing industry's annual four-day orgy of gladhanding and handwringing. If you're reading this, the prospect of everybody from our Readers Circle member Azar Nafisi to...

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