Category Archives: Martel (Yann)

Michelle Obama’s Favorite Books

Tuesday The indispensable “By the Book” column in the New YorkTimes recently interviewed Michelle Obama about her favorite books, and her answers are fascinating. I’ll list them and then discuss the patterns I see: Novels she’s currently reading –Zadie Smith, White Teeth, which Malia also loves –Tayari Jones, American Marriage –Mohsid Hamid, Exit West –Anne Patchett, […]

Also posted in Hamid (Mohsid), Jones (Tayari), Lindgren (Astrid), Morrison (Toni), Patchett (Anne), Smith (Zadie), Steinbeck (John) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ollie the Bobcat, Whirlwind of Light

Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi” helps explain why Ollie, the bobcat who escaped from the National Zoo, returned on her own. Her time in the spotlight gives me an excuse to share a pulsating bobcat poem by Mary Oliver.

Also posted in Oliver (Mary) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Animals Prefer Wilderness or Zoos?

Are aquariums housing orcas inhumane? Maybe, but Martel’s “Life of Pi” offers a perspective that should be considered.

Posted in Martel (Yann) | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!