Off to Beijing!

We’re off!

At 2am this morning, we’ll start out on our next journey – flying to Beijing via San Francisco, arriving in Beijing at some point on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Joe and I will both be blogging from Beijing, so stay tuned for some updates on our travels, the Paralympic athletes, and our adventures in China and Japan!

Joe has a new blog going, as well. He’s already posted wedding photos from this summer, and will be updating that during our travels.


David Carr Reinvents the Memoir

“Memories may be based on what happened to begin with, but they are reconstituted each time they are recalled — with the most-remembered events frequently the least accurate,” writes David Carr in his book, “The Night of the Gun.”

By challenging the foundation of a memoir, memory itself, The New York Times media columnist and culture reporter Carr has reinvented the genre. In “The Night of the Gun,” Carr applies investigative reporting skills to his own life, revisiting the people, places and events that comprised his time as a crack cocaine addict.

One of my favorite books this summer was David Carr’s The Night of the Gun. My review of the memoir ran online in today’s Summit Daily. Check it out.

The Show’s Not Over, Folks

Today’s news is all about the end of the Games. Yes, the Olympic Games closing ceremonies were last night. But the show’s not over…yet. In just a couple of weeks, another elite, international sporting contest will take center stage in Beijing: The Paralympics.

The Paralympics follows about two weeks after the Olympics and takes place in the same venues as the Olympic athletes recently occupied. Highly competitive, the Paralympic Games is for elite athletes with physical disabilities.

Jessica Long, Paralympic Gold Medalist

Jessica Long, Paralympic Gold Medalist

Unfortunately, the Paralympics is an under-reported event, especially in the U.S. media. While you won’t have access to 24/7 TV coverage of the US Paralympic Team, do keep an eye out for local newspaper coverage and broadcast stories.

A week from tomorrow, my husband and I will be traveling to Beijing to work the games, he as a photographer, me as a press officer for Paralympic swimming.

Even some of my closest friends (who know the work I do with US Paralympics) will tell people I’m going to the “Special Olympics.” No, the Paralympics is very different: the Special Olympics are for people with intellectual disabilities with a focus on medals for all, while the Paralympics is for elite athletes with the same Gold-Silver-Bronze medal hierarchy as the Olympics. There is a place for both, but I am always trying to clarify the difference in order to introduce more people to the stories, people and competition that make the Paralympics one of the best sporting feats out there (no offense Red Sox fans!) 

As they say: “Amazing Awaits.” Check out the Paralympic video to see for yourself!

Ideas Needed: Fiction to Take Your Time With

In exactly 2 weeks, we leave for our Beijing and Japan trip. And of course, I’m preoccupied with what book(s) I’m going to bring on the long trip. I know exactly what I want: a good thick book that will take awhile to read…. beautifully written fiction with characters you fall in love with …. a story that you want to take your time with because you don’t want it to end….

The best examples I can think of for this are East of Eden, John Steinbeck; Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky; Stones from the River, Ursula Heigi; Angle of Repose or Crossing to Safety; Wallace Stegner.

So my question to you is: what else would you recommend that fits into this category?

Please send recommendations my way…! Xie xie…

My Favorite Kids’ Books

Maybe it’s because my brother and his wife are having a baby in just a few weeks… or the quality time I got with Quinn and Tanner this past weekend… but I figured it was time to share my favorite kids’ books. Disclaimer: I do not have kids yet. Confession: I spend a lot of time in the kids section when I work at the bookstore.

My all-time favorite board book is I’ll See You in the Morning, a sweet, soothing good-night read adapted from a lullaby, that’s been compared to Goodnight Moon.

Imagine a Day and Imagine a Night, written by Sarah Thomson, with paintings by Rob Gonsalves, is my favorite gift for new parents, because it is as much for adults as kids. It is a book not for infants, but one to put aside for toddlers. The words are soothing, tickling the imagination:

imagine a night…
…when you can’t sleep,
and so you jump
high enough to soar
over a  quilt of fields and forests.
imagine a night…
…when the space between words
becomes like the space
between trees:
wide enough
to wander in.
The paintings are the visual equivalent of poetry: dreamy, Escher-like drawings where morphing cozy scenes of children playing into dreamy, Escher-like drawings where acrobats evolve into bridges and curtains into city skylines. Gonsalves mergescozy indoor scenes with outside adventures, reality with fantasy, the expected with the unexpected.

Now, for all my friends with kids – who already have all of these – stay tuned for more recommendations. I’ll stay on the hunt for the hidden gems that you may not see displayed at the big box stores!

And in the meantime, do send me your favorites…