Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

The Essay as a Room with Taffy Walls: Or Why at Age Sixteen I Finally Finished a Book

Today’s re-blog is Absolutely one of the best I’ve had the honor of including here………

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Heather Kirn Lanier Heather Kirn Lanier

By Heather Kirn Lanier

At sixteen, while other high school juniors were learning to drive, I was learning to read and write essays. That wasn’t what I expected when I signed up for Mr. Gearty’s Advanced Placement English course. I was not what you’d call “a reader.” I did not tend to finish books. But Advanced Placement courses required summer homework, so the July I turned sixteen, I found myself hunched over a desk with my task: read and take notes on a hardbound book. It looked like a hymnal, with its maroon cover and embossed title, which name escapes me today.

What I remember is my surprise. For the first time in my self-absorbed sixteen years, I was engrossed in reading a book. And not because I wanted to know what happened next and next and next. There were no fictional characters; there was no thick…

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