Say As I Do: Olga Tokarczuk

Say As I Do: Olga Tokarczuk

Today the postponed 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Olga Tokarczuk “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.

I spoke with Tokarczuk a year ago about her book, Flights, for KMUW’s Marginalia podcast. I always ask authors how to pronounce their names. Here’s what she told me:


Say As I Do: J. Ryan Stradal

Say As I Do: J. Ryan Stradal

I recently spoke with J. Ryan Stradal about his new book–The Lager Queen of Minnesota–for KMUW’s Marginalia podcast. I asked J. Ryan how to pronounce his name. Fortunately, he recently asked his dad the same question.

Here he is:


Review (Plus): ‘Bikes for Sale’

America’s Review:

I often laugh when I tell people how my best friend and I met–we were arch enemies who later discovered we were destined for friendship all along. Friendships can be difficult, especially if one has been hurt or rejected at some point in their life. Friendships require revealing one’s self beyond outward appearances, which can be difficult for students, especially if they already suffer from past judgments.

That’s why I was excited to find Bikes for Sale by Carter Higgins, which is perfect for classroom introduction. Illustrated in bright colors are Maurice and Lotta. We meet them individually and learn that they love to ride their bikes–one selling lemonade and one sticks. Each has a separate agenda to fulfill every day, each one interacting with the world within the same circle as the other one, but never encountering each other until one fateful day when their bikes, and worlds, collide.

The book is perfect for my classroom because it perfectly describes my classroom: a room full of Maurices and Lottas, each living their own life without knowing the other exists. Every semester there is a new group of students for my rotation in the classroom and we all stare at each other with our own apprehensions and mysteries. Each student brings a story to my room and each student believes their story to be the most important. It isn’t until we start doing group work and discussion where they have to divulge what lies in their soul. Often times it is much more prodding than they want to occur.

In the classroom:

I’m excited to bring Bikes for Sale in to my classroom for various reasons. It will allow an easy conversation to occur about our individual lives and what we bring to the classroom. Maurice and Lotta will allow me to discuss their clothing choices, how they have named their bikes and the city in which they live. Maurice and Lotta are also cute animals, and who can resist a story about cute animals? I can group those with similar interests and hope they will find friends. I can do all of these without doing much more than wandering around the classroom and eavesdropping on the conversations. As a teacher it is imperative to work on social skills in the classroom regardless of the age of students. Highlighting these individual desires and collaborating with peers helps form friendships and a sense of self within them. I’m excited to see how the class emerges from this cute story of friendship.

Bikes for Sale by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Zachariah OHora (Chronicle Books | 9781452159324 | April 2, 2019)

Say As I Do: Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

Say As I Do: Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

I recently spoke with Brad Meltzer about his new book with co-author Josh Mensch–The First Conspiracy–for KMUW’s Marginalia podcast. I asked Brad how to pronounce his name and the name of his co-author.

Here he is:


New Postage Prices Beginning January 27, 2019

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced another price increase. Effective Sunday, January 27, 2019, the cost for mailing a 1 oz. letter will go up a nickel to 55 cents. The domestic Priority Mail retail flat rate and the Media Mail rates will also see changes. Here are a few highlights:

  • The First Class Mail letter (1 oz.) rate for postage purchased at the Post Office is increasing by five cents to $0.55 from $0.50.
  • Each additional ounce for a First Class Mail letter will cost an extra $0.15 (a decrease from $0.21 in 2018).
  • First Class Mail Flats/Large Envelope rates are not increasing in 2019, remaining at $1.00 (1 oz.), with additional ounces costing $0.15.
  • Postcard rates are also not increasing in 2019, remaining at $0.35.
  • Customers who print postage online (via Stamps.com), the Metered Mail rate will now be a 5 cent discount compared to the Post Office price with rates increasing to $0.50 in 2019 from $0.47 currently.
  • The five cent discount for online postage on a one-ounce First Class Mail letter represents a savings of 9% for consumers and small business owners.
  • Media Mail rates will increase by 2.95% in 2019.

Or if spreadsheets are more your style, these should answer some questions…

The Mailing Services price changes include:

Letter-1 oz.
Add. ounces
Intl Letter-1 oz.
New Rate

The domestic Priority Mail Retail Flat Rate price changes using printed packaging are:

S Box
M Box
L Box
Regular Env
Legal Env
Padded Env
New Rate

The Media Mail Rate price changes are:

1 lb.
2 lbs.
3 lbs.
4 lbs.
5 lbs.
6 lbs.
7 lbs.
8 lbs.
9 lbs.
10 lbs.
New Rate