Melody's Reviews > Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

Dear Genius by Ursula Nordstrom
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's review
Jun 18, 2010

it was ok
Read in June, 2010

What I liked about this collection of letters is the way UN's wry wit was always in evidence. It was fun to read some of the letters to authors I know and love.

What I didn't like was the lack of context, the disconnected nature of only getting one side of the conversation.

What drove me crazy is maybe only something I don't understand, perhaps some scholarly convention- but I found it maddening that the editor assigned "short" names to some of the authors as if he would be referring to them by these compressed names but then continued to use the whole name, followed by the shortened version in parentheses throughout.

In summation I see the merit of a book of letters but I'd have been much, much happier with a biography.
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Reading Progress

06/17/2010 page 128
29.0% "Meh. This is not the sort of thing I love." 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan What a lucky find! Someday, when I have more reading time, I will check and hope that my library has an available copy.

Melody Or when I finish it, I can send it on to you!

message 3: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Melody wrote: "Or when I finish it, I can send it on to you!"

Melody, You don't keep your books?

Melody I can't keep them all. I keep the ones that, if I wake up at 3 a.m. needing to re-read a passage, I can't wait for the library to open to do so. I also keep the out-of-print stuff that I love beyond all reason. And poetry- poetry can't wait for the library to open.

My permanent collection is very well-loved. My TBR pile is more eclectic. It's a system I've arrived at after much trial and error.

message 5: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Well, see how you feel after you've read the book. Thanks for offering. If you decide not to keep it, I'd love it.

Susann I originally checked this out from the library, but loved it so much that I ended up buying my own copy. Of course, now I've raised your expectations to unrealistic heights....

Melody Arrrgh. Too many books! Not enough time!

message 8: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Melody, Maybe you will want to keep it! Well, let me know. Definitely too many books, too little time!

Melody Nope, it's all yours, Lisa. It's pretty much Not My Thing, though I'm fairly certain I'll read the whole of it.

message 10: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Thank you, Melody! I'll pay the postage. Media mail is fine. It's not as though I'd have time to read it immediately anyway.

Susann Interesting! As you know from my gushfest review, I feel that Ursula's letters stand on their own and give me the full perspective and context of the changing times, the other writers, and Ursula herself. (I particularly like when she deals with defensive and/or insecure writers.)
If you happen to come across the collected letters of EB White, though, you can read his letters to Ursula.

Susann Yep!

message 13: by Wendy (new)

Wendy "If you happen to come across the collected letters of EB White, though, you can read his letters to Ursula."

Took me a second or two to puzzle this one out. I had an image of Melody reading EB White's letters aloud, scoldingly, to a framed photo of Ursula Nordstrom.

message 14: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan Well, Abigail, if Melody sends me this, I can send it on to you. Or, if you want to read it quickly, we should probably do it the other way around.

Wendy, Ah, E.B. White's letters are magnificent, but I don't remember them well and didn't remember that he wrote to her.

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