Not a single snowflake was present — in fact, it was a sunny, 75 degree day — when my friend's 6-year-old daughter, Catherine, suddenly sang, "Do you want to build a snowman?" I thought she'd momentarily taken leave of her senses, a swoon brought on by too many Skittles.
In the late 1950s, when she was just 8 years old, Storm Reyes began picking fruit as a full-time farm laborer for less than $1 per hour. Storm and her family moved often, living in Native American migrant worker camps without electricity or running water.
With all that moving around, she wasn't allowed to have books growing up, Storm tells her son, Jeremy Hagquist, on a visit to StoryCorps in Tacoma, Wash.
"Books are heavy, and when you're moving a lot you have to keep things just as minimal as possible," she says.
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
Note: This post was written before news of writer Maya Angelou's death emerged. Annalisa will be away until early next week, but feel free to send her your bookish thoughts and questions on Twitter at @annalisa_quinn.
For decades, British students have grown up reading the American classics To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and The Crucible. Now, if students want to read those books, it will be on their own time. Harper Lee, John Steinbeck and Arthur Miller are out — perhaps replaced by the likes of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and George Eliot.