Illustrations by Shawn Martinbrough; Coloring by Christopher Sotomayor.
“Impossible,” said David Ward. The London Metropolitan Police constable looked up.
Some 50 feet above him, he saw that someone had carved a gaping hole through a skylight. Standing in the Frontier Forwarding warehouse in Feltham, West London, he could hear the howl of jets from neighboring Heathrow Airport as they roared overhead.
At Ward’s feet lay three open trunks, heavy-duty steel cases. They were empty. A few books lay strewn about. Those trunks had previously been full of books. Not just any books. The missing ones, 240 in all, included early versions of some of the most significant printed works of European history.
As an inveterate reader, I more or less grew up in my local libraries—as many of you may have as well.
There is something magical about libraries, as repositories of knowledge and story and hope. There’s even something magical about librarians, be they guardians or keepers or the ultimate hosts inviting you into a safe haven lined with stories that hum with life.
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When I was young, I would hear people say one of the worst pains a human could experience was childbirth. I think of the hours of labor before my son was born and conclude that the pain of grief is worse.
When I was experiencing contractions, I could point to a part of my body and say, “Here. Take the pain away from here.” The anesthesiologist showed up on the 20th hour (I was trying to go without an epidural but didn’t make it).
The medicine went in, and the pain was gone, for the most part.
There is no place to point at with grief. It is an ache that drenches you completely, makes your limbs and your head heavy, too heavy to carry.
And the sting of grief does not end; it sleeps, gets quiet enough to forget about it from time to time, until it resurfaces with a song, an intersection, a park, a dream, or a corner of your house you forgot to look at with eyes from the past.
From formatting guides to memoirs, no writer’s bookshelf is complete without these eight titles.
Every great movie began as a blank sheet of paper. Before a filmmaker or actor can create onscreen magic, they need something to say. So it should come as no surprise that many directors and performers credit scripts for much of their success. Good screenwriters lay the foundation for the beautiful shots and memorable performances that stick with us throughout our lives. In the words of George Clooney, “It’s possible for me to make a bad movie out of a good script, but I can’t make a good movie from a bad script.”