NEA relief tour for Gulf Coast editor in chief, Angela Burt-Murray, and The February Book Pick, Marley & Me,
The National Education Association books editor, Patrik Henry Bass, say they see inspired Connection readers to share their
(NEA) launched three Reading Relief Tours the club as a way to gather more data about own dog stories.
through the Gulf Coast areas devastated last African-American reading habits. “There’s a
fall by three hurricanes. Beginning in lot of noise about what’s selling and what’s will be passing it on to my dog-lover friends
February with kickoffs in Mobile, Alabama; not in the African-American community,” when I finish. We have a Shih Tzu that is the
Jackson, Mississippi; and Houston, Texas, the Ball told Publishers Weekly. “The only way we best dog ever, so well mannered and trained
tours will converge in New Orleans on March can answer those questions is to go to readers so easily. He is just love all over. Then we got
2, the ninth annual Read Across America and allow them to guide us.” For more infor- this stray, which is half Shih Tzu and some-
Day, and also the birthday of beloved chil- mation or to sign up for the book club, visit thing, about 1 year old and about 15 pounds
dren’s author Theodor Geisel (a k a Dr.
www.essence.com. with jackrabbit legs. He is just crazy, and
Seuss). [it’s]so much fun to see his next antic. I keep
The tour routes will include book-dona- Reader feedback—Marley & Me saying, “What am I going to do with this
tion and read-in stops in more than 26 Gulf I had just finished Marley & Me, laugh- dog?” Well, the answer is we are going to keep
Coast cities. Celebrities, athletes and public ing and crying more than I had in a long him and train him to be a better dog, if it kills
figures are scheduled to participate in the time, when I read your article “A Dog’s Life” us. He is so much fun to watch and plays so
reading and donation events. in [the February] Costco Connection. As sad well with the 3-year-old Shih Tzu.
According to NEA president Reg Weaver, as I was [when I read about] Marley’s last few Thanks again for sharing your daily ritu-
the goal of these tours is clear. “We wanted to months of life, I could also relate to Marley’s als with all of us. Everybody has pain in their
ensure that those who have lost so much dur- importance and [the] impact he had on his lives; dogs help us through it with their true
ing the devastating hurricanes can also be in family. How wonderful that he was loved so devotion. You have done a great service for
the company of a good book,” he said in much and returned that love so much. This these happy but crazy misfits.
announcing this program. book will have an impact on my life with Fran Tinker Taylors, South Carolina
Murphy, my 21-year-old golden retriever,
Grammy winners and [gave me] a new appreciation of what
Hours before U2 swept the Grammies in dogs are made of. Thanks for your article.
early February, several audio categories were Mike Stadler, e-mail
honored off-screen at an awards presentation. Here are some winners of interest to I loved this book. Thank you, Mr.
book lovers. Grogan, for letting us readers and dog lovers
Best Spoken Word Album: Dreams from share the range of emotions from excitement
My Father, read by Senator Barack Obama to frustration to joy and love to sorrow, grief
Best Spoken Word Album for Children: and saying goodbye to a member of the fam-
Marlo Thomas & Friends: Thanks & Giving ily. Thank you, Mrs. Grogan, for being willing
All Year Long, read by various artists to be real and vulnerable. Truly, the soul who
Best Musical Album for Children: Songs has loved and been loved by a dog is blessed.
from the Neighborhood—The Music of Mister Kym Wood, e-mail
Rogers, by various artists
Dear Mr. Grogan,
Essence goes (book) clubbing I am now reading Marley & Me; I want to
This month, March, marks the inaugural laugh, then I want to cry. This dog is a “piece
book-club pick by Essence magazine. The first of work.” Thank you for putting into words
selection of the Essence Book Club how we feel about these “knucklehead” dogs.
Recommended Read program is Pearl You just have to love them. You help by let-Cleage’s new novel, Baby Brother’s Blues. The ting us know that it’s not just us that have
club will announce five titles this year and six these problems. Yes, dogs do like to go on the
next year, focusing on recently released and most expensive rug!
classic fiction and nonfiction. The magazine’s I haven’t finished your book yet. But I
Lisa Jackson signs Fatal Burn on March
5, at noon, at the Tucson, Arizona,
Costco, at 3901 W. Costco Drive.
Eddie Einhorn signs How March
Became Madness on March 7, from 6 to
8 p.m., at the Charlotte, North Carolina,
Costco, at 500 Tyvola Road.
John J. Nance signs Orbit on March 11,
from noon to 1: 30, at the Seattle,
Washington, Costco, at 4401 Fourth
Diana Hollingsworth Gessler signs
Very New Orleans on March 18, at 11
a.m., at the Naples, Florida, Costco, at
6275 Naples Blvd.
(Click here for maps and
directions to Costco locations.)