Don Levy

On November 5, 2015, the first blog post of The Next Chapter was published on the Albany Poets website. It had always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to start a book blog, but I never knew how to go about it. When I posted about how I was no longer host the Live From the Living Room readings, one of the things I said I wanted to do was run a blog about books. Thom Francis was kind enough to ask me to blog for the Albany Poets website. I am one of a couple of bloggers on the website including my friends Mary Panza and R.M. Engelhardt. I am very grateful for the chance to write about one of my passions in life – books.

I know at heart I am a frustrated English teacher. I remember watching Room 222 and wanted to be the perky English teacher like Karen Valentine played on the show. Like the song “English Teacher ” from Bye, Bye Birdie said, “And English teacher is really something…” However, back in the 70’s, there were too many teachers, so that dream died rather quickly.

The blog has been hard work but I love it. Sometimes I do a lot of research on Google and Wikipedia because I am fuzzy about the plots and themes of books I read in my teens and 20’s such as The Bridge of San Luis Rey or Other Voices, Other Rooms. I used to think I hated to do research, but I realize that when it’s about something you love, you don’t mind doing the work.

One of the things that keep me excited about the blog is that I still, after a whole year, have more ideas for blog posts. I have never talked about my love of mystery novels. It started off in middle school when I started to read Agatha Christie novels. I haven’t talked about my love of reading memoirs that much on my blog . I also want to blog about books I’ve been meaning to read and books that I didn’t like or care for. There are plenty of books I hated besides The Girl On the Train. For National Poetry Month next April, I might talk about novels written by poets and for Pride Month, I might talk about gay poetry beyond Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsburg.

Through it all, I have sought out my reader’s input. I don’t want to act as a lecturer. I value your opinions, even if they differ from mine. It’s always great to get feedback. I have tried to make the blog as fun to read. I like to try new things, new approaches to the blog. Thanks to all of you that take the time to read my blog. I hope you have had as much fun as I have and welcome to Year Two.