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23 07, 2017

Working the Worst Shift

By | 2017-07-23T15:35:10+00:00 July 23rd, 2017|good nonfiction|0 Comments

And how’s your mom day going? Maybe we should assign points for difficulty, just to see how you match up with Tracy McKay’s worst mom days, as described in her memoir, The Burning Point. I’ll give you: 3 pts. per child (Tracy has 3). 2 pts. per ordinary errand, (Tracy needs to go the grocery store, the YMCA, get kids to the bus). 5 [...]

16 07, 2017

Would You Go Where You’re Not Wanted?

By | 2017-07-16T20:20:28+00:00 July 16th, 2017|good fiction|0 Comments

“We weren’t the only ones.” “No kidding. . . . Why do you think we had to start our own hotels?” One day, a Mrs. Marx of Newton Massachusetts dashes off a letter to a Vermont inn, inquiring about vacation accommodations. The reply letter makes it clear that “Our guests who feel most comfortable here . . . are Gentiles. Very truly yours . [...]

9 07, 2017

What’s That Sparkle on Your Finger?

By | 2017-07-09T18:56:54+00:00 July 9th, 2017|good fiction|0 Comments

Welcome to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Paris and . . . Cleveland, the settings for J. Courtney Sullivan’s novel, The Engagements, in which all the strands of the story dance around the Maypole of the diamond engagement ring. Leaping back and forth through the decades, we have four mini-stories: James, a paramedic, chases down blood and drunkenness in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a suburb he could [...]

2 07, 2017

I’ll Give You the Cliff Notes

By | 2017-07-02T17:10:35+00:00 July 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Here’s your disclaimer: Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe is not a clean read. In some books you can turn an extra page or two to skip the problems. But in Wolfe’s latest bison-sized novel, the sex and the gutter language never let up. In Wolfe's defense, he leans conservative. He plays the part of great observer in the sky,  looking down on the [...]

25 06, 2017

Chunky Monkey Pancakes

By | 2017-06-25T17:37:06+00:00 June 25th, 2017|breakfasts|0 Comments

I’m reading a long book this week. So let’s talk about breakfast. It’s nice when breakfast is more special than that same old bowl of Cheerios. It’s nice when breakfast is at dinner time. It’s really nice when breakfast includes chocolate. If you feel the same way, maybe you’d like to make Chunky Monkey Pancakes. [...]

18 06, 2017

Summer Camp Everybody!!

By | 2017-06-18T20:44:04+00:00 June 18th, 2017|good fiction|0 Comments

Schuller Kindermann hears party noises outside his camp cabin late at night. Schuller is a gentleman of some means. He owns Kindermann Forest, a summer camp in the Ozarks. He’s spent the last week training the his counselors before the campers arrive in two days. Going out to investigate the noises, he finds his counselors frolicking in the pool. Naked. He fires them. And [...]

11 06, 2017

Ode to Boyhood

By | 2017-06-11T16:08:15+00:00 June 11th, 2017|good fiction, Uncategorized|0 Comments

What am I doing, picking a Ray Bradbury book off the library shelf? I asked myself. All I knew about Bradbury was that he was famous, and that he wrote Fahrenheit 451, a paperback on the shelf in my sister’s bedroom. Fahrenheit’s protagonist is a fireman in a time and place where books are illegal and his job is to find them and burn [...]