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20 11, 2016

Uh-Oh. Romance Ahead.

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:12+00:00 November 20th, 2016|breads, side dishes|1 Comment

I failed to see the signs of what I was getting into. The story started out with two Smith College girls, headed up to Dartmouth for a weekend. The narrator was bookish and quiet, her lifelong friend the kind of girl who’s working her way through the world’s gin and men. Up at Dartmouth, the girls watch a football game, particularly two players so impossibly [...]

7 08, 2016

If You Want To Know What Really Happened . . .

By | 2017-05-17T15:13:29+00:00 August 7th, 2016|good nonfiction, main dishes, salads, sandwiches, side dishes|0 Comments

Just curious: I know you love books. But which do you love best? Book-books? The kind with the spine that breaks if you keep your place by resting it upside down? The kind where you get to turn the pages? Or e-books? The kind where you can read in bed without your flashlight? The kind where you can take whole libraries on your trip [...]

3 07, 2016

What Lurks in Your Genes?

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:14+00:00 July 3rd, 2016|good nonfiction, side dishes|0 Comments

I'm sure none of us know what all lurks in our genes, although when we take a look at the children we spawn, we get a pretty good idea. For one Baltimore woman back in 1951, it was a virulent form of cancer.  Henrietta Lacks felt something hard like a marble growing near her cervix. Rebecca Skloot writes, in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, [...]

19 06, 2016

Yes, You Can Do This At Home

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:15+00:00 June 19th, 2016|main dishes, side dishes|0 Comments

Elissa Schappell wrote a collection of short stories, Blueprints for Building Better Girls. I did not like it. It commenced with a story of two teens having sex, blow-by-blow detail. In the following stories I met characters that I tried to like, but couldn’t. Here it is, the month of June, my favorite. It’s finally warm enough to sit on the deck and read. I’d [...]

5 06, 2016

What’s Your Definition of a Fair World?

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:15+00:00 June 5th, 2016|main dishes, side dishes|0 Comments

Some books you love right away. This one opens with a weekend on an English estate. I meet an ingenue that I’ll call “Jillian.” She eagerly awaits the arrival of her college brother, “Henry.” And his friend, “Garrard.” (Picture hearts floating in the air here.) Not only am I enchanted by Jillian, but by the way the author weaves emotion into every line of dialogue. [...]

6 03, 2016

Kristen’s Top Ten Fiction List

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:16+00:00 March 6th, 2016|cookies, desserts, good fiction, main dishes, salads, side dishes|0 Comments

At the request of a faithful reader, today I unveil my top-10 fiction list. And what does it take to make the list? A) The book has to be memorable. I read enough books that they almost whiz by like highway signs. Not all of them stick with me. Ah, but the ones that do, they’re like great road trips that I wish I could [...]

22 11, 2015

Those Lovable Bums

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:19+00:00 November 22nd, 2015|good fiction, main dishes, salads, sandwiches, side dishes, Uncategorized|0 Comments

First off today, I made a guest appearance on this blog. ====================================== Now, back to our normal programming. Long ago, Nick Nolte starred in the movie Cannery Row. I never saw the movie. I just assumed that, with Nolte starring, it would be about a sad young drunk in a sad part of town. When I opened the by John Steinbeck, I braced myself for [...]

25 10, 2015

Oh, What a Cello Can Do

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:19+00:00 October 25th, 2015|main dishes, salads, side dishes, Uncategorized|0 Comments

You might be one of the adoring fans of the 2004 BBC miniseries, North & South, the story of the Hale family, as they move themselves from the pastoral south of England to the grimy, industrial north.The television production is adapted from the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. In case you’ve missed both the book and the TV show, let me catch you up on things: [...]

4 10, 2015

He Should Have Taken Their Advice

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:20+00:00 October 4th, 2015|breads, main dishes, pasta, side dishes, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Louis Sachar loves the game of bridge. When he decided to write a novel about bridge-players, “My publisher, my editor, my wife and my agent all said I was crazy. ‘No one’s going to want to read a book about bridge!’ they told me on more than one occasion.” Add me to that list. I gave Sachar’s The Card Turner a good try. You would [...]

28 09, 2015

If You Need a Drug, Why Not Food?

By | 2016-12-29T23:56:20+00:00 September 28th, 2015|cakes, desserts, salads, sandwiches, side dishes, soups|0 Comments

Sometimes the cow patties in a book are like weeds in the sidewalk cracks. It’s hard to keep a few from springing up. Best not criticize, unless your own sidewalk is weed-free. But when Carl Hiaasen wrote Star Island, I’m pretty sure he hauled along a bag of weed seeds and poured them in the sidewalk cracks on purpose. That said, he wrote a pretty [...]