Curling Up with Cookbooks


There’s almost nothing better than curling up with a good book. I read anything and everything. Most often, though, I turn to mysteries, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, James Baldwin, memoir, science nonfiction, spiritual self-help (I guess that’s the genre??), political and historical biographies, with some nature writing and poetry thrown in. Sometimes, though, it’s cookbooks that have my attention. I have a shelf in the living room bookcase brimming with them. It’s only due to self-restraint and budget that I don’t have more. After clearing out and giving away cookbooks over the years, the ones I own now are my … Continue reading Curling Up with Cookbooks

The Mess (Political Animals: a 21st Century Love Story, part 2)


This is fiction, fiction, I tell you, a love story. Another adventure for Kristin and Adam (from “Political Animals”). Kristin squinted up at the sun. It was hot and her legs were tired, but she was in New Mexico, hiking with Adam, and the day was good. Adam handed her his scratched plastic water bottle, covered in political stickers, the blue strap patched with duct tape. She took it gratefully, dousing her parched lips with water the temperature of breakfast oatmeal, as the bottle had nestled in Adam’s day pack all afternoon. She gagged, but drank anyway. “How far do … Continue reading The Mess (Political Animals: a 21st Century Love Story, part 2)

Political Animals: a 21st Century Love Story


A friend story, a love story, and it’s fiction. Kristin sprawls out on her bed, reading Emma, the small metal fan blowing directly in her face. It is mid-June and this is how she usually spends one week every summer: escaping the heat and rereading all of Jane Austen’s novels. She teaches first grade, and while she loves her classroom of six and seven-year olds, the week following the end of the school year, the beginning of her summer, means she needs to decompress and regain her humanity. Chocolate milkshakes and Austen usually do that for Kristin, but this time … Continue reading Political Animals: a 21st Century Love Story

Finding Summer Sparkle in Fifteen Ways


Summer is the season of heat and big plans. Summers in childhood meant afternoons reading on the porch, sleeping late, riding in the car on road trips to visit family, weekend camping trips in our green Volkswagen, calculating how much time I would have in the town pool, grilling outside for dinner, staying up late in the cool and dark, eating watermelon, playing cards. Summers in high school and college included some of those childhood activities, but also included work, school, internships, and filling up the summer with experiences for the resume and for relaxing. After college, summer lost some … Continue reading Finding Summer Sparkle in Fifteen Ways

Spring Reading: Blogs I Love


The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them. —Jeff Jarvis As soon as I could read, I was a reader, reading books, cereal boxes, and more books. In childhood, I even dreamed about being sent to jail, because I imagined I could curl up in a small cell with unlimited books, unlimited time, and absolutely no interruptions. Luckily I woke from that childhood delusion, but a small quiet place with many books is still an oasis I think about from time to time. I have written several times about books I have read, books I loved … Continue reading Spring Reading: Blogs I Love