• Blog
  • Dear, Dear

    I love advice columns. My favorite part of reading Dear Abby is laughing about whether someone I know is the correspondent. For example: Dear Abby: My calico cat, Rosie, seems to be fixated on my next-door neighbor Ron. Every morning Rosie grooms herself for an hour, then jumps in the window to watch for Ron…. […]

  • Books
  • Hurricane Laura?

    It’s a special week to be a Laura, as we might be getting our hurricane this week. As of this writing, it is still just Tropical Storm Laura, but with a Laura, you never know. And thus, it was a good week to read Laura Lippman’s recent book of personal essays, My Life as a […]

  • Books
  • Life Among the Savages

    In her memoir of young family life, Life Among the Savages, Shirley Jackson tells the story of the outsize influence of a child’s first grade teacher. We get a delicious profile of her daughter Jannie’s Mrs. Skinner: We had been exposed to Mrs. Skinner from about the third day of school, when Jannie came home […]

  • Books
  • Joe the Curmudgeon

    Joe Queenan is a crowd-pleaser at my house. When The Sons are home, and we are lingering after a long breakfast served at 1:00 p.m., Queenan’s Wall Street Journal column is good for a laugh. He’s a curmudgeon, especially about things modern. “Uriah the Hittite” is a family meme: [A] couple of years ago, when […]

  • Books
  • Writers on Creativity

    I like reading writers’ memoirs and their books on writing. I especially love a window into their creative process. Since I first saw it, I have been gripped by this description from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Often when you sit down to write, what you have in mind is an autobiographical novel about your […]