November Newsletter

The state of the State A major birthday has come and gone. I, for one, am glad it’s gone. The new 40 this one is not. In three days, the weather has gone from sunshine and autumn leaves to dark skies and snow in the Cascades. October was filled with wonderful friends… and art. Portland […]

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2016 ended on a high note for me, literarily speaking. I read some extraordinary books in November and December. As this is one of my favorite blogs of the year, I can’t wait to share them with you. America’s First Daughter, a historical novel by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie is simply an extraordinary read. Based on […]

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“All crime novels are social novels,” says Laura Miller in her recent article “Try To Remember” in The New Yorker, an article devoted to Dublin-based mystery writer Tana French (Oct. 3, 2016, page 72). Unlike many articles in The New Yorker, this one cuts to the chase. Says Miller, “Most crime fiction is diverting; French’s is […]

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The State of the State We’re settling in for fall around here. Brilliant color, cold morning walks, baked apples. Most of the wineries have finished harvesting grapes and are now processing the bounty into next year’s wines. My dear friends Cheryl and Ginny and Margie, along with several other friends, celebrate birthdays with me in October. Cheryl and I also […]

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More than half of 2016 is behind us, and it’s a good time for a mid-year book review. How is your reading going? Mine is a little slower than I would have liked, but I’m reading some terrific stuff, so let’s get started. One of my guilty pleasures was re-reading Tana French’s thriller Faithful Place. […]

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The curtain has fallen on another year of great books, and it’s time to take stock of what has passed. Nearly six months ago I did a little mid-year check in, and I realize that most of the great books I read last year were during that first six months. For personal reasons, I sought escape […]

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Last Thursday the move from my home in Lower Hillsdale Heights was accomplished–something I’d been building toward since late last August when I realized it was time to sell and picked up the phone. Although it has been arduous, and seemingly endless, things actually moved quickly. There was the cleaning things out for staging, cleaning things […]

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Alas, dear readers, one of my absolute favorite authors, Louise Penny, surprised but did not delight me this past year with her latest, “The Long Way Home“. The most recent Armand Gamache mystery finds the famous homicide detective retired and living with his wife in Three Pines. He is not at ease, and neither is his neighbor Clara, whose […]

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Should you happen to visit the fictional Three Pines, a small, isolated village in Canada’s Quebec province about an hour’s drive south of Montreal, you will at first be utterly charmed. Three Pines is that Norman Rockwell painting with deep snowdrifts outside and families gathered around groaning tables within. It is cozy wood fires, ice-skating, and hot chocolate in winter. It is cute […]

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If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.   –Stephen King, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” Imagine reading Stephen King’s “Great Commandment” if you’re a writer. It’s  […]

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