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During lockdown, reading and watching

Lockdown continues. Me and mine are safe and well, so no complaining allowed. Here’s what — and where — I’ve been reading and watching. Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli. When this novel was first published I didn’t want to read it because it sounded too “of the moment” — a family travels to the

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Stay at home: reading and life

Greetings from my stay-in-place perch. I’ve always worked from a home office, so that part of lockdown hasn’t been a change. I dress in the morning, eat breakfast, read the newspapers, walk, practice piano and French, and get to my desk by nine. I write until noon, have lunch, run errands — well, no more

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Long winter weekend in Quebec, recent reads

A holiday weekend made for a get-out-of-the city escape to a winter wonderland in Quebec. In mid January, we spent four days at Chateau Montebello, a Fairmont resort that’s a 90 minute drive from Montreal’s international airport. Truth is, we “had to” go there: it was the annual meeting of Club Lac Pythonga, where we

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The year’s best books, movies, tv, art, food, travel

I have no books to recommend. I’ve been reading, of course. I admired but didn’t love Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here, which I thought would be about women’s friendships (if so, we’re doomed as a gender), but was really about neglect. Before that, I read What Maisie Knew, by Henry James, the mother of

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Reading and watching

Apologies for neglecting this site. I read all the time but recommend only what I like. I pile each “winner” on my desk until I get to three. I’ll start with two non-fiction, which read like thrillers… She Said, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey I read three national papers daily. I’d read every thing

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End-of-summer reads

I wait all year for summer. I did as a child, growing up in suburban New Jersey. Summer meant freedom from coats and boots and car culture. I rode my bike to the pool, swam and raced all day, ate a deli-sandwich downtown. With my mom we bought peaches and tomatoes from the farm stand. 

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Reads in a favorite place

We all have a favorite place to read. Mine is Pythonga, where there’s quiet and comfy chairs and few obligations.  Here’s what I read last trip.  Other Men’s Daughters, by Richard Stern I’ve never read such a sympathetic story of a failed marriage. It broke my heart.  This book is set in the 1960’s, in

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Summer Reads

Happy summer! I’ve been traveling, reading, watching tv, going to movies and plays. Here’s some I’ve enjoyed. Machines Like Me, by Ian McEwan. I’m that reader who always pre-orders McEwan. He provides an interesting read even if I don’t like or don’t believe in a character or situation. (i.e., Atonement, Saturday.) This newly published book may

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Travel: A Week in Paris, part 1

Last spring, I was to join my friend JM in Rome. I was unable to go, because my mother died, and I traveled to Scottsdale to be with her during her last hours. Months later I realized I had a voucher from American Airlines, which I need to use or lose. At the same time,

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Recent Reads

If you’re like me and read everything good, then bad, about blood-testing entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes you might think you don’t need to read John Carreyou’s Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Up. You do. The story is soooo crazy and Carreyou tells it like a thriller. Founded in 2003 after she dropped

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Travel: A week in Morocco

I traveled to Morocco mid February. My understanding of the country came from fictions by Paul Bowles, travel articles, the movie Casablanca. A friend pressed in my hands a contemporary tale, The Caliph’s House, a memoir by Tahir Shah (which I loved and recommend). Reading Shah’s story — invisible spirits, outrageous corruption — I thought,

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Happy new year, happy reading

Merman sex? In the hands of Rachel Ingalls, yes yes yes. Mrs. Caliban is her 1983 (newly reissued) short novel about Dorothy, a sad suburban housewife who harbors and falls in love with Larry, a sea creature escaped from a nearby lab. Why so sad? The death of a young son, a miscarriage, an unfaithful

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Reading: A Heavy Lift

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’m blaming that on Trump (I blame him for everything: locking myself out of my house, walking into a glass door, the mess on my desk). Blame — praise? — goes to another president, Grant, whose 959 page biography by Ron Chernow kept me from reading anything else for

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Reading in Pythonga

Two weeks in Pythonga’s quiet — and the kitchen’s cooking — left me with ample time to not only read but also read at length, for two and three hours at a time. Such a gift: to inhabit the magnificent cabin Harry built, to stretch out on the chaise Georgia designed and made, to curl

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New York City: eating, touring, reading

More travel, this time to New York to enjoy family and friends and to bury my mom in Northern New Jersey, beside my father. I’d been dreading the burial — another round of public grieving — but the day was unexpectedly joyous. I stayed on in New York to see family and friends, see art,

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Books: reading and grieving

We read to learn, we read for pleasure, we read to escape. I found it hard to read anything other than newspapers in the days after my mother’s death. After a week or so, while I was still out in sunny hot Scottsdale, I got back to books. Here’s some I enjoyed: they took me

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Travel and life: Hiking the American Southwest

Spring break led us to the American Southwest, where we walked beneath giant palms, savored mid-century architecture, lounged by a pool, hiked the massive rocks of Joshua Tree National Park, and slept in an outdoor bed. Such beauty, natural and man made! Why hadn’t we visited before? Here’s how the trip came about: our college-age

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Books: Recent Reads

Hola! It’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been reading, as always, but I’ve also been traveling and haven’t had the chance, ’til now, to sit down and share my thoughts. As a reminder, I review books I’ve enjoyed. Here goes: Janesville, An American Story. (2017) By Amy Goldstein. If you liked and learned something

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Reading, traveling, lodging, dining New England

I ate and drank and traveled and read my way through December and early January. Here’s what I enjoyed: Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid, which turned out to be my favorite read of the year. It’s about young lovers in an unnamed country that falls into civil war. The two must flee, leaving family behind,

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Reading: Old over new

Of course I’ve been reading. Newly published books left me frustrated — nicely written but tedious — so I turned to my daughter’s college humanities list and my own stacks of old books I haven’t read yet. Here goes: Dorothy B. Hughes’ In a Lonely Place. Did I want to be in the mind of

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