Category Archives: books

Happier Hour

Many years ago, my friend Aidan Donnelley Rowley mentioned that she had an idea.  It was to start a salon series of sorts, focused on bringing together smart, thoughtful women and featuring and supporting writers.  I loved the idea, and I still do.  Her Happier Hours have become a phenomenon, and I’ve been fortunate to […]

Last lines

I love the dedications of books.  I’ve written about that particular interest before.  I’ll also admit that I had figured out the dedication of a book I’ve written, a book that will live forever in a box under my desk. I am similarly interested in the last lines or paragraphs of books.  Some of my […]

By the Book

I love the New York Times By the Book column, which appears in the Sunday Book Review.  A friend and fellow passionate reader recently shared one with me with the note that it would be awfully hard to answer the questions.  Then I thought: this would be fun to try.  The questions vary slightly week […]

The Ramblers

I was thrilled to read an advance copy of my friend Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s The Ramblers, and I’m even more delighted to jump on the table in support of this book. It. Is. So. Wonderful. I read The Ramblers in one delicious gulp last fall and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about (or […]

the dying are the ones who have the most to teach us about life

I had a feeling that Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, would be a powerful read.  In fact I called it a “once in a decade” book, before I even read it.  I wasn’t wrong. I don’t think there’s a lot I can say to augment the rhapsodic reviews this book has rightly received, […]

Saying yes

Years ago I wrote about not understanding what people meant when they called their children their greatest teachers.  And then I wrote about suddenly getting what that means.  I wrote about that on Karen’s beautiful blog.  And Grace and Whit are still teaching me things, over and over again.  Most recently, the lesson was about […]

Brave Enough

I’ve been a quote collector since May 23, 1985 (I was 10).  Interestingly, May 23 is Matt’s birthday.  A coincidence that I began my very first quote book (the one on top) on that day, years and years before I knew my future husband?  Perhaps, perhaps not. I opened Cheryl Strayed’s new book, Brave Enough, […]

Best Books of the Half-Year

Last year my friend Nina Badzin wrote about her favorite books at the year’s halfway point.  I liked the idea, blatantly copied her, and thought it was a good idea to do it again.  So, here are my favorite books so far for 2015.  If you have read any of them, or if you do, […]

A Window Opens

Elisabeth Egan’s A Window Opens is both entertaining and poignant, a page-turning read that managed to move me to tears even as it made me laugh out loud. I’ve rarely read a book that felt so familiar, and I realized when I closed it that’s because Elisabeth managed to touch on so many topics close […]

Knowing the tide’s coming in, but still celebrating the sand castles we can build before it does

So many people told me to read Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso.  Tens and tens of them.  So many I lost track.  And I finally I did.  And wow. Ongoingness is spare and sublime, a meditation on time and memory and motherhood and the meaning of life.  “The book’s themes are […]