More About Books: Mystery and Suspense

Books and reading are among the most satisfying pleasures in life, and this year’s offerings are an inspiration to write more about books. Starting with Gillian Flynn’s wildly successful novel, Gone Girl (Crown Publishing, 2012), psychological suspense has grown as a popular book genre.  As an early fan of the works of Daphne du Maurier, including the classic, Rebecca, I am drawn to the genre, but have been disappointed by many of the contemporary novels. There is nothing disappointing, however, about novels written by Jane Harper.   Most recently I read The Lost Man (Macmillan, Flatiron Books,…

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The Room Where it Happens
Hamilton the Revolution

The Room Where it Happens

Live theater is the room where it happens, where stories come to life and leave you enchanted and spellbound.   Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is such a show, where the music, lyrics, and staging linger on long after the performance is over. Hamilton the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter We were latecomers to the extraordinary phenomenon of Hamilton, despite the early urging of our New York cousins.  When the show first opened on Broadway, Michael and Amy suggested facetiously (I think) that even if we had to take out a second mortgage on our house, it…

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Never Too Young

An expression of gratitude is always welcome. An expression of gratitude is always welcome, and one is never too young to write that all important thank you note.  As an added bonus, children who are taught to write thank you notes tend to craft more creative and thoughtful notes when they become adults The act of hand writing a thank you note has the added benefit of becoming a learning experience for a child.  It is an exercise in manual dexterity, helps teach spelling, and encourages creativity.  For this reason, some schools sponsor letter-writing exercises, such…

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About Books and Reading
Bedside reading

About Books and Reading

Each year, I look forward to the fall months for news about books and reading.  Magazines, newspapers and trade organizations choose the fall to announce their selections for “best books” of the year.  It is a good time to compare our favorite books with these lists, hoping to add undiscovered gems to our reading lists. Many prestigious book awards also are announced in the fall.  The National Book Awards were unveiled in November; the Man Booker Prize was announced in October.  The publication of outstanding books and the awarding of prestigious prizes, however, are by no…

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Resolutions

Another year has arrived, and I am reminded that it is time to update my New Year’s resolutions! Most likely, some of mine are similar to or overlap with yours. Resolutions: Fitness First off, there is that pesky weight gain that coincides with fall celebrations. Whether they come from too much partying, excessive sweets, calorie-laden holiday meals, or simple inactivity, daily walks and other forms of exercise are part of the antidote. My father, gone now for 25 years, would have been 99 years old this coming May. He had a sense of humor about my…

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National Letter Writing Day

National Letter Writing Day is Friday, Dec. 7. The date is timely because it serves as a reminder to reconnect with the people you care about during the holiday season. The history and origin of National Letter Writing Day is unclear, but it is perpetrated by a website, National Today, which endeavors to find a reason to celebrate every day of the year.   National Today is the inspiration of PR Hacker, a broad-based San Francisco public relations firm specializing in technology and health. National Letter Writing Day is different from World Letter Writing Day, an endeavor…

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Too Many Note Cards?

Can a person have too many note cards?  A recent home renovation project required that I pack and move the contents of one large closet, four bookshelves, a lateral file cabinet, and two writing desks.  Along the way, I rediscovered more than a few boxes of stationery and note cards, as well as holiday cards, postcards, and assorted greeting cards for all occasions. A move can be a very effective way to discover things that are no longer needed.  While downsizing, I donated several boxes of books to the Friends of the Library for the Annual…

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More About Stamps
Birds in Winter. Image courtesy of USPS

More About Stamps

  Stamps have been in the news recently. The surfacing of a rare inverted Jenny stamp, a dispute over the use of an image of the Statue of Liberty, and new releases of novel, innovative and popular stamp motifs have all received media attention in recent months. New stamps, now on sale at post offices or online through USPS.com, include four new holiday stamps as well as re-releases of past popular images; a World War I commemorative stamp; Hot Wheels; Birds in Winter; Dragons; the much anticipated John Lennon stamp; and others. John Lennon The John…

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Roots

Taking stock of one’s roots can be much more than a hobby or pastime. Thanks to multiple resources for genealogical research, it is possible today to trace ancestry, connect with distant relations, and explore your own identity. For decades, I have been the owner of boxes and drawers full of family photos. They range from formal portraits of elders and ancestors, taken from the late 1800s to the turn of the century, to mid-century snapshots of my early nuclear family, circa 1940s through 1960s. Due to faulty color film and sticky photo albums of the 1970s…

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Bye, Bye Baby

Bye, bye baby is what my two-year old grandson says to his reflection in the mirror. While he seems to understand that the baby is himself, fascination with the reflection in the mirror continues. When I travel to Brooklyn these days, it rarely is about going into Manhattan to see shows or exhibitions. Attending music class, a story time trip to the library, playtime at the YMCA, or a visit to the playground is what brings me joy. A ride on the bus or train has become an activity in and of itself as much as…

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