Two Different Beach Reads: The Drop by Dennis Lehane and The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

When I look at photographs of my parents, I can see how I inherited my eye color from one, my curly hair, the other. I’m convinced that my reading tastes are just as genetic. One of the fixtures in my father’s bathroom was a tub with a copy of a detective novel on its wide […]

Evil, Good and Woundedness: A Review of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I was eleven years old – perched at the edge of puberty – and supposed to be having the time of my life. At sleepaway camp the pleasures of summer beckoned: horses, archery, a lake. Yet I was miserable. Slightly homesick, yes, but even more obsessed with a question – Why do bad things happen […]

Little Free Library Interrupted

“Take a book, return a book.” That’s the only rule of the wildly successful grassroots operation responsible for Little Free Libraries popping up in neighborhoods everywhere, including yours.  A Little Free Library is nothing more than a weatherproof wooden box, about the size and shape of a dollhouse, mounted on a post near any street, […]

Historical Novelist Lynn Cullen, Part 2: The Craft of Art

In Part 1 of my interview with Lynn Cullen (see July 30th), I briefly discussed her break-out novel, Mrs. Poe.  But as Cullen says herself, “It takes years to figure out your craft and the industry. Those who want a short cut, well, it doesn’t happen.” Back when she was a young mother finishing her English […]