Vicarious Living

Most of us have experienced reading a seminal book in a genre previously unknown to us and discovering a new world.  In 1972 while waiting for my father to finish a meeting with a client, I had picked up a bestseller, Working, by Studs Terkel.  Up until that book, I read fiction for pleasure and […]

Hooked on Books: Part Two – Some Great Newbery Medal Winners

In part one of this blog I related the genesis of the Newbery Medal and the book that created this lifelong reader.  In this post I want to describe what makes Newbery books worth reading. The Newbery winners are diverse in theme, setting and level of difficulty, but they share well-structured plots, clear but not […]

Hooked on Books: Part One – The Newbery Medal and How It Changed My Life

I was one of those children who could read well but didn’t care much for the activity or lack thereof.  I wanted to be outside playing cowboys, riding my bike, or climbing trees.  The elementary school readers we used were, in a word, boring.  The stories had little plot, and the characters were insipid.  My […]

War and Remembrance—Part Two

In Part One of this post we looked at the way Pat Barker links real events and personages with her fully realized character creations to portray the grisly horrors of WWI and its effects on soldiers and families alike.  In this post we will see the writer’s craft in action as we examine her portrayal […]

War and Remembrance—Part One

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?     Only the monstrous anger of the guns.     Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons.             From “Anthem for Doomed Youth”             –Wilfred Owen Most of my professional life has revolved around treating people who suffer from what we call PTSD—Post–traumatic […]

Trolling for Treasure in Foreign Lands

If reading has been as natural to you as breathing during your life, then you might have acquired an e-reader along the way.  It occurred to me recently, as my husband prepared for a short stay in Afghanistan, that e-readers have changed the elusive challenge of book finding in foreign countries.  The benefit is that […]

Comfort Reading

The first cold snap and the first cold virus have taken hold in our house, calling for desperate measures.  I burrow through the drawer stuffed with medications that I buy but seldom use and find the oddly comforting Chinese herbal syrup “Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa.”  Once mixed with hot water, this drink has some […]