ArchiveNovember 2020

re-valuing a precious gem


Recently, when my wife was moving a pile of unread books – of which there is no shortage in our house – she brought me one that seemed out of place. Indeed it was. It was a Young Adult novel by Renee Watson called Some Places More Than Others. I have no recollection of how I came by this book. It would not have attracted much attention during my years as a YA reviewer which I’ve mentioned...

The freedom of the blogger


In his farewell in the New York Times on November 15th Roger Cohen, one of my favorite columnists, had this to say about his work: “I have tried to say not only what I think but also to reveal who I am…. Nobody ever told me what subject to choose or what to say about it. ‘You write and you are free,’ a Saudi friend said…. Free and solitary like a runner on the beach in the early morning at low...

The blog year in review


The (almost) end to the weeks, months and years of anxiety that have dogged us through the demoralizing and dangerous Trump years is well-timed for me. This is my 52nd posting on this site, a full year of entries to review and to ponder what they amount to and how they do and don’t intersect with one of the most consequential years in our history. The brain space is now available for such an...

it’s over!


There’s a time to speak and a time to be silent. This is the latter. I will add my voice to those of the many Facebook friends who complained this week that they couldn’t focus on their own work. The distraction of the then unresolved election shut out any thoughts other than those necessary for daily survival, so there were no brilliant new ideas crying out to be posted. Besides what is there to...

The day before


Most of you will be reading this on the day before the election or during a time when the outcome is still uncertain. The election has occupied so much of our collective brain space for the past year that it’s hard to imagine writing about anything else at this moment, but I’m not sure what thread of the tangle that’s accumulated I want to honor in my eleventh hour wrap up. Ages ago I directed a...

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