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Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:13306
Posts / Week:51.8
Archived Since:January 22, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Plague Plots: Dispatches from Sinclair Lewis

Can a novel's depictions of healthcare workers in a plague-ravaged land inform our thinking about the lives of those who try to save lives? Ebola - well treated and countered here - is still taking a deathly count over there; with doctors...Show More Summary

Why I've Decided to Opt-Out of Finding an Agent for My Memoir, "Accidental Soldier"

It's official. I've decided to opt-out from finding an agent for my memoir, Accidental Soldier: What My Service in the Israel Defense Forces Taught Me about Faith, Courage and Love. Frankly, I always envisioned my memoir among some of the biggest publishing houses in the world. Show More Summary

Top 3 Reasons Authors Should Be Blogging NOW

I'm getting a ton of email and messages through the social media channels asking me to pre-order or buy their book. Many times I don't know who these people are and I'm often annoyed by these pesky messages. Take for example a local author who sent me a link to buy her book. Show More Summary

Using The Four Agreements to Deal With Criticism aka What Ayelet Waldman Didn't Do

"No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night." ~Elie Wiesel Sometimes authors receive bad reviews and become upset. It's a natural human reaction. Instead of crying to their dog, or eating chocolate...Show More Summary

Need a Gift for a Book Lover?

Finding a great book for someone else can be quite the challenge during the holidays. Here are some suggestions to help you on your merry way! If they love fashion or thrift store shopping, check out Vintage by Susan Gloss. Gloss, who...Show More Summary


We are in Southern California, in years not very far hence. We are not post-, but rather, let's say, mid-Apocalypse. Not the cataclysmic event of "science fiction", it is in process, happening, very slowly, all around us. "Over there"...Show More Summary

Pearl Harbor Remembered in Scrapbook Form

The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941 -- a Sunday morning. Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii. The onslaught lasted just two...Show More Summary

Holiday Gift Books on Food

I love the sound of the word "hodge-podge," so here's mine for an array of possible holiday gift books. The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani ($29.99)--Worn out by pronouncements of know-it-all food mavens who have turned pizza into an overheated...Show More Summary

10 Reasons to Shop at Your Local Indie Bookstores This Holiday Season

Last weekend, I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon the way many authors did nationwide, working at one of my local independent bookstores, Valley Bookseller in Stillwater, Minnesota. It was part of Small Business Saturday and the Indies...Show More Summary

Who's Writing the Real "Ballad of Ferguson, Missouri"?

On Nov 29, a poet named Shannon Barber posted an "Open Letter to The Paris Review" complaining about the poem that venerable literary magazine had chosen to publish under the title "The Ballad of Ferguson, Missouri." "Right now justShow More Summary

The Lusty Vegan: A New Cookbook for Vegans & the People Who Date Them

The Lusty Vegan is a new book aiming to bridge the gustatory and sexual divides between vegans and omnivores. Billing itself not just as a cookbook but also "a relationship manifesto for vegans and the people who love them," The Lusty...Show More Summary

P.D. James: Master of the Modern Detective Novel

P.D. James, the master of detective fiction, died recently, leaving in her wake pyrotechnic displays of masterful writing. In memory of this great technician, I've been reading one of her novels--Devices and Desires--which features her...Show More Summary

Japanese Women and Fashion: The Beauty of Imperfection

This is my second post related to Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press), a new book about women's relationship to clothes edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton. As a contributor to the book and longtime resident ofShow More Summary

The 5 Most Common Mistakes Writers Make

Every month, I join Nevertheless Writers, a cross-genre group of five writers, to discuss writing and publishing at local libraries and schools. My favorite part of the evening is always the question-and-answer session, where everyone...Show More Summary

Top Ten Best-Selling Ebooks -- Week of November 29

As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, some of the past year's top titles are making renewed appearances on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green,...Show More Summary

Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan directed virtually back-to-back the greatest American dramas of the twentieth century--by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams--and helped shape their future productions. In The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan, edited by Albert J. Show More Summary

When Did Writing Become a War?

Lately I've been feeling like writing is a battlefield--not for me, but for thousands of writers across the Internet. I'm not talking about NaNoWriMo, I'm talking about ordinary writers who seem frantic beause they're not writing fast...Show More Summary

Four Things My Family Learned From The Boxcar Children Books

I've always wanted to live in a boxcar, maybe not share a space with random hobos, but have the freedom to wander the woods, eat beans from a can, and scare myself silly telling ghost stories -- to myself. When Albert Whitman & Company...Show More Summary

The Odyssey: In My Own Words (Part 3)

Odysseus: Athena, 50 suitors is a lot for one man to kill. Also, what if the bronze weapons melt? I'm also unclear on the omen re: the dove and the eagle. Was it good? I urge you to consider these concerns. Athena: Mmmkay, I think we've been over this. Odysseus: I'm sorry. Show More Summary


My friend Mark Strand died last week at the age of 80. I say "my friend" not because we were close. We were not. But because he was once a good friend to me at a moment when I needed one. I can say without exaggeration that he changed my life. This is not an obituary. Show More Summary

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