The Empty Chair

Un-Su Kim’s The Plotters is the story of a strangely endearing assassin fighting for both continued business and personal survival in South Korea’s hectic election season. Reseng was raised in the Dog Library, the hub of government-sponsored murder for hire, after being abandoned in a garbage can as an infant. Old Raccoon, the appointed head […]

The Educated Family

In The Topeka School, readers meet the illustrious psychotherapists of the Gordon family, their son Adam, and members of their community in Topeka, Kansas. Author Ben Lerner introduces the doctors Gordon, Adam’s parents, separately, and also reveals a great deal about their back story as a couple. Young Adam grows up throughout the book, transforming […]

More Money, More Problems

In The Two Income Trap, not-yet-Senator Elizabeth Warren and her daughter examine the results of a detailed study of bankruptcy in America and highlight why families still can’t make ends meet, in a society where more often than not, both parents are working. Wait, did I lose you? I promise, it’s not a snooze-fest. And […]

the decade

Between 2009 and 2019, I had two marriages, one divorce, and three groups that I considered family with whom my ties were cut forever. I owned three Toyotas and totaled one of them. I purchased one used car and one new car. I embarked on four new jobs and ended one career. I moved ten […]

2019 In The Books

It’s January 1, and according to my 2019 spreadsheet, I finished 64 books last year. That’s a huge leap from the 2018 total of 37 — a jump that I attribute to my extended illness and the increased free time I had due to not working. Since I didn’t write up every single book I […]

this is our house

I literally couldn’t wait to read The Dutch House, because Ann Patchett is one of my absolute favorite contemporary authors. The premise was intriguing to me — an unusual house in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and the children who were cast out of it by their evil stepmother after their father dies unexpectedly. My biggest […]


Today at the store there was a woman in my way. More specifically, both she and her cart were in my way. Although it was mid-morning, the store was filled with people out doing their full pre-Thanksgiving shopping, and carts were piled high with groceries.  Around here, carts are referred to as “carriages,” but I […]

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