Book Review: The Irrationalist by Andrew Pessin

Historical fiction is unique in several ways. In particular, while all fiction — at least good fiction — requires imagination and intelligence, historical fiction, according to bestselling author Alexander Chee, deals with “the plausibly hypothetical” and describes “what might have happened within what happened.” The constraints of real events, people and ways of life often […]

Birthday to me

We have a video of my oldest daughter’s birthday 20+ years ago where my middle daughter insisted on loudly performing “Happy Birthday” as simply “Birthday to you!!”. The phrase has been used in our family probably since then. Since today is “Birthday to me” and I’m 366 days (thank you Leap Year) from the big […]

Book Review: Dakota, Or What’s a Heaven For by Brenda K. Marshall

I’ll be honest. Brenda K. Marshall started out with a couple strikes against her. First, she is from North Dakota. Second, she has since moved to one of those areas where people tend to call this “Dakota,” without regard for north or south, and may either shake their heads or seem astonished to meet someone […]

Book Review: The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon

In many professions today, there’s a lot of talk about striving for “work-life balance.” Although focused on a balance between our work and personal lives, the ultimate goal is to improve and broaden the quality of life. Yet more than 2,000 years ago Aristotle recognized that balance was the key to living the best life […]

Book Review: Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi

First-rate literature needs to succeed on more than one level. Regardless of the issues or themes a book may explore, they are irrelevant if the author doesn’t draw in and keep the reader with the story, characters or writing. Italian author Antonia Tabucchi’s Pereira Maintains, set in Portugal in the summer of 1938, succeeds on […]