Tag Archives: books

Books to Awaken Heart and Soul

My writing brain went into hibernation during the pandemic and stayed in its cave for months after my father died. But I never stopped reading. Books have given me solace and hope these last few years; they have kept me … Continue reading

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Prayer

Since my father died unexpectedly in May of a massive stroke and my mother was subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the only book I have been able to get myself to read is Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart. The … Continue reading

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What’s Best

It’s “best of” season. Best books of the year. Movies. Songs. And because we are approaching 2020, the lists are expanding to cover the entire decade. It’s hard to resist such categorization. I keep a list of books I’ve read … Continue reading

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Of Books and Brownstones

  As a child, I knew nothing about the east coast; what I understood about the metropolis of New York City came from Sesame Street. The show debuted in 1969, so my family was probably living in Wisconsin when I … Continue reading

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Apocalypse

“Let’s start with the end of the world, why don’t we?” So begins N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, which appeared under our Christmas tree wrapped in cheerful, glittery paper. Arline gave me the boxed Broken Earth trilogy, knowing I’ve been … Continue reading

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Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929-2018

Our class took a break one sunny afternoon and hiked along the McKenzie River in the Willamette National Forest of Oregon. Our teacher, Ursula Le Guin, led the way, naming the trees, shrubs, ferns, and groundcovers. It was the summer … Continue reading

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Translation

At a recent conference on literary translation, Arline and I sat in a beige hotel ballroom, listening to a panelist make painful, even nonsensical, generalizations about Panamanian literature. When the panel started taking questions, we escaped to the lobby and … Continue reading

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A Notable Essay!

Recently, my essayist friends were posting on Facebook about the new Best American Essays, due out any day. A certain online retailer allows you to virtually page through books, and my friends were searching the back matter for their own … Continue reading

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Conjuring Hurston

When loved ones die, we think of them, talk to them, ask their advice out loud and in our dreams. We conjure them, not only because we miss them, but because we need them. Alice Walker needed writer Zora Neale … Continue reading

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A Summer of Readings

I read recently from The Ghosts Who Travel with Me at the Modern Hotel in Boise, one of my favorite stops on the book tour. In 2008, when Arline and I began the literary pilgrimage that would inform the book, … Continue reading

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