The Crossroads of Respect for Personal Beliefs and Respect for Human Life

First things first: vaccinations for formerly common childhood diseases are safe and effective. This is a fact. How people feel about this fact, and what their personal values dictate they do in response to this fact, are different things; and they do not change the fact that vaccinations are safe and effective. Seriously. Personal Beliefs The […]

The Color Purple; Or, Rape For Breakfast, Abuse For Lunch, Redemption For Dinner

Sometimes many years pass between my impulse to buy and my impulse to read a book. Such was the case with Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Sometimes my reason for picking up a book is a deeply felt desire to commune with something holy. Sometimes it’s the simple stupid reason that I want to read […]

Who Fears Death; Or, I Don’t Know Anything About The World

I finished the second half of Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor in one sitting. Finishing this book was like a death. Okorafor had been preparing us for the ending, purposefully and specifically, since very early on. Yet, I couldn’t let myself imagine its coming. This book is so difficult, so strange, so heart-wrenching that […]

Your Monday Morning GIF Parade: Working Out Sucks

That’s the thing about working out. It requires all the things I obviously* don’t have – patience, persistence, self-control – because if I had them I wouldn’t be in the kind of shape that sends me shamefully to the gym in the first place. I don’t like going to the gym. So, I think, maybe I’ll take […]

On The Docket: My Complete And Total Attention

While I usually have somewhere in the neighborhood of half a dozen books going at once, the book I’m reading now has so captured my attention that I cannot spare one brain cell for anything else. Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor: I came to this book by googling “women writers of color,” and coming […]

Yes Please; Or, YES, PLEASE!!

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler is an absolute treasure. A friend observed that although she liked the book, she had been mildly disappointed because it wasn’t as side-splittingly funny as Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I agree, but I don’t share the disappointment because I felt Poehler’s intention for the book was different. Where Fey’s book was […]

Flight Behavior; Or, 50 Ways To Leave Your Husband

I borrowed Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver, and I wish I hadn’t. Seems like I’m always having to return to someone the books I most want to have on my shelf forever. I loved this book, as I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read of Kingsolver’s. She makes everyone’s experience so understandable, so relatable. The protagonist is […]

Summer; Or; I’m Too Bored To Be Shocked

Finished up Summer, by Edith Wharton in short order. As a rule, I love Edith Wharton. I love the way her writing, like her characters, is suffused with tension, unarticulated, below the surface. Much is left to the imagination, the wink-and-nod understanding of the reader. I suspect that in the time she was writing, this […]