Five Days at Memorial; Or: Holy Shit, You Guys

This week we commemorated the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but many of us may have forgotten that early September brings us the anniversary of another national tragedy. After reaching a maximum strength of a Category 5 storm, Hurricane Katrina made landfall over New Orleans as a Category 3 storm on the morning […]

The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable: A True Tale of Passion, Poison, and Pursuit

Reason number 187 why we made the right choice on Grandma’s assisted living community is the library. Every time I’m there, I spot a handful of titles intriguing enough for me to download samples onto my Kindle right then and there. The latest is a strange, true story I probably never would have picked up, if […]

State of Wonder; Or, The Origin of a Miracle

Ann Patchett blew me away with Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars; she continued in this tradition with State of Wonder. In State of Wonder, our protagonist, Marina, is a Minnesota-born Indian-American pharmacologist who works for a major pharmaceutical company. Her company is pouring unlimited funds into the research and development of a […]

What Dreams May Come

I am given to understand that my relationship to dreaming is a strange one. We all dream, multiple times per night, in segments lasting anywhere from 5-20 minutes. These dreams are frequently complex, featuring multiple characters, emotional, and rich (though not usually in terms of color – most people report seeing pastel tones). Often, dreams contain […]

Scent of a Man

Our human sense of smell is an extraordinary thing. A recent study indicates it may have been one of the primary evolutionary factors that allowed our ancient mammalian ancestors to begin to expand out from under the shadow of the dinosaurs. Smell is a “direct sense,” meaning that the information about the environment received through […]

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 […]

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 […]