Words and people worth knowing.

Categories
Tags

Lab Girl: a triumph

One of the best books I’ve read in years: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Jahren is a paleobiologist and a brilliant writer. This autobiography weaves the life story of trees (among other green things) around …

View Blog Post

Words have weight.

When I first worked for newspapers and the Associated Press in New England in the 1970s, there was an interlude when accepted style was: “Ms. Smith (who prefers that designation)…” I’ve since told many disbelieving …

View Blog Post

What I know about Swedish people.

It took months of isolation to do it, but I realized today that I actually miss wandering around IKEA, that behemoth store full of things you did not know you needed until you saw them. …

View Blog Post

Making art.

The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s, by Maggie Doherty (Knopf, 2020) is a deeply researched and well-written book about poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin, painter Barbara Swan, …

View Blog Post

Tough, smart, funny…and she loves horses, doesn’t she?

Julie Blacklow’s memoir, Fearless: Diary of a Badass Reporter will delight those who want to live vicariously – smack in the middle of the life of a strong writer and committed journalist who faced down …

View Blog Post

Sober and sheltered.

The closest thing to this pandemic weirdness I’ve experienced is my early sobriety. More than 30 years ago when I decided to step away from alcohol and drugs, I didn’t think about my abstinence as …

View Blog Post

Poll dancing: it’s clumsy

My faith in polls has never recovered from the Hillary-has-the-election-in-the-bag era, even though I tell myself that the Russians surely had plenty to do with that electoral debacle. But a Monmouth University poll described in …

View Blog Post

Finally, worrying is in style.

All my life I’ve been told that I worry too much. I don’t want to gloat, but it seems clear that my lifelong behavior, in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic has been proven to …

View Blog Post

Damning with fulsome praise.

It may be harsh to blame the victim, but it must be said: The word “fulsome” has only itself to blame for being misunderstood. It looks and sounds as if it means large, lavish, and …

View Blog Post

How do I love thee? Let me count the bivalves.

Valentine’s Day may be contrived, driven by retail sales of sub-par chocolate and guilt, but there is no denying that it brings out a kind of creativity not seen at other times of the year. …

View Blog Post

Let us honor our words.

In his novel All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy whips up language like a wizard, and creates words so perfect that they should be engraved on a big pink-granite wall in a park devoted to …

View Blog Post