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“Monogamy” by Sue Miller

This novel (Monogamy, published by Harper, 2020) is the latest rich offering from the talented Miller, and it was, for me, a particularly good choice during this era of COVID. As I’m reconnecting (online and …

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Read about the Plague? Now? Yes.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks is a brilliant novel, at first so heart-wrenching and vivid in its account of a 17th-century bubonic-plague village in England, that it is tempting to close it and return …

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Lab Girl: a triumph

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

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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 …

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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. …

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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, …

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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 …

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John Prine, equal parts humor and sadness.

John Prine is dead, leaving a legacy of music like none other. Rest in Peace, dear bard. Some of his best work, all in one place, thanks to Rolling Stone magazine:

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is even greater than we remember…

My Opinion piece, below, ran in the New Hampshire Sunday News, New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, on January 19, 2020. This paper has a long history of conservative editorials — there was a time when they …

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