Creatures of Habit

“So how do you know if you are self-centered? Ask yourself if these things are true in your life: Do you often become defensive? Do you blame everyone else for your problems? Do you have a hard time cooperating with others at work? Are your conversations usually about yourself?” ~ Steve Poe, Creatures of Habit. In Creatures of Habit, Pastor Steve Poe helps Christians identify and break free from the […]

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All That We Carried

“Always being on guard against what might happen to you seems like kind of an exhausting way to live. When you block out the possibility of bad surprises, don’t you lose the possibility of good surprises too?” ~ Erin Bartels, All That We Carried Ten years ago, sisters Olivia and Melanie Greene were on a backcountry hiking trip when their parents were killed in a car accident. Over the years, […]

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J. P. Morgan’s Personal Librarian

In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class […]

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Not for the Faint of Heart

Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job as a defense attorney, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilized – her life is just as unremarkable as she’d always hoped it would be. Then a case lands on her desk – defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It’s the highest profile case she’s […]

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Your Mind is a Palace

The best memoir I have ever read is Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1997. When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable […]

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The Night Watchman

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich “Patrice had come to think that humans treated the concept of God, or Gizhe Manidoo, or the Holy Ghost, in a childish way. She was pretty sure that the rules and trappings of ritual had nothing to do with God, that they were ways for people to imagine they were doing things right in order to escape from punishment, or harm, like children. She […]

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October Reads: a Little Bit of Everything

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich “Patrice had come to think that humans treated the concept of God, or Gizhe Manidoo, or the Holy Ghost, in a childish way. She was pretty sure that the rules and trappings of ritual had nothing to do with God, that they were ways for people to imagine they were doing things right in order to escape from punishment, or harm, like children. She had […]

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Love in Colonial Punjab

What remained was a feeling of quiet rapture, of dawn colours slowly involving themselves with the day, a champagne brightness starting to warm my skin and the waving acres of corn and wheat, the soft green hills that followed no pattern, a distant stone hut that held the horizon and a long tapered track driving on until I couldn’t even imagine that I could see it. The orange sun broke […]

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Great Circle

Disappointing Themes in Great Circle

A couple days ago I started reading Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. At 600+ pages it is a literary behemoth, but based on the synopsis, I was eager to dive in. One of the early chapters is about a transgender Native American in the 1800s. Warning bells went off in my head. When one of the main characters has sex with her brother, I knew it was time to be […]

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Cloud Cuckoo Land – A Triumph!

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This […]

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