Thank you, Anne Tyler

I try to be open to new writers and each year read a few debuts or authors I’m unfamiliar with, sometimes on other’s recommendations, sometimes at a writer’s or publisher’s request. Still, for me, there is a clear gold standard reserved for those writers who, over decades of wonderful books, always satisfy me, challenge or […]

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Thoughts on a Monday in June

Photo: Late spring at The Carrot Barn in Schoharie County, NY. New beginnings, thrill of an approaching harvest, flowers and veggies to plant, and all that. Has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but enjoy it anyway. Writing a blog is a commitment. I knew that in the abstract 151 posts ago, when I […]

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James Beard on almost everything

I received James Beard’s Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles as a gift about a decade ago, when I was deep into Julia Child and M. F. K. Fisher. All this time, it had sat there patiently on the shelf. About two weeks ago, in search of a change, I picked it up, […]

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Start-of-March miscellany

Apart from wishing away what is hopefully the last of the cold weather, I can’t say that I’ve been full of ambition in the last few weeks. I can say with reasonable reliability, however, that I have hit this same slump every year of my adult life. I expect I’m not alone. On the bookshelf… […]

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Lost… and found

I promised to let you know. After writing yesterday’s blogpost, I went about my business for an hour or so, texted my cousin Liz that I’d had no luck so far, then sat down to do something or other.  I’d bothered St. Anthony enough for one day, so I tried to distract myself with some […]

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The Tale of the Missing Macaroni Stick

Note: This post actually isn’t about books (see the photo) or the macaroni stick. It’s about what happens when we lose things. And find them. Or not.  My mother’s macaroni stick, I am convinced, was enchanted. With it she created flawless “homemades” and ravioli, holiday after holiday, year after year. She made her last batch […]

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What I did this summer

I’ve been erratic about writing these last few months. That tendency, to be erratic, is probably one reason why I’m never likely to write the Great American Novel. Serious writers, in my experience, are highly disciplined and highly routinized—and that’s never been quite my cup of tea. First of all, I probably ate too much ice […]

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Summer brain

Hot, sticky days fracture my attention span and–quite frankly–make me flat-out lazy. I hate that feeling. Today I decided that I absolutely MUST get something done. So that I don’t feel like a complete slug, I’m going to recount just about everything I did today. I. Fed Miss Pup. 2. Walked Miss Pup. 3. Went […]

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