Open concept

If you’re anything like me, you fairly gag at the monotonous “one script is all” banter that occurs on House Hunters and all of its variations: “It’s a good size.” “I love the granite counter tops.” “It’s pretty small for a master.” (What would you expect in a house built in 1920, folks?) “This would […]

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Christmas in black and white

You’ve heard my prattle about Hallmark Christmas movies. Except for mentioning that The Christmas Train is head and shoulders above all the rest and my absolute favorite so far this season, I’ll leave you to chat about Hallmark movies amongst yourselves. This post, instead, is about their worthy ancestor of an entirely different ilk, our […]

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Hallmark movies, redux

Just in case you didn’t hear the news, Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” is once again upon us. Be still, my heart! Thirty-three new Hallmark Christmas movies plus, no doubt, innumerable repeats, will begin October 28, three days before Halloween. In one of my first blog posts last January, I wrote without shame about my attachment to […]

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Once, under the Tuscan sun…

I am in an almost perennial state of longing for Italy. Hubby has Italy on his mind as well. The fervor is fueled constantly as we watch our current favorite Italian TV series.  Una pallottola nel cuoro—the English title,  Bulletproof Heart. We watch Euro TV almost every night, thanks to MHZ Choice, which we began streaming several […]

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Yarn on the farm

Dear knitting friends, I love watching your fingers deftly move yarn over and under, around and through. I love that you are never “just sitting,” that even your leisure time is productive, and that every piece you turn out, right down to those dishcloths that last forever, is one-of-a-kind. I love the subtle click of […]

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Book club… the morning after

I read many different writers and genres. These days it is mostly, but not exclusively, fiction. Sometimes, the novels that earn the most critical acclaim fall flat with me because in my mind they are generally overproduced, or over reliant on artifice. I much prefer storytelling so tight and well crafted that it doesn’t need […]

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In defense of letters… in cursive

I’m gonna sit write down and write myself a letter And make believe it came from you. There are very bright kids afoot in this techno-paradise of a world who can’t read handwriting. I think it’s best not to get started on what an aberration I believe that to be, or on the fact that […]

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Roman holiday

I’ve been sitting here tonight with Hubby and Miss Pup enjoying Roman Holiday for the umpteenth time. It never loses its luster. If you need reasons to love it, I’ll give you three, in no particular order: Rome Audrey Hepburn Gregory Peck Although “iconic” has become so overused as to be almost meaningless, Roman Holiday is replete […]

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Adriana Trigiani’s Italian-Americans

I was thrilled to receive a pre-publication copy of Adriana Trigiani’s new book, Kiss Carlo, which goes on sale June 20. This post is more of an homage than a review. I’ve loved Trigiani’s books since my cousin Nina first handed me Lucia, Lucia in 2004. Since then,  I’ve read them all. Suffice it to say […]

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Islands in the laguna

For a daydreaming Pisces, a novel with a sense of place as strong as any of its characters is irresistible. Writers from the American south have always been very good at this—Gail Godwin, Pat Conroy, Flannery O’Connor, and the like. Place is typically very important to ongoing mystery series are as well. My personal favorites are Donna Leon’s […]

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Confession is good for the soul

I always used to finish books even when they weren’t hitting the mark. In the last few years, however, I’ve felt freer to abandon a book, or lay it aside for another time. The first chapter or two may not grab me. I may develop a knee-jerk distaste for the characters or quality of the prose. Every reader has […]

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