Thursday, October 23, 2014


Stories are propaganda, virii that slide past your critical immune system and insert themselves directly into your emotions.

Was delighted to find this book long after I thought I had read it, but hadn't. Still one of my favorite contemporary novels, Doctorow writes stories to address society's wrongs in a way that is at once entertaining and educational. I learn something every time I read him and can't put the book down until the story is lodged in my heart.

Monday, October 20, 2014


"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." ~Franz Kafka -

Friday, October 17, 2014

Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement

When we're in love, as if by magic, our different hearts come together perfectly toward the same desire. Eventually, the differences return, and then comes heartache and mending, and, in between, much loneliness and fear. If love remains despite the pain of those differences, it must be guarded as rare.

Dear Thea

I like Thea Brooke's approach to bibliotherapy. In a Dear Abby style blog, she recommends titles to address life passages and transitional challenges posed by write-in querents. Well chosen titles and well done, Thea.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Feminist Classic

Written in 1969, THE QUEEN IS IN THE GARBAGE is a reminder of how far we have come as well as how far we yet have to go as women in what remains a man's world in 2014.

A stream of consciousness story of a woman's experience giving birth, LILA KARP broke new ground with her honesty and her self-awareness of the ambiguity surrounding bringing a life into the world alone and the fear of becoming not just 'a mother' but 'her mother.'

Vivian Gornick's Afterword quote:
The shock in all of these writings comes from the open declaration of that feeling of erotic murderousness for the one from whom separation seems impossible. We accept rage and ruthlessness as a matter of course in sexual attachment; but when the intimacy is with a parent--especially with a parent of the same sex--the force that these emotions engender seems world-shaking. Yet, no sooner is the insight articulated than the reader calmly thinks, of course, how could it be otherwise? This, after all, is the intimacy that will bind us all our lives, holding us forever in its thrall, shadowing every other relationship, and determining for a good part, if not all, of our years, our ability to perform the task implicit in all human relations: how to connect yet not merge, how to respond yet not be absorbed, how to detach but not withdraw.