Who’s Up for a Chat? A Review of Gil McNeil’s The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club

I have an aunt who’s something of a talker. In fact, my late uncle used to say that she was the only person he knew who could talk to a fence post...and get it to talk back. Sometimes I get the impression from my aunt that she thinks this is a deficit, an obnoxious quirk, …

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On the Desire to Consume – A Review of Susan Meissner’s As Bright as Heaven

Dear Anita, Maurice Sendak of Where the Wild Things Are fame once said this regarding one of his favorite bits of praise: “Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters—sometimes very hastily—but this one I lingered over. I sent …

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The Comfort of Familiar Places – A Review of Louise Penny’s Glass Houses

Dear Anita, I will readily admit that I could never give a fair or partial review to a Louise Penny book. She has a true gift shared with so few: she has created a world I wish was mine. I can relate this feeling only to books I read in my early years. What child …

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Food and Culture, A Review of David Casarett’s Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness

Dear Anita, I was recently gifted David Casarett’s Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness, a cozy mystery set in Thailand with plucky nurse ethicist, Ladarat Patalung, for a heroine. It was a lovely, thoughtful gift from my in-laws, two people that are as well versed in my love (read: obsession) for cozy mysteries as …

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The Difficulty of Being Human – A Review of Sarah Perry’s After the Eclipse

Dear Anita, What is it about being human that makes us seek the dramatic? The hopelessly tragic? The murderous and sensational? I am guiltier than most, the deep well of my penchant for murder mystery seemingly bottomless. I have devoured CSI, in all its superfluous iterations. Same for Law & Order. I’ve consumed Bones and …

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The Gift of Perspective – A Review of John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down

Dear Anita, One of the things I have always loved most about books is their ability to offer you a new lens through which to view life. As I sit here now to type this I am a 32-year-old white, married, childless woman born and raised in Southern California who feels like she should be …

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