Maid by Stephanie Land (Review)

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive By Land, Stephanie Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich Memoir ©2019 $27.00 Hardcover Hachette Books 270 Pages You may have social media friends who rely on each other for emergency childcare or other support when their families suffer hardships.  Even if you’re not in a particular inner circle, you may see posts on Facebook by friends who thank their siblings, parents or others for stepping up to the plate during a crisis. Stephanie Land, author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, rarely had any human safety net … Continue reading Maid by Stephanie Land (Review)

It’s Bookshop Day!

(Addendum/Correction:  It’s Bookshop Day in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  I live in the United States, and until now I was unaware that the U.S. is not observing Bookshop Day on this date.  Please accept my apologies.  I should have researched this more carefully because the source is an article which originated on the other side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, please consider taking a look at the article in The Guardian.  A link appears at the end of this post.) Sadly, it’s unlikely I’ll be participating — that means spending money — in this year’s Bookshop Day, which is today, darn … Continue reading It’s Bookshop Day!

Room by Emma Donoghue (Review)

Room By Emma Donoghue Mass Market Paperback ISBN: 978-0316268356 © 2010 $7.99 USD Also Available in Trade Paper and E-Book Editions Some highly educated people claim that literature isn’t published anymore.  My father used to say that. Room, the 2010 novel by Emma Donoghue, is one of the exceptions to that rule. You might recall a California kidnap victim named Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was missing for eighteen years before being freed in 2009.  She had two children by then, both fathered by her kidnapper. There is no indication that Room is based on that crime.  The novel must have taken more than … Continue reading Room by Emma Donoghue (Review)

The Infinite Reading List

Almost anyone who appreciates the printed word has one.  It’s the terrifying, insurmountable To Be Read List. My list was at its peak when a bedbug infestation hit the fan in 2009.  I had to discard most of the unread books, and the rest were wrapped for eighteen months before they could rejoin the community.  Even after a year and a half of staring at books in sealed plastic bags and gently moving them to a new apartment, I left many on the proverbial back burner. Eventually, the books were unwrapped, and allowed to resume breathing.  However, most were denied … Continue reading The Infinite Reading List

Secondhand Bookshops are Disappearing, and not Just in Your City

About twenty-five years ago, I did volunteer work in a struggling used bookshop in San Francisco.  Eventually, the store went out of business, but I was happy to keep paperback shelves stocked for customers who read everything from pop fiction to ancient history. I went through a meticulous process with each book.  First, I inspected the book carefully to look for damage or highlighter/underlining marks, and unfolded a few dog eared corners.  Then I wrote the price in large numerals with a #2 pencil that wasn’t too sharp.  Then each book was shelved exactly where it belonged. Whether the book was … Continue reading Secondhand Bookshops are Disappearing, and not Just in Your City

Controversial New York Prison Security Policy on Hold

Governor Mario Cuomo has ordered the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in New York State to halt — at least temporarily — a policy which went into effect ten days earlier.  The policy restricted the sources for items delivered to inmates. I’ve never been in a prison, either as an inmate or as a visitor.  I have no personal experience with the frustrating and humiliating roadblocks people must navigate in those places.  However, adults should have enough experience in life (and some basic book smarts) to see when concrete policy isn’t the answer to a complicated human problem. A New … Continue reading Controversial New York Prison Security Policy on Hold

Jonathan Martin on Michael Wolff’s Book

Jonathan Martin, Political Correspondent for The New York Times, has offered fact-checking and observations for anyone reading Michael Wolff’s Trump book, Fire and Fury (see link below). On Friday, I tried to buy a hardcover copy from an indie bookseller in my neighborhood and learned every copy in the store was either sold or on reserve.  I fell back on Kindle’s electronic edition, and hoped to find time to read it during the weekend. No such luck.  I’ll still read the book, but will do so carefully.  Jonathan Martin’s review provides guidance on why critical thinking is more important than absorbing claims … Continue reading Jonathan Martin on Michael Wolff’s Book

On Second Thought, Michael Wolff’s Book May Not be Worth Reading After All

Update:  A few minutes ago, I received a reply on Twitter from Virginia Heffernan, whose opinion piece is available through a link at the end of this post.  I may have oversimplified her comments on Fire and Fury, and in fairness here’s a screenshot of her reply:   Yesterday, I posted a recommendation that we read Michael Wolff’s new book about Donald Trump, Fire and Fury.  I made the recommendation because Trump’s lawyers had tried to intimidate the author, not because of great confidence in the book, which I admittedly haven’t read. Okay, Michael Wolff is a confirmed asshole.  Still, people … Continue reading On Second Thought, Michael Wolff’s Book May Not be Worth Reading After All