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Mad Men and Englishmen
Julian Fellowes has a lot to answer for. Why did he introduce us to the infuriatingly indecisive Lady Mary and Matthew and convince us of Sir Richard's capacity for revenge--let alone raise the question of who dispatched the evil Mrs. Bates--if he...
Scooping the relocation market
Call me a concerned citizen: this issue has been on my mind ever since its mention on the Colbert Report. It touches on two subjects close to my heart: ice cream and Round Rock. Stephen Colbert boasts of his own Ben & Jerry's ice cream variety...
Across a crowded room
Rebound relationships are best avoided, but I think Destiny steered me into this one. It was springtime 2011, New York City. I'd left the convention floor of Book Expo America to lug a bunch more free prepublication books down to the mailing center...
No applications, just send money
I was that close--nearly made it out the back door before Elaine spotted me and inquired where I was headed. "The retirement system/457 plan seminar over at the McConico Building," I admitted, hastening to add, "but I'm only going to...
Why wait for the 2020s?
You'd think it was Valentine's Day already. I can practically see the little cartoon hearts and Cupids floating around. The reason: two Christmas-gift Kindles and their newly smitten recipients in my family. With these devices on site (neither...
Mary had a little stereotype
At our house, It's a Wonderful Life is only the third most popular Christmas movie, after the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol and Love Actually . It's a very solid #3, though, and we happily anticipate the 2011 viewing. My husband...
Writing for amateurs, bowling for vampires
Should I go with the classic "You like me, you really like me!" or the even more classic "Thank you, thank you very much"? Of course, my novel will deservedly never see the light of day, so my National Book Award acceptance speech...
Book groups are like snake oil
Both sound tempting and address issues other than the one you intended. Of course, snake oil only answers the question of what to do with a portion of your money. The right book club can update you as efficiently as the internet (but with no ads and no...
All the good ones are taken
And wh at's worse, the most popular and compelling ones have been matched up numerous times with others who are more glamorous and successful, so what hope is there for me? I'm referring to fiction plots, naturally. You've probably heard the...
An immovable feast
At the library, we're accustomed to folks looking less confused after we provide an answer. Last Wednesday, however, our response seemed to generate more questions. We'd publicized our annual City employees' lunch in the usual ways, but a...
You can never have too much candy--or knowledge
I awoke today in a state of terror, which, given that it's October 31, sounds appropriate. Potential visitation by hordes of zombies, ghouls, and sparkly princesses doesn't frighten me. (Running of out treats would be ghastly, but I always overstock...
Words of a feather
If you're lucky enough to enjoy windows and natural light at work, you appreciate any vista from the world beyond fluorescent ceilings. A couple of days ago, a colleague pointed out an especially wonderful sight. Parked across the street sat a spacious...
I'm with the banned
Even serious topics like Banned Books Week (9/24-10/1 this year) lend their share of humor. A fellow librarian at Saturday's book group reported that some customers responded to her Banned Books display with a horrified, "I didn't know these...
All hat and no titles
"What are you, Queen for a Day ?" The customer was puzzled. Granted, my accessory choice for yesterday--a silver plastic tiara--may have been ill-chosen; other responses included "Aww, is it your birthday?", "Theeeere she is....
Keys to the city include control, alt, and delete
You've heard the same travel advice I have: take along a supply of water to prevent dehydration on a long flight; make photocopies of your passport; allow an extra hour at the airport for international trips, etc. I followed most of it, too, though...
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