Category Archives: Books

Kalends, Calendars, and Intercalation

Our word calendar comes from the Latin word kalendae, or kalends, which named the first day of the month. (For a while, Latin used k instead of c before the letter a. Try not to pay attention to this right … Continue reading

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An Embarrassment of Desserts

When you create meringues, you have egg yolks left over. When you bake crème brulee, you have egg whites left over. Might as well make both! The meringues were going to a friend who recently suffered a loss in her … Continue reading

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Light(er) Reading

In November, I have read two new celebrity memoirs: Matthew Perry’s Friends, Lovers, and the Big, Terrible Thing and Geena Davis’s Dying of Politeness. Lest you judge me, I have also finished rereading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, a famous … Continue reading

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Changed by Ovid

(Sexual violence and rape are mentioned in this post.) There once was an eccentric English professor at Cleveland State, a kind of eminence-grise (at least in his own mind), who taught obscure languages and literature. I had never met him … Continue reading

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More about Dogs

Just finished reading The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves. Last week, I shared what I learned about altricial species (whose young need a lot of care) and precocial species (whose young are nearly self-sufficient). Near the end … Continue reading

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Reading/Rereading

Every once in a while, someone will tell me that she or he doesn’t reread books because there are just too many books. Unless you’ve read all that you want to read at least once, isn’t it a waste of … Continue reading

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Three New Words

I learned three new words so far by reading Alexandra Horowitz’s The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves. Horowitz, a dog cognition researcher, decided for the first time in her life to adopt a puppy, not an older … Continue reading

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Life Lessons

I mentioned last week that chef Vivian Howard always wanted to be a writer. Cooking gave her a subject, and her two cookbooks, indeed, make for entertaining reading. Similarly, Dana K. White, a decluttering blogger and YouTuber, hoped someday to … Continue reading

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Viv’s Baked Beans

Last week I described Vivian Howard’s book This Will Make It Taste Good and her Community Organizer, a melange of bell peppers, garlic, onions, red wine vinegar, and tomatoes cooked to a fare-thee-well, meant to be used as a sauce … Continue reading

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Making It Read Well

I frequently watched “A Chef’s Life,” a PBS reality show/documentary series about Southern chef Vivian Howard that aired from 2013 to 2018, even though a lot of her cooking didn’t appeal to me. A bland Midwestern vegetarian, I’m not into … Continue reading

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