Category Archives: Books

Good Choices This Weekend

I’ve never seen Richard Pryor’s Which Way Is Up? (1977) and expect to try it at the Cleveland Cinematheque tonight or tomorrow (5:15 and 9:45, respectively), forewarned that it’s raunchy. I don’t think I’ve seen any Richard Pryor movies, in … Continue reading

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Mother, Daughter, Me, and Katie Hafner

A couple weeks ago, the Cleveland Plain Dealer printed my review of Katie Hafner’s new memoir Mother, Daughter, Me. I pitched it to the PD because the mother-daughter angle interests me, and, as it turned out, Katie and I have … Continue reading

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My Parents’ Bookcase

  I’m reading a book called Chaplin and Agee: The Untold Story of the Tramp, the Writer, and the Lost Screenplay by John Wranovics. I have some interest in film and in Charlie Chaplin that’s rubbed off from my film-buff … Continue reading

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Your Weekend Plans

This weekend you can have your mornings and afternoons to yourself. Your evenings belong to me. The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque offers stellar movies for your enjoyment. I thought My Left Foot (1989) might have been the first film … Continue reading

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Insights from Book Group

Some people question the purpose of book groups. I’ve had people (mostly men, to be honest) ask, “What’s the point? Why not just read the book? Who really cares what anyone else thinks?” Most everyone, however, can comprehend at least … Continue reading

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No Buzz

How do you choose which books to read and which movies to see? All of us are probably somewhat susceptible to “buzz”–the blaring ads and TV talk-show promos and mentions on National Public Radio that make us think we have to see … Continue reading

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The Kindness of Strangers

I just returned from a quick visit to Boston and New York City–not a vacation or a whirlwind shopping trip, but an effort to keep my daughter company as she underwent fairly serious surgery. I rarely travel on my own. … Continue reading

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What We Talk about When We Talk about Education

  For about seven years, I have taught a seminar at Case Western Reserve on progressive education and school reform. (Its formal title, believe it or not, is “Schoolhouse Rocked.”) At the beginning, I hoped to introduce my students to … Continue reading

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C’Est Finis

A period of my life has ended. At the beginning of Christmas break, around the second week of December, I began reading Les Miserables (1862), preparing to see the film (based on the musical, based on the book) over the … Continue reading

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My Lolita Rant

This week’s Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque offerings give me the opportunity to rant about Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, and, while I’m at it, movies made from books in general. Here’s the thing. Lolita is, in my opinion, a great novel … Continue reading

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