Reading Rituals: Books for Travel

Last week, I was in LA. Land of endless traffic and bad plastic surgery. Oh, and some of my favorite hiking trails, friends, and foodstuffs. (How can you not love a place featuring an eatery called “Take a Bao”?) On the one hand, I look forward to this trip every year. On the other, braving […]

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Dog Days of Summer

Somewhere, deep in the recesses of the Sawyer family photo archive, there is a picture of our golden retriever, Penny, wearing an old t-shirt and a pair of my mom’s modified underwear. To be clear, my mom does not wear “modified underwear” (whatever that might be). What I’m trying to say is that the pair […]

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Reading Rituals: Books for When You’re Brain-Dead

As much as I love to read, there are a few weekends each year when I hit a wall. Predictably, these are post-filming weekends, when I’ve just come off of shooting a dozen or so Picks of the Week–a major push, even when I’m reading steadily all the time. Such was the case last weekend, […]

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Of Pop Stars and Protagonists

As far back as I can remember, I’ve told myself stories. And also as far back as I can remember, every one of these stories has featured two elements: 1. Me as the protagonist. 2. One of my current obsessions. Lest you think me completely narcissistic, I’ll add here that one of the first things […]

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10 Books for Your 2013 Summer Reading List

Today being the book birthday of two of my most-anticipated summer reads, I thought I’d offer a rundown of a handful of titles I’m looking forward to digging into over the next couple months. Of course, by now I know all too well that you can’t judge a book by its cover–or by its marketing […]

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Bread, But Mostly Jam, for Jenny

I guess you could say I’ve always been a little obsessed with jam. Or, if not jam itself, stories about jam. Before the days when I had the wherewithal to gorge myself on jam, I gorged myself on jam’s next of kin: Bread and Jam for Frances. In this cheerfully didactic story, which is still […]

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This Week’s Favorite: The Lucy Variations

Even occasional visitors to 60secondrecap.com may be aware of the fact that I am a bit of a Sara Zarr fangirl. So when I heard–was it eight, nine months ago?–that she had a new title coming out this spring, I put in a request for a review copy IMMEDIATELY. Unfortunately, due to the timing of […]

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Balloon Poodles and Petite Pomeranians: This Week’s Obsessions.

Like many children, I had an obsession with balloon animals. I loved the complicated ones, twisted and sculpted by adults in clown costumes–usually at a birthday party or a carnival. I loved the ones with multiple colors of balloons, and especially the ones with multiple elements. The deflatable artwork never lasted long, but while it […]

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This Week’s Favorite: Orphan Train

In a shocking twist, I have a new favorite book. Maybe not a favorite favorite. But certainly one I’ll be reading again–and I don’t say that about many books these days. In Orphan Train, Niamh (pronounced “Neeve”) is just nine years old when a tenement fire kills the other members of her family, all recent […]

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Ghosts of Obsessions Past

Do unfulfilled childhood obsessions ever really leave us? Perhaps their presence isn’t felt with the same intensity. But they linger somewhere in the background: Ghosts of obsessions past. I was reminded of this recently when a friend’s daughter greeted me with her newly-gifted American Girl Doll. This wasn’t one of the original dolls–the historical ones […]

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