Category Archives: books or movies

Nancy Drew was responsible for my love of mysteries

I read everything, but I’m always drawn to mysteries. My first detective hero was Nancy Drew.   How could one not look up to her after reading her bio? Says writer Bobbie Ann Mason, “At sixteen she [Nancy] ‘had studied psychology … Continue reading

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Bookstores are gone, but libraries still live

At my request, my father taught me to read before I started school. This memory came to me because I’m currently moving into the nostalgia phase of my life, not yearning for a return to the past so much as thinking … Continue reading

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Film festival whets my appetite for good movies

This past week I traveled to England, Spain, Romania, India, Iceland, Denmark, Greece, and stopped for a few minutes in Turkey. While in these countries I met three teachers, a mathematician, scores of quirky horse owners, a disgraced detective, a rookie … Continue reading

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My encounter with Pico Iyer

Elliott Bay Book Company will soon celebrate its fortieth anniversary. The Seattle Times reported that the store was collecting customers’ recollections of experiences they’d had there, “from meeting your spouse in the stacks, to attending memorable readings…”  Below is the … Continue reading

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Parable of the Chinese pot

Thanks to college students willing to undergo a variety of tests and challenges, (without knowing the real purpose), for the price of a pitcher of beer, researchers have collected volumes of data  about human behavior. I don’t remember why I … Continue reading

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Blame our brains

Tomorrow, the day after Labor Day, marks the beginning of two months of political-campaign assault in the form of simple messages– often half-truths, exaggerations, or just plain lies —  repeated over and over until, in desperation, we turn off our … Continue reading

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I’m right, you’re wrong

Few experiences give us the same high level of satisfaction as winning an argument.  So says Kathryn Schultz in her book Being Wrong.  She says, “…the thrill of being right is undeniable, universal…” and “we can relish being right about … Continue reading

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“A wonderful lesson about life”

Themes from a book I just finished reading, a talk in church last Sunday, and a Japanese poem came together for me this week. The book is “Second Wind: one woman’s midlife quest to run seven marathons on seven continents,” … Continue reading

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Movies and myths

I’ll never look at movies in the same way, as a result of reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, who says that contemporary storytellers construct their works according to ancient mythology and fairy tales.  This past week I watched … Continue reading

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Acting as if there were no future

“…25% of our happiness depends on our ability to manage stress,” says researcher Robert Epstein.  He bases this conclusion on surveys of “3,000 participants in the U.S. and 29 other countries” and suggests we should be “fighting stress before it even starts, … Continue reading

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