Posts Categorized: Books, Gifts, Culture

The Classics, Kid-Style

. As parents — and English majors — we take a great deal of pleasure in introducing our kids to the Good Books. In a way, I feel like we’ve got all of our favorites just cued up, waiting to roll ’em out when the kids are ready: The Catcher in the Rye (we handed this one to Phoebe last… Read more »

Summer Reading Series: Michael Paterniti

Our next guest in the DALS Summer Reading Series is Michael Paterniti, a man who needs no introduction (and not only because we just introduced him last month). Besides being the father of three voracious readers, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Revenge, Betrayal, and the World’s Greatest Piece of… Read more »

Abby’s Top 10

Not to be outdone by her sister, Abby — heading into fifth grade — has decided to weigh in with her picks for summer reading. Here are the best books she’s read in the past two years (that she hasn’t already written about here and here), graded on the very official Summer Sun Scale. Ten Summer Suns is, obviously, highest,… Read more »

Introducing Nerd Alert

You guys might be wondering why it’s July 10 and there has been none of the usual summer book club coverage for your kids. Well this year, instead of asking Lemony Snicket or George Saunders or Shaun Tan for reading recommendations, we figured we’d step things up a bit and go right to the source: Our 11-year-old daughter, Phoebe, who… Read more »

We Knew Him When

If you didn’t believe Andy (and MacArthur) when he said George Saunders was a genius, maybe you can believe today’s COVER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE that has declared Tenth of December “the best book you will read this year.” In honor of the Saunders coronation, we wanted to point you towards last year’s DALS guest-post where Saunders weighed in on his favorite… Read more »

Pass it On

Like Santa Claus, my mom never shows up empty-handed. When she visits, the kids gather at the door, waiting to see how lucky they’ll be this time. Will it be the new Lemony Snicket book? That turtleneck Abby had circled — hint, hint — in the Land’s End catalog a few months ago? A pair of earrings for Phoebe’s recently… Read more »

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to Our Second Annual Family Holiday Gift Guide. And by that, we of course mean gifts for New Moms, New Dads, Seasoned Moms, Seasoned Dads, Little Ones, Big Ones, Babysitters, Carpool Helpers, School Teachers, Cello Teachers, Art Teachers, the Nice Guy Who Brews You a Badass Cup of Coffee Every Morning…and even YOU! Read carefully and you’ll see what… Read more »

School Year’s Resolution 3: No iPhone at the Restaurant Table

Dear Jenny, Any insight on how to enjoy a restaurant meal with a three year old that doesn’t involve handing over the iPhone? The coloring book is kind of wearing off–and a few weeks ago my family went out for my bday dinner which kinda felt like a flush of $75 down the toilet because we spent most of the dinner telling her… Read more »

Bringing it All Back Home

Every time we visit my parents, my mom begs me to go through the boxes of my old junk that are cluttering up her (immaculate) basement. She’s entering that phase of life, I guess, when things are cast off and simplified, when you have to get a little brutal about all your stuff — what’s essential and what’s not. “What am I going… Read more »

Soccer Mom Conundrums, Solved

You may have gathered by now that the only thing we like more than grilling up a big ol’ leg of lamb or writing about grilling that big ol’ leg of lamb is watching our daughters play soccer. I remember when they were young, other parents who had a few years on us, warned once soccer kicks in, you can… Read more »

A Tale of Two Nightstands

Seven or eight years ago, I resolved to be better about my non-work reading. I made a list of books I either (a) felt ashamed I’d never read, or (b) hadn’t read once, so long ago, they were practically lost to me now. Books like Don Quixote, The Idiot, Jude the Obscure, Dead Souls, Herzog, My Antonia, The Sound and… Read more »

Friday Reading

The mail came just as I was leaving to pick up the girls at school. Catalog, catalog, bill, catalog, bill…Hey! A PACKAGE addressed to me! Inside was A Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy. I knew it was coming — Chris was Cookie magazine’s main childrens’ book reviewer and I worked closely with him and Myles McDonnell… Read more »

Reading List: Shaun Tan

I was driving Phoebe to school on Wednesday morning – she had to be at her desk by 7:30 for a field trip to Ellis Island or else – when I told her that Shaun Tan had sent us a guest post about his formative books for kids. What do you want me to tell people about Shaun’s books, I asked her. What… Read more »

And Now for the Exciting News: A Free Book!

And by free we mean, um, sort of free. Here’s the deal: We like dinner. We also like books. And while Jenny’s upcoming book, on its every (“masterful,” says her husband) page, honors the meals we’ve made together for the past fifteen years, there is not a single word in it devoted to books — our love for them, or… Read more »

Semi-Homemade Valentines

Those of you who follow me on Twitter knew we were up to this yesterday — semi-homemade Valentine’s Day cards. Last year, the gifted and talented Brooke Reynolds of inchmark, provided a PDF for templates of half-drawn portraits — the kids color in details, such as eyes, freckles, glasses, hair — and I’ve been looking forward to handing them off to… Read more »

Early Mornings with Abby (and William Steig)

For the first four, maybe five, years of Abby’s life, she would wake up at 5:45 in the morning, leap out of bed, throw her door open and sprint down the hall — bump, bump, bump, bump, bump — and into our bedroom. Depending on who was on Morning Duty that day, Jenny or I would hoist ourselves out of… Read more »

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