Posts Categorized: Books, Gifts, Culture

Summer Book Club

In some ways, I feel like my mother’s philosophy of raising children can be distilled into two of her favorite expressions. The first one is this: Only boring people get bored. This was not so much an expression as it was a response to the “I’m booorrred” cries from my brother, sister, or me when we’d be driving somewhere or… Read more »

Happy

Besides the fact that it’s Friday and that we have a grilled leg of lamb on the menu tonight, what else is making me happy today? 1. Finding a ridiculously easy way to frost the ridiculously easy mud cake I make for every birthday. The one above was for my dad’s 75th — don’t worry, I eventually added the “birthday,” part…. Read more »

Roald Dahl, Deep Tracks

I am so sick of Roald Dahl. It’s not that he isn’t great, or that the depth of his imagination isn’t enough to shame 99% of other novelists that have walked the earth, or that he’s not a first-ballot, absolute lock of a Kid Author Hall of Famer. But enough is enough. For much of the past two years, Abby… Read more »

The First Annual Dolly Awards

In case you haven’t noticed — it’s awards season! I’d like to thank the Academy for reminding me how remiss I’ve been at following my #1 Get-Fired Resolution. (“See more matinees.”) And to the folks who handed out Michelin stars in France earlier this week — thank you! I can now afford to dream about all the cafes in the… Read more »

There Goes the College Fund

I can’t remember ever making this Official Family Policy, but Jenny and I are completely powerless against a kid — our kid — who asks us to buy her a book. (Full disclosure: We love books and are happy to encourage as much reading as possible in our house, but if we’re honest, there’s also an element of self-preservation at… Read more »

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

We’re not a winter family. Certain families, when the temperature drops below zero and the sky goes gray, just know how to get it done. They bundle properly. They have gear. They layer well, and have Thules on their cars and, in general, seem to be impervious to the elements. But us? We don’t do well in the cold. We’ve… Read more »

The One Album

In the console between the front seats of our family vee-hicle is a stack of the CDs we keep on hand to entertain the kids while driving. Most rotate through after a few months, or get thrown out, either because we – the parents – get so incredibly sick of them (see: Thriller, Free to Be), or because they – the kids… Read more »

Fave Five

Five Books We Love Right Now An evolving list Last Updated: 8/5/12 Click here more details on Fave Five. Chew on This, by Eric Schlosser Back in my magazine editing days, I used to work on a column called “What the Writers are Reading,” and we were lucky enough to feature Michael Pollan in one of them. One of the books… Read more »

Have a Baby, Win Some Books!

I’m not so good with remembering the everyday details of my life. I can’t tell you the name of my eighth grade math teacher, or my freshman year dorm room number, or my cholesterol reading from my last checkup, or even who I had lunch with last Thursday (without checking my calendar first). Just last week, I’m not proud to… Read more »

Put Down the Book, or No Dessert Tonight

There’s a girl, all 42 inches of her stretched out on the family room couch, reading a comic book. There’s a dad or a mom, standing over her, failing to get her get her attention. “Phoebe.” No response. “Phoebe?” Not a muscle moves. “Phoebe. Come on. It’s time for dinner.” Crickets. “Phoebe! Put the book down. Time to eat!” The… Read more »

The Turtledoves Have it Figured Out

From The Cricket in the Thicket, by Aileen Fisher (1963), a book given to me by my best friend’s mom, Rosa*, when Abby was born. It was my friend’s favorite book when she was little. Shall we all work on our nodding and cooing? *Yes! Rosa of Rosa’s Mud Cake!

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