A Meditation on Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s “Growing Old: Notes on Aging with Something Like Grace”

I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. ~ T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock“   Like it or not, once you’re born, you grow old. (If you’re lucky.) The end is inevitable. Think taxes. And Western society views growing old like figures … More A Meditation on Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s “Growing Old: Notes on Aging with Something Like Grace”

J. Elliott Reviews “Mangoes & Roosters: Stories and Tales of Haiti”

  Cynthia and I were booth buddies at the recent Sunshine State Book Festival. When she said she was giving away a few copies of her latest book, I snatched one up and begged her to sign it. When Cynthia said she was writing stories about Haiti, I really didn’t know what to expect, though … More J. Elliott Reviews “Mangoes & Roosters: Stories and Tales of Haiti”

Another Stellar Book Set in a Library: Bella Osborne’s “The Library”

Reading saved me as a child, giving me a way to see the world outside the walls of my childhood home, offering me respite and escape from an often intolerable and hostile atmosphere. The public library in my small town in eastern Washington state became my sanctuary. So it’s no surprise that I cherish books … More Another Stellar Book Set in a Library: Bella Osborne’s “The Library”

“Try Before You Buy”: Matt Haig’s “The Midnight Library”

A few weeks ago, on the strength of a rather glowing review, I added Matt Haig‘s The Midnight Library to my bulging Kindle library. And although I never read books in the fantasy genre – well, I DID read Like Water for Chocolate once upon a time – I could not stop reading Haig’s bestseller, … More “Try Before You Buy”: Matt Haig’s “The Midnight Library”

Writing about History: A Few Words about the Dangers and Fallacies of Presentism

pres·ent·ism /ˈprezenˌtizəm/ noun uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts. Many years ago, David Hackett Fischer published Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. Despite the many years since its publication – 1970 – and the now somewhat dated examples he provides … More Writing about History: A Few Words about the Dangers and Fallacies of Presentism

Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives: Genevieve Jenner’s Brilliant Short Story Collection

British author Genevieve Jenner‘s debut collection of food-related short stories – Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives (Deixis Press, March 2022) – promises a delectable and unusual reading experience for those seeking tales of the intersection of food and life. Jenner offers up 38 stories, some taking as long to read as mixing dry ingredients together, … More Chocolate Cake for Imaginary Lives: Genevieve Jenner’s Brilliant Short Story Collection

Midwest Book Review on “Stoves & Suitcases”

My newest book garnered the following review from Midwest Book Review:* Stoves & Suitcases: Searching for Home in the World’s Kitchens should be in the holdings of any collection strong in culinary biography and history. What began as a search for home and roots evolved into a culinary exploration, as Cynthia D. Bertelsen documents in chapters that … More Midwest Book Review on “Stoves & Suitcases”

Saints, Souls, and Haints: Ghoulish Goodies

Check this out — a recent cookbook all about Halloween, for kids young and old: Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches’ Knuckles, and Much More! (Frightful Cookbook), by Sharon Bowers (2009). Eat, drink, and enjoy the creepy yuckiness of Monster Eyeballs, Chocolate Spider Clusters, Buried Alive Cupcakes, and Screaming … More Saints, Souls, and Haints: Ghoulish Goodies