May Day

When I was a little girl, my sister and I filled tiny baskets with flowers and put them on the neighbor's porches. My baskets, as I recall, were always a wreck. Lots of dandelions drooping sadly, on stems too long and spindly for tiny baskets. My sister was a born decorator. She found tiny violets and candytuft - or something like.

Read more about May Day

Spring Reading

A long, long time ago, when I lived on a farm in Door County, Wisconsin, I tried to read my way through the Sturgeon Bay Library. I walked in one day with no idea of what I wanted to read. So I started in the A's. And once I got started, well. Yes. I'm that kind of OC. Read more about Spring Reading



I've devoted space in the Bookhouse lately to subjects as seemingly varied as Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and Titanic. But to me they are variations on a theme.

I have to admit, I was taken somewhat aback when I first read of the popularity of Mad Men. The clothes! they said. The culture! The good old days!

What??? What??? Read more about Nostalgia



I know I'm an old lady now, but really. How many writers who published this year can you rattle off the tip of your collective tongues? We'll throw in 2011, just to be fair. I can name George R.R. Martin in fiction and Garry Wills in non-fiction, and I know most of my readers can name several others - including, perhaps, Barbara Stoner - but how many of them can most of us recognize immediately as household names? Read more about 1962



I think was my introduction to Loren Eiseley. I was working at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and managed to return quite a bit of my paycheck to them via their well-stocked bookstore.

One particular idea of his has stuck with me. Searching for a meaning for human beings in the world, he struck upon memory. We are the memory of the Earth, he said. We are here to record, to bear witness. Read more about Eiseley


Caleb Carr

It's a mystery to me (and a large reading public) why Caleb Carr has not followed up on his two wonderful novels (1994) and (1997). Maybe it's because the two more recent novels, and were so badly received. Nevertheless ... Read more about Caleb Carr