Classic Relevance

It was 1984. I was living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. There is a university there, from which I had graduated magna cum laude five years before. I had also become convinced that the man I thought I loved beyond all others was someone who could never really love me back. So I ran off with the bikers.

But this isn't a story about love affairs gone awry. It's a story about cultural relevance. About how the more things change, the more they stay the same. About why it's never a waste of time to read the classics. Read more about Classic Relevance



Got into another long back and forth on religion the other day on Facebook. It was fun, in many ways. I enjoy putting my thoughts out there, having them challenged, and having to think again about how I really see things and how to get that vision across. I can't say I was entirely successful, but I'd like to think I made at least a tiny crack in the certainty with which I felt confronted. Read more about Fundamentalists


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