If Plants Can’t Think, How Do They Develop Such Beautiful Habits?

As I set up my little table at the back of the store, my expectations were modest. The evening’s topic, and the name of the book I’d been asked to sell, was Thinking Like a Plant. The room filled with gardeners of all shapes, sizes, and levels of experience. Along with the attendees, I was … Continue reading If Plants Can’t Think, How Do They Develop Such Beautiful Habits?


Ask Ceil – Reality Bytes

Dear Ceil, Will Virtual Reality lead mankind into a Facebook-fueled dystopian hell? Nervous in Nashua Dear Nervous, Perhaps you speak of the Oculus Rift, that fascinatingly chunky device that is not unlike its older cousin, the View-Master.  Kid on left: utlra cool. Kids on right: total simps. The difference is, of course, the View-Master makes a … Continue reading Ask Ceil – Reality Bytes

The Art of Self-Restraint

It’s 10:30pm. I have to get up early for work tomorrow, so it’s time for bed. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s bad for your sleep if you’re on the computer before you go to bed, so I decide to read a bit before I go to sleep. I grab my e-book … Continue reading The Art of Self-Restraint

Book Review: The Goldfinch

A time-honored axiom among screenwriters and novelists is “Chase your character up a tree and throw rocks at him.” Get your character in a lot of trouble. Complicate and multiply his problems. Don’t grant him an easy way down. In The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt’s hefty, Dickensian bildungsroman, the Tartt Corollary to the Trees and Rocks … Continue reading Book Review: The Goldfinch

Ask Ceil – Spring Happiness

Dear Ceil, What is the best way to celebrate the coming of Spring? Partying in Palmyra Dear Partying, You know, it wasn't just that Winter was long. It's that Winter came with a club and a mace and beat us all to death, with its polar vortices and endless shoveling. I used to think, fine, … Continue reading Ask Ceil – Spring Happiness

Project Jargon Explained

For my day job as an IT consultant, I sit in an office all day, either in meetings or in front of a computer. I’ve picked up a lot of corporate jargon over the years, the type you hear all the time from business schmucks like me who don’t have much of a life outside … Continue reading Project Jargon Explained

George Coleman at Dizzy’s on a Weeknight

George Coleman took the stage at 10. Elderly, tottering to the bandstand. He should have had a cane. Black elastic-waist athletic pants, eyes a little vague. He struggled to step up, so inept, so clearly weak in the legs that he seemed in real danger of falling. I was at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola with my … Continue reading George Coleman at Dizzy’s on a Weeknight

Ask Ceil – Party Monocles

I am wearing my ponytail on the left side of my head, which, in semaphore, signifies sassiness. I’m feeling a little sassy today. Also, all I’ve had to eat today was a danish and a Sam Adams, but I feel like I’m getting almost all of my nutrients because the SA was made with whole … Continue reading Ask Ceil – Party Monocles

An Open Letter to Ally Condie

An open letter to Ally Condie, author of the "Matched" trilogy (Matched, Crossed, Reached). Dear Ms. Condie, I’ll admit, until the day of the big Kobo sale, I had no intention of picking up your books. I’d had my fill of YA dystopian novels, and yours seemed to be just another drop in the flood … Continue reading An Open Letter to Ally Condie

Why I Should Be In a YA Book Club

Lots of adult readers love to sink their teeth into a good teen novel, and it isn’t always because they want simple stories that satisfy nostalgic cravings. (We have Nicholas Sparks for that, after all.) Katniss Everdeen’s story in The Hunger Games is neither simple nor neat; and if the characters in Rainbow Rowell’s young … Continue reading Why I Should Be In a YA Book Club