Don’t Hate the Ice Bucket

I sing at funerals. It’s something I do as part of my church choir. Most recently, it was for a man who’d lived a long, contented life. An average guy. He enjoyed his retirement, told corny jokes, and irritated the hell out of his employees--he skimped on the air conditioning at his independent business and duct-taped the thermostat … Continue reading Don’t Hate the Ice Bucket


Winter is Coming

At the risk of sounding like Eddard Stark, winter is coming. This year's Farmer's Almanac has been published. It seems Ye Olde Farmer's predicts an especially cold winter ahead. One morning not long ago, my daughter called me out to the yard to point out the first yellow leaves on the mulberry tree. Winter indeed, … Continue reading Winter is Coming

Summer Reading: Low Country Boil

My beach reading genre of choice is romance. There. I said it. It's true. Before you get up on your literary high horse, it's summer reading, for the love of God! There are plenty of times when I want something meatier. Half-snoozing on the beach, in the hammock, or ensconced before the A.C. while my … Continue reading Summer Reading: Low Country Boil


I'm traveling today, so can't really spend the time that's needed to write a proper Friday column. But I would like to remind people that we have a theme week coming up: Summer Reading, (or, "Books in Context"). Please start getting us those submissions as soon as possible! I'd also like to remind people who'd … Continue reading Friday

Theme week: Books in Context

It's nearly July, and people above the equator are sitting on the beach and reading. But books are not read in isolation. There's always something going on in your life, and that will color your perception of the book. And the environment you read in changes your view of the text. We've noticed that people … Continue reading Theme week: Books in Context

Let Them Read Books

It’s a hot summer, and here in Korea, air conditioning is difficult to come by. I’ve got a small apartment, but my window unit can barely cool the living room. That means my kitchen and bedroom feel similar to what I can only imagine are the bowels of Satan after chili cook-off season. Because of … Continue reading Let Them Read Books