Four cheers for Elizabeth Strout’s Burgess boys

Having now finished my fourth Elizabeth Strout novel, The Burgess Boys, it’s obvious why she’s a New York Times best-selling author and has won so many awards, including a Pulitzer for fiction. The lady can write. She captures small-town life so perfectly and we find ourselves rooting for her characters despite their flaws and dark sides. After all, we’re all flawed and we can relate to the…

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Queen’s Park: We have a problem

Dear Premier Doug Ford: I’m truly embarrassed to approach you in the midst of a worldwide pandemic with such a frivolous, first-world problem. I know you’re pretty busy sorting out issues with under-staffed, under-funded nursing homes and the shortages of supplies in hospitals, but we boomer women have a teeny little problem which can quickly be taken care of by answering one simple little question that…

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Anne Glenconner’s Lady in Waiting gives us a glimpse into life with the royals

When I saw 87-year-old Anne Glenconner promoting her upcoming book on The Graham Norton Show last fall, she was so engaging I knew I couldn’t wait to read it. I always enjoy autobiographies and Glenconner’s outgoing, unfiltered personality promised lots of juicy reading. But, it wasn’t due to be released until the following March (2020) so I immediately put my name on the list for…

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Samantha Irby scores again with hilarious essay collection

Samantha Irby is a naughty, naughty girl, which is precisely why I love her writing, even though it does make me squirm at times. The author’s latest book wow, no thank you is a new series of essays describing her more recent life, and she has the ability to make the most mundane event hilarious. Instead of repeating a description of her background, please read…

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I miss murders, robberies and car accidents

In the old B.C. world (*before COVID-19), I avoided television news and was somewhat discriminating about what I read in the daily newspaper. You can only take so much negative news about crime, inept politicians, consumer scams, opioid death statistics, and rising taxes before you’re reaching for the nearest kitchen knife to slit your wrists. It’s all too depressing. Then, the sky fell—for real. Tragic…

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When does too clean become too messy?

Being confined to quarters for three weeks now has forced me to confront the various large and small jobs that need to be done around the house. When I dig under the kitchen or bathroom sink I’m shocked and appalled at the number and variety of cleaning products I have, most of them in plastic spray bottles. The other day, I threw a fit and…

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