Musings on Art and Loneliness

Book review: The Lonely City, by Olivia Laing "It was becoming increasingly easy to see how people ended up vanishing in cities, disappearing in plain sight, retreating into their apartments because of sickness or bereavement, mental illness or the persistent, unbearable burden of sadness and shyness, not knowing how to impress themselves into the world." Olivia Laing... Continue Reading →

Food As Love in Any Language

Book review: The Language of Baklava, by Diana Abu-Jaber (Amazon / Book Depository) I'm falling in love with "foodoirs" lately. Those are food-themed memoirs, in case you're late to the genre, like I was. This one moved me more than I unexpected. Novelist Diana Abu-Jaber was born in America to a Jordanian immigrant father and an... Continue Reading →

Art, Movies, Men, and Manhattan in the 50s

Book review: The Men in My Life, by Patricia Bosworth (Amazon / Book Depository) Patricia Bosworth is a biographer, best known for her books on actors and artists like Montgomery Clift and Diana Arbus; her biography on the latter was the basis for the film Fur. But before she became an author and journalist, Bosworth was a model... Continue Reading →

Is there Sense in the Senseless?

Book review: The Spider and the Fly, by Claudia Rowe (Amazon / Book Depository) A serial killer, Kendall Francois, was caught after a spontaneous confession to police. They'd let him escape closer scrutiny repeatedly despite plenty of complaints from potential victims. He's imprisoned and a journalist going through a difficult, soul-searching time in her own life begins... Continue Reading →

Fantasy Born of Tragedy

Book review: The Woman Who Wasn't There: The True Story of an Incredible Deception by Robin Gaby Fisher and Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr. Amazon / Book Depository Some of the most remarkable stories of survival and strength in our country emerged following the tragedy of 9/11. In the days after the attack, Americans and especially New Yorkers... Continue Reading →

Biography of a Hospital

Book review: Bellevue, by David Oshinsky (Amazon / Book Depository) Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Oshinsky writes a comprehensive, readable history of New York City's legendary public hospital, which along the way becomes a slice of social history of the city itself and an outline of the development of American medical practices as well. The name alone... Continue Reading →

Catcalls and Coming of Age

Book review: Sex Object, by Jessica Valenti (Amazon / Book Depository) This was my first experience with Jessica Valenti's writing and I came away from it thinking she was a talented writer but a disorganized storyteller, with an important, worthwhile message but way too little faith in herself. This book could've been something very meaningful and impacting,... Continue Reading →

From Queens with Love

Book review: The Clancys of Queens, by Tara Clancy (Amazon / Book Depository) A fast-paced memoir composed of vignettes of the author's time growing up with her big Irish-Italian families in Queens. After her parents' split when she was a toddler, she divides her time between her dad's tiny but loving boathouse home and bar family in... Continue Reading →

Lessons from Borough Park and the Payne Whitney

Photo: New York Hospital, Payne Whitney Clinic. From the Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington D.C. Credit: Wikimedia Commons Book review: One of These Things First: A Memoir, by Steven Gaines (Amazon ($1.99 ebook alert!) / Book Depository) It sounds strange, but I've read a couple of Holocaust memoirs lately... Continue Reading →

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