A Dual Biography Looks at the Lingering Impact of Anne and Sylvia

Three Martini Afternoons at the Ritz, by Gail Crowther Both were emerging poets, and both were hugely ambitious women in a cultural moment that did not know how to deal with ambitious women. Author and biographer specialized in studies of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath (cool job alert) Gail Crowther weaves together the groundbreaking similarities... Continue Reading →

Malcolm Gladwell’s Take on Stranger Dynamics

Book review: Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell (Amazon / Book Depository) We think we can easily see into the hearts of others based on the flimsiest of clues. We jump at the chance to judge strangers. We would never do that to ourselves, of course. We are nuanced and complex and enigmatic. But the... Continue Reading →

A Mysterious Death and a Macabre Memoir

Book review: An Unexplained Death, by Mikita Brottman Book Depository Author Mikita Brottman lives in the Belvedere, a historic building in Baltimore that had a long life as a hotel and now is sectioned into apartments, bars and event spaces. Brottman admits to a fascination with the morbid, as many of us have, and hotels... Continue Reading →

Being Okay with Being Unhappy

Book review: This Close to Happy, by Daphne Merkin Writer and literary critic Daphne Merkin, a former staff writer for the New Yorker, has suffered lifelong depression. She's been trying to write a memoir about her illness and attempts to cure, or at least contain, it for more than a decade. It was finally published in February.... Continue Reading →

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