Where to start with magical realism

What is magical realism? Born in Latin American fiction during the late 1940s and 1950s, it unites the real and the mythical to reveal the fantastical elements of everyday life. Sometimes it will leave you wondering if an event in the story could really have happened. While this ambiguity is not for everyone, magical realism […]

Veterans Remember

Veterans Remember

Even though Veterans Day has passed, you will want to check out  Veterans Remember,  an ongoing video project to collect and  document the memories and experiences of U.S. military veterans in Mesa County. There are currently ten interviews with World War II veterans available, with nine men and one woman relating their stories of the time they […]

car on map

Books about road trips

Road trips are great-the open road, the junk food consumed while driving, the abundance of country music stations in this fine land of ours. Road trips are supposed to teach us something; what I learned was not to freak out when the tire pressure indicator comes on, if two gas stations have already told you […]

kombucha jar

Making kombucha for fun and profit

Because I’m so hip and cool, I now make my own kombucha. This vinegary, fizzy, fermented probiotic drink is only for the very groovy, though. Made from sweet black or green tea and a very scary-looking SCOBY (symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast), kombucha supposedly originated in China in the 200s BC, where it was […]


Time to grab some yarn

The seemingly endless summer is finally over, and, with  temperatures pleasingly lowered, it’s time to get out the crochet hooks and knitting needles again. I, for one, will continue to work on the behemoth granny stripe bedspread project I started two years ago. So huge. So unwieldy. So not even half done. As ridiculous time-sucks […]

How do you do bookshelves?

Being the in-the-know hepcat that I am, I’ve become aware of certain perverse trends in personal, at-home book shelving. Seething in indignation about them is a fun, but lonely, pastime, so I’ve included the most egregious examples below for your consideration.   This is the groovy, backwards facing style favored by faux-minimalists who never actually […]

Happy birthday, Agatha Christie!

Agatha Christie, born September 15, 1890, was a best-selling writer, the best-selling novelist of all time, but she was also a surfer when young, a world traveler, a poison expert, and enthusiastic archaeology buff. Talent and imagination took her to the top, and her hospital pharmacy work in World Wars I and II gave her the poison […]

The Amber Shadows

The Amber Shadows, by Lucy Ribchester, begins in the cold winter of 1942 at Bletchley Park, the site for British codebreakers during World War II. Honey Deschamps, who transcribes coded messages, meets a man while walking home in the dark who gives her a package with Russian postal marks. Inside is a small amber block, mysteriously […]

Gone to Dust

Gone to Dust, a fast-paced and funny private eye novel by Matt Goldman, is set in wintry Minnesota. A woman is found murdered in her home, the entire crime scene obscured by thick layers of vacuum cleaner bag dust.  This detail, unsurprisingly, is an obstacle to the investigation.  When the police call in private investigator […]

What’s up, 1917?

Sure, the right now is really cool, here in 2017. Awesome, in fact.  But sometimes, I like to go back a hundred years and see what I missed. Lots of stuff happened in 1917, and here’s a sample: January 28 – The United States ended its search for that bad boy, Pancho Villa. April 6 […]