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What TV can do for you

I agree with Groucho Marx, who once said: “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book. –Joy

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A sustainable world

According to one estimate, more than 3 trillion trees live on earth. But, every year about 15 million trees are cut down, reports Jennifer Swanson in her book Environmental Activist Wangari Maathai. “We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can leave our children a sustainable […]

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Seeds of peace

Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, started the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Women in this movement have planted more than 50 million trees. “People are fighting over water, over food,” Wangari Maathai once said. “We plant the seeds of peace.” I found this quote in Jeanette Winter’s book Wangari’s Trees […]

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Purple people?

I am helping with a Girl Scout summer book club—and being around a bunch of eager, smiling girls makes me feel a bit happier. Recently, we read the book The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart. According to these authors, we all need to be more purple, and they define […]

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The Way Things Are

“There is no way things should be, only the way things are—and the way things are going to keep changing,” writes Kirstin Valdez Quade in The Five Wounds.

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Life is how we tell it

Carme, a character in Isabel Allende’s book A Long Petal of the Sea, wrote down her recollections. She wrote them down “as a precaution, in case at some point her memory began to fail her. She embellished the facts, because she was aware that life is how we tell it.” What story do you tell […]

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Obama optimism

Yes, people can change. Our optimism has to be extended to people — even, or perhaps especially, to those we don’t agree with, said President Obama in an interview about his new book . “Sometimes we put (other people) in a box and we assume that they’re never going to change, and I reject that,” […]

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Candy corn, not vegetables

We all need to read more. Tracy Dahlby, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, argues, in an article in The Dallas Morning News, that this country needs a better literary infrastructure. In his article, Dahlby says that, according to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Americans invest 16 minutes a […]

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A book for Mother’s Day

I just remembered a delightful children’s book called The Mother’s Day Mice. It’s a story by Eve Bunting about three mice children who decide to look for a present for their mother. One suggests a rock. Another suggests a daisy. “They’re nice, but not special enough for this special day,” says Little Mouse. Finally, Biggest […]

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Merry books for Christmas

Happy December! I am buying presents—online, of course. Lots of books for presents. I love to give people books for Christmas—even people who aren’t big readers. Maybe they will read the book I give them!? “Books are good company, in sad times and happy times,” E. B. White once said.

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