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The most common complaint

In her book Anything is Possible, Elizabeth Strout writes: She was “a woman who suffered only from the most common complaint of all: Life had simply not been what she thought it would be.” I’ve decided that Strout is one of my favorite authors, and I just read, both for the second time, her books […]

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A lone old tree

Emily Carr, born in 1871, captured the grandeur of British Columbia in her paintings. I had never heard of this wonderful artist until my friend Eva sent me the book Emily Carr Collected for my birthday. How wonderful to have good friends who introduce you to new artists and new ideas and new adventures! Carr […]

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The past expands

I am having a major birthday this month. My book club defines a major birthday as one that involves a change in decades. And, I do feel older. I also feel as if I should be grown up by now. But, if I’m grown up, why do old issues and old emotions keep creeping into […]

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A new book club

I helped organize my book club—The Easy Readers—more than 30 years ago. This summer I’m joining a new book club. It’s a Girl Scout book club—the 3 Cs Mother/Daughter Book Club. The three Cs refer to the Girl Scout mission—“Building girls of courage, confidence and character.” Along with the second and third graders in the […]

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Summer reading

Once a week during this school year, I have visited a junior high student at a school only a few blocks from my house. She will be in the eighth grade next year, and I have been her mentor since she was in the fourth grade. I want to be sure that she has plenty […]

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We “can march in knit hats and go to town-hall meetings, but, if everyone voted, things would change,” Cecile Richards, outgoing Planned Parenthood president told Time magazine in its April 9, 2018, issue. Read Cecile Richards new book. I just did! Keep marching in the streets. And plan to vote. –Joy

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Wanting to belong

Jhumpa Lahiri writes about what it means to be on the outside looking in. “It’s that desperation to want to belong—to not be all these pieces—to be concrete—to be at the same time one thing,” Lahiri told the audience at an Arts & Letters Live presentation in Dallas on January 30. Lahiri was born in […]

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Talk less. Listen more.

Todd Davis reminds us of the importance of listening in his book Get Better—15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. “One of the most profound gifts you can give another human being is your sincere understanding,” he writes. “To do so requires clearing away your mental clutter, suspending (at least temporarily) your agenda […]

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Be humble

Todd Davis stresses the importance of being humble in his book Get Better—15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. “Humility is the wisdom needed to accurately assess my strengths and weaknesses,” he writes. “Humility reminds me to be patient with myself and others—and to know that we are all in the process of […]

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Carry your own weather

I’m ready for summer. It has been rainy, cloudy, cool for days. Sometimes I let the weather affect my mood. And, sometimes, I let stormy relationships with the people around me depress me. “Carry your own weather,” advises Todd Davis in his book Get Better—15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work. I have […]

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