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My trip to North Korea

How am I doing? I have been escaping the pandemic by traveling to North Korea. Really! My friend Jane gave me two books about people who escaped the horrors of North Korea—The Girl with Seven Names and A River in Darkness. No matter how long this virus crisis lasts, I won’t run out of books. […]

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Read a book

What do people need more than anything now? Books, says author Emma Straub. “What are we all doing in our quarantines? We’re figuring out how to walk out the door without walking out the door. Reading a book is the best way to do that.” Straub talked about her new book All Adults Here in […]

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Remembering Tomie de Paola

My son Jay, who just got married, is 30, but I will always remember the day a long time ago when we met Tomie de Paola at a Dallas bookstore. Jay was impressed because he liked de Paola’s book The Art Lesson, which tells how the author received a box of 64 crayons for his […]

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A gentle touch

“It will be welcomed much more if you have a gentle touch than if you are aggressive,” says Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. For Christmas, I received a copy of the book Pocket RBG Wisdom—and some RBG socks and an RBG mug. –Joy

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Don’t count sheep

Diana Butler Bass, author of Grateful, reads a gratitude prayer every morning. At night, she suggests following one psychologist’s advice: “Count blessings, not sheep.”

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The many wonders of life

I don’t always feel thankful when my alarm sounds, but I usually feel thankful by the time I begin my morning walk. In her book Grateful, Diana Butler Bass quotes Thich Nhat Hanh. Waking up this morning, I see blue sky. I join my hands in thanks for the many wonders of life— For having […]

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The wine of the soul

I am reading Diana Butler Bass’ book Grateful again—this time with my Sunday School class. And, I am feeling grateful for many things, but especially for my book club, which has been meeting for 33 years. We met this week and made a list of 12 good books to read. Diana Butler Bass repeats a […]

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Too many books!

I attended the Texas Book Festival in Austin last month. More than 300 authors attended the festival. I haven’t heard a count of how many people listened to the authors, but last year 50,000 people were there. I heard John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speak—and a few more authors, too. […]

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A decision to be happy

What’s happening to our country? The world is a mess. The news is depressing. I have decided to think about all the good things in my life. A perfect day in the park with my son Jay and his friend Rachel. Books—lots of books. A lovely lunch with friends. And more! I agree with Voltaire, […]

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Small kindnesses

While she was in the White House, Michelle Obama invited 12 or so of her closest friends to spend the weekend with her at Camp David every two or three months. “Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built on a thousand small kindnesses….swapped back and forth and over again,” Obama wrote […]

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