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Smith: the best Dickens novel Dickens never wrote

Nov 30 2018
Director Stanley Donen's Charade, the Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn globetrotting thriller, is often called “...

Death, the Universe, and Everything

Nov 30 2018
A year ago, I lost my father. I don’t mean he was misplaced or that he’s wandering about in a hedge maze or anything – he died. It wasn’t a surprise, he’d been sick for a while. But it was terribly sad. Obviously. In the year since, my family and I have grieved his loss and celebrated his life in a...

Hope and Other Luxuries

Nov 30 2018
"Over the years, my worst fears for my daughter have crystallized into a terrifying daydream, a daydream so frightful that I have never told it to a single human being until now. My daydream is this: I am receiving The Call. A voice is saying, 'I'm so sorry. It's about your daughter,' and I...

Writers on writing

Oct 30 2018
Writers, according to Stephen King, “must do two things above all others. Read a lot and write a lot.” With National Novel Writing Month just around the corner, plenty of people are going to be writing a lot in the coming weeks. But what should they read? King recommends getting your hands on...

Team W writes again

Oct 4 2018
I would like to put in a good word for The Glass Ocean, the new novel written by Team W – Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White. Sure, these three authors don’t need any words...

The mysterious Monsieur Maigret

Aug 29 2018
Before I started reading the Maigret books by Georges Simenon, I never really understood the appeal of mystery series. To be fair, I’m ambivalent on series in general, and have written on this blog before about my enjoyment of self-...
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Lenses: Upgrade your mobile phone gear

Aug 21 2018
When it comes to teaching photography in The Studio, we focus heavily on the mobile side of the photography spectrum, mostly because phones these days are so portable, accessible, and their camera specs have improved in leaps and bounds....
Photo by Tegan Mierle on Unsplash

Personalized audiobooks and bedtime stories

Jul 30 2018
As we all know, it’s summer, and ever since the public school system as we know it was instituted some 150 years ago, one of the pillars of childhood has been to escape from the classroom as quickly as possible when the school year ends. With summer vacation comes travels away from home, either as...
Image credit to Idan Arad on Unsplash

Summer reads: 'Mostly Void, Partially Stars'

Jul 30 2018
The heat of our fiery sun tends to weaken me this time of year. It's because of this that I harken back to a show I've long loved. It features "a friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep."  Welcome, my...

The Beales still fascinate in 'That Summer'

Jul 30 2018
Three years before the groundbreaking documentary Grey Gardens was released, footage of the now iconic Beales was taken for another project. In the summer of 1972,...

A beginner's guide to Kanopy

Jul 25 2018
The last time I searched for “classic movies” in Netflix I got less than 40 results, and many of the available titles weren’t exactly what I’d consider cinematic masterpieces.The outcome was hardly better when I searched for foreign films. And while Netflix has a decent selection of documentaries,...

Borrowing blue: 4 new picture books

Jul 10 2018
Blue colors the pages of four new picture books in compelling and beautiful ways. In these stories and illustrations, blue is the color of sky and moon, day and night. Notably, it is not really a color associated with sadness here, but rather, one used to express something joyful. Borrowing blue...

Spend your summer under the stars

Jul 2 2018
The summer is my favorite time to stargaze. The winter may offer crisp, clear nights and stunning constellations like Orion and the Pleiades, but in the summer the Milky Way arcs overhead, meteor showers stripe the sky and the balmy temperatures mean all you need is a light jacket to step outside...
Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash

Creating double exposure photos with PicsArt

Jun 28 2018
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a double – or even multiple – exposure is made when a photographer superimposes one negative over another to create a single image. If you’ve ever seen an antique photograph of a transparent, ghostly blur hovering beside someone, then you’re already...

Summer reads: Elmore Leonard

May 31 2018
As the seasons change, so do my reading habits. Dickens is...

Poetry Picks: 'Wild Geese' by Mary Oliver

May 3 2018
The Canadian geese are calling, and I am listening. Their sounds from above recall me to the here and now, to the ground below my feet. The poetry of wild geese in flight has long called out to me, in this way: it reminds me of the present moment and restores me to it. The singular poem, “Wild...
Image credit to Sharon McCutcheon

Poetry Picks: 'All' by Bei Dao

Apr 24 2018
Back before my time at Anythink, I was a real nerd. After spending a single hour trying my best not to over-celebrate the fact that I was touching books Benjamin Franklin had set the type for, I realized I needed a job handling this kind of material. And I wanted it right then. And after walking...

Poetry Picks: 'The Wren from Carolina' by Mary Oliver

Apr 20 2018
Like much of Mary Oliver’s work, The Wren from Carolina  (text below) speaks to that voice inside all of us that cries out on occasion in soft gratefulness: for the first signs of spring, or the unspoken kind gesture, or perhaps for the comfort of a great book on one’s lap. This poem always makes...

Poetry picks: ‘Daddy’ by Sylvia Plath

Apr 18 2018
I don’t recall the first time I read Sylvia Plath‘s poetry, but I do know that I was likely in my late teens/early 20s and already an enthusiast of the form. I was even a dabbler myself, though the moody and...

Appreciating John Muir

Apr 16 2018
For anyone who likes to see the forest from the trees, stories about John Muir are likely to be a source of interest and inspiration. A bold and attentive naturalist, Muir traveled in and wrote about many of America’s wild places during the second half of the 19th century and the start of the 20th...

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