Stories

An election gratitude reflection

For anyone who has worked in campaigns, the week leading up to the election is like no other experience. It’s a blinding minute-by-minute chaos of decisions on the fly, anticipating every possibility that could stand in the way of making it to election day. (photo below is from the “week-of” bus tour during Nick Theodore’s 1994 gubernatorial campaign). I spent my early career years involved in the front lines of campaigns. These weren’t just jobs.…

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Wrap up: Blink Book Reviews

What started out as a personal discipline this summer to get off the screen and back to books turned out to be a fun exploration of different reading genres and books I might not have considered reading otherwise. I’m so grateful to the more than 200 people who ended up joining my Blink Book Review Facebook group, offered book suggestions and participated in conversations.  Mini-reviews and suggestions came in from as far away as Israel and…

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Blink Book Review #12: “In the Shadow of the White House” by Jo Haldeman

The 50th anniversary of Watergate this summer struck a real chord with me bringing back snippets of news stories from the summer I was eleven and heading into the sixth grade. An NPR podcast got me curious to dig a little deeper into that dark time in our nation’s history where trust in government was at a low point (sound familiar?). After reading old news stories, listening to several podcasts, and browsing through a number of books…

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Blink Book Review #11: A Double Dose “Enough Already” by Valerie Bertinelli and “Back to the Prairie” by Melissa Gilbert

My recent beach reading consisted of memoirs by two actresses from my childhood – Valerie Bertinelli (Barbara on “One Day at a Time”) and Melissa Gilbert (Laura on “Little House on the Prairie”). Both of these former child stars are close to my age – 60 or pushing it – and experiencing many of the same life events that my own contemporaries are. Both played beloved characters in my personal television soundtrack of the mid-70s.…

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Blink Book Review #10: “The Speckled Beauty” by Rick Bragg (with a bonus section of other great dog books)

A young friend recently asked me to choose my favorite dog book. I had to think really hard on that one. I’ve read a whole lot of them. I believe in the power of a dog. And there’s a special place in the universe for writers who can script a good dog story – whether it’s through poetry, fiction, personal essay, photo captions or a good dog obit. At the time I got this question,…

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Blink Book Review #9: “These Precious Days” by Ann Patchett

This summer’s reading list has included books beyond the best-seller fiction I usually favor. Ann Patchett’s “These Precious Days” is one of those. This collection of 24 essays hits on topics ranging from Snoopy’s influence in her life and her three fathers to how she selects a book cover and why knitting saved her life. Ann’s fiction has graced the top of the NYT lists for years. “Commonwealth,” “The Dutch House” and “Bel Canto” are just…

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Blink Book Review #8: “Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR” by Lisa Napoli

This book is the story of four women from vastly different backgrounds who converged on a fledgling radio network in DC in the mid-1970s. Susan Stamberg, Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg and Cokie Roberts built the backbone of the early National Public Radio while they also whacked away at the broadcast industry’s glass ceiling. The author, Lisa Napoli, lays out these journalists’ diverse upbringings at the beginning of the book with a biographical account of each that…

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