Reading The Library Book a year into the pandemic is a bittersweet experience, to say the least. Libraries aren’t at the top of what I most missed this past year—seeing friends and family in person has to take that spot—but losing the hustle and bustle of a fully functioning, stimulating, creative gathering place for book […]

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Reading for Presidents’ Day

Presidents’ Day 2021 couldn’t land at a more auspicious time. The divisions in the country, including the just concluded impeachment trial, put a bigger spotlight on past presidential actions even as current-day crises (Covid, the economy, climate change, inequality) make it more important than ever to get future presidential actions right. That’s all the more […]

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Obama’s Promised Land

I have very mixed feelings after reading this. Obama is a superb writer, able to keep the narrative moving as he artfully mixes the story of his administration with the personal, historical, and social currents of the years covered. Though I was working in journalism and professionally following many of the events described, I never […]

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After 40 years in journalism, I thought I knew what it takes to pin down the facts in a story, to get the underlying context, and to get those telling details that put it all in perspective. But reading Working by Robert Caro made me wonder.

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First You Write a Sentence is the best book about writing I’ve ever read, and that says a lot. As a journalist for forty years and now a novelist for ten, I live by the written word, with a passion for improvement. Joe Morgan is my soulmate.

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Mark Willen