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Pick of the Week: More is Less

Hope Jahren’s latest book begins at the beginning: her beginning, that is. Born in 1969, her parents picked her first name with typical Midwestern directness, expressing their own hope that their daughter would live a life of plenty, a life better than theirs. Like most parents in our culture, they wanted their child to have […]

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Pick of the Week: Dinner with Atmosphere

In our household, I’m responsible for the food. Breakfasts and lunches are easy, as none of us mind eating the same simple things for those meals day after day (oatmeal in the morning, granola bars at noon for me), but dinner is a perpetual challenge. That’s our family meal together. It needs to vary from […]

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Pick of the Week: Trees a Charm

Everyone knows how to determine the age of a tree that’s just been cut down: count the rings. But did you know that the same general strategy can be used to track ancient weather patterns, explain the rise and fall of great empires, and construct detailed histories of long-vanished societies that left no written records? […]

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Pick of the Week: Turtle All the Way Down

For the past several years, I’ve been working my way through one of the longest, best selling, best written, and certainly funniest series of novels in the English language: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. To provide an idea of the scope of this project, I started at the beginning and just finished book 26, which means I […]

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Pick of the Week: Nothing Doing

Kicking off a new series here, this is my first book review. Those coming from my “Self-Care” post on the Turbid Plaque will already understand one reason why I’ve started doing this. Another reason, though, is that my perspective on the hellscape of the modern internet has changed and deepened in recent months. That’s a […]