Oh Santa Baby, I Just Can’t Quit You


Oh, Santa. Baby. How long will our merry go round keep going round? Do  we need couples counseling again this year?

You and I have been in our indescribably on-again-off-again relationship for too long. I’ve been writing about our tortured love for how many years?

In 2011 it was off.

2012, back on again.

In 2013 we acted like friends with benefits.

But it wasn’t enough. Sure I had Adam Sandler for Thankschanukah, but you can’t intersperse dreidels with Christmas cookies and call it one big happy holiday. Thankschanukah is gone, and as my friend’s 3-year-old said as she wept for a Christmas tree (when reminded of her joyous Hanukkah celebration)  “But I’m so over Hannukuh!”

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Five Ways to Give When Gifting


gift collage

Below are five of my most trusted ways to give twice when I gift a friend or family member. From book marks to magnificent jewelry, y.ou can’t go wrong with any of the organizations and sites below

Women for Women International

“Since 1993, Women for Women International has helped nearly 420,000 marginalized women in countries affected by war and conflict. We directly work with women in 8 countries offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.

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STORIED RECIPES: A New Cookbook for Cookclubs


Q: What could be luckier than getting to send The Comfort of Food , my limited edition cookbook to book clubs?

A: Having worked with thirteen other authors to bring out a new book club cookbook: Storied Recipes. 

Whether it’s sweet or savory, these are time-tested recipes from fourteen of us, with recipes ranging from  “First Date Beef with Wine”to “Truffle-Studded Chicken” to the vegetarian “Fromage Forte” to “White Gazpacho” — from cherry pie to springerle to chocolate chip elephant ears, the recipes run from the easy to the more challenging, but all come with our cooking, love, or family stories.

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15 Bookish & Arty Gifts to Buy Without Leaving Your Couch

bookish presents

Avoiding malls at holiday time can be your best treat. Small shopping, with artists & small shops—or library shops!—is a treat for all. Below, a sampling of ways to do good, gift friends and family with love, and do it all in your pj’s online.

1) Do you have an ornament lover in your life who is also passionate reader? Combine them with this ornament from the New York Public Library’s gift shop.



2) Reach into the way back machine and find an antique typewriter (or at least vintage.) Hours can be spent searching on Ebay, or it can be done quick by following the link provided.

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Guest Post: Doctors Who Write: Who Owns The Stories?

77384817A GUEST POST

By Kathy Crowley

When faced with the opportunity to read a book by someone who isn’t by profession a writer, I always go for the doctor.” —Stephen J Dubner

(And can I just say here,  Mr. Dubner, doctor-writers everywhere – and their publishers — thank you.)

I write fiction, most of the time, because that’s what I like to write, but also because writing about my work raises all kinds of complications.  Every once in a while, though, I am so moved by my experience with a patient, that his or her story becomes my story, too. Several years back I wrote a piece about a patient of mine. Mr. Z. was an elderly man who bragged about his Nazi past but otherwise kept lots of secrets. He had a family he had driven away from him, a house he wouldn’t leave, a dog he couldn’t care for, and a loaded gun on his kitchen table. (Perhaps because this is real life, Dr. Chekhov, and not one of your carefully crafted stories, the gun was never fired.)

I had been Mr. Z’s primary care doctor for years and had tried unsuccessfully to help as dementia overtook his life.  One day he came into clinic saying he planned to destroy everything in his home of value, then kill his wife and

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The Year Google (and Goya) Saved Thanksgiving


I don’t care how many people shed tears for the good old days, before we were so connected, before life sped before our tapping fingers: Web, thee did save me.

My sister and I may not have grown up rife with traditions–when when Jill and I hung our socks on Christmas eve, the flat unfilled sight of them the next morning may have reminded us that Santa didn’t stop for little Jewish girls–but darn it, we had the stuffing handed down from Grandma Millie. If we were on death row, our last meal would be the stuffing.

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Get a Manuscript Critique and Help Care-Givers: One Stone, Two Great Birds


There is a wonderful Yiddish proverb that describes those carrying troubles: “God gave burdens; he also gave shoulders.” But sometimes those shoulders need help. In the case of this CAREGIFTED fundraising initiative, writers–from world-renowned to beginners–are providing that help as writers bid on manuscript critiques provided by celebrated authors.

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The Ben Chart

wheel with ben font


From Accidents of Marriage. Read an excerpt here.


Posted in Accidents of Marriage, Book Postcards | 1 Comment

Break-Your-Heart Books

Write a book that breaks your own heart. That’s one of the reminders I wrote myself before outlining my novel. (The other was don’t rescue your characters—a reminder not to fall so in love with them that I couldn’t bear having them in pain.

Whether or not a book digs deep and delivers the bones of an author’s truth—through memoirs revealing facts or novels delivering emotional authenticity—is apparent upon the reading. These are the books that pop me in the heart or provide moment of reality mirrored back.

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Halloween nears. Winter approaches. In the Northeast we face snow shoveling, icy roads, and bleak grey skies. Our rewards? Sundays curled on the couch with a great book. I could offer lists of classics you can finally settle into, uber-literary masterpieces to read with your dictionary at your side, or I can tell the truth. There’s nothing like a ‘gotta know’ book to get you through a blizzard. (Think Gone Girl … those books you absolutely must finish, cause (as Stephen King says in On Writing) you ‘gotta know’ how it ends.

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