Nakalele Blowhole, Maui’s Most Beautiful and Dangerous Attraction

Jack and I stood on the northernmost tip of Maui as waves crashed against the cliffs far below us and the late-afternoon sun shimmered dazzlingly against the water. We stepped on to a deserted path patched with tufts of grass and wide enough for a Jeep to navigate. We walked slowly, hand in hand, among the lonely lichen-covered rocks. We had heard about a section of the mountain that looked, we were told, like an “Acid War Zone.” The name itself was []

Eight Memoirs I’m Reading This Semester

This semester, I’m taking a class called Readings in Essay and Memoir, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to some of the texts we’ll cover. You’ve probably noticed that memoir is one of my favorite genres. In fact, I’d like to write a memoir, and the second-best way to become a better writer is to read. (The first-best is to actually write.) None of these are new releases, but they represent different styles of memoir and essay writing and I know []

Blogging Resolutions in 2013

Happy new year! In 2012, I had a lot of competing priorities, and sadly I had to stop blogging for a while. I’m still pretty busy, but I’m trying to make my blog a higher priority this year. I miss interacting with all of my bookish friends, and even thinking about blogging regularly again has put a smile on my face.

“More Like Her” by Liza Palmer

Frances Reid, a speech pathologist who guides readers through the world of Markham, a private school, is riddled with insecurity after breaking up with fellow teacher Ryan. But after acknowledging her much-maligned flaws, Frances is ready to lose herself in the bustle of a new semester: new students, new challenges, and a new headmistress.

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

There were dozens of fantastic new releases in 2012, but I fell far behind in reading them. Now, it’s time to catch up–as always, my New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to read more. (Do you expect anything less from me?) Here are the top ten books I vow to read before this year’s end.

Top Ten Books to Read Before 2013

Fall semester classes are over, and I’ve got a few days off before the New Year. I have big plans to say goodbye to 2012: curled up on the couch, racing through the books I didn’t get to read this year. It’s like a Christmas gift to myself.

And when giving gifts to oneself, it’s best to be ambitious. I know I probably won’t get through all of these–1Q84 and Deathly Hallows both approach 1,000 pages–but I’m sure I’ll make a dent and enjoy my holidays to boot.

Wagtime in D.C., a doggie day care/salon that helps find rescue dogs new homes

I’ve written another story for The Washington Post, this time about a “pet spa” in DC that fosters dogs for adoption. Be sure to check out the photo slideshow (link below) and try to decide which pup is cutest! Last year, Lisa Schreiber and Ofer Khal fostered approximately 500 dogs for adoption. But they don’t work for a shelter or a rescue agency. They’re running a business. Wagtime looks like a doggie department store. Large dogs roam the ground-floor room of the []

“War” by Sebastian Junger

In War, Sebastian Junger follows the men of the 2nd Platoon, Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in eastern Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. He reported on the men for Vanity Fair in five visits, from June 2007 to June 2008.

Monday Mailbox: Anne Tyler, Hasidic Sects, and Marvelous Memoirs

The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed Dust to Dust by Benjamin Busch I receive a very small commission when you purchase the book through the above links to Indiebound. Thank you for helping to support my site–and my book addiction!

Politics & Prose: Revisiting First Impressions

Politics and Prose has no small claim to bookselling fame; it is one of the most successful independent bookstores in the country. The store is perhaps best known for its author events, which attract legions of famous writers and large crowds.

Wordless Wednesday: Home for the Fourth

Today for the Fourth of July, I contributed to The Land That I Live’s special holiday post about the lands where the blog’s contributors live. I wrote about finding our first house, and the feeling of coming home. Jack and I had a few of his family members over for a casual BBQ this afternoon, which was great fun. It was the first time some of his cousins had seen the new digs. We sat around the table in the sunroom pictured []