I have been doing this blog thing for more than ten years. 

I think I have covered everything worth writing about. When the weekend approaches, and it is coming time to write another column, I cast around in my head for topics. I read the news feeds, looking for something to grab on to. I shut my eyes and try to think of something that is either bothering me or making me happy or wistful. I look at my photo feed, to see if there is something there that hooks me.

But some weeks, I get nada. I am not enraged about anything; my heart isn’t singing, either. So I start to panic. I sometimes consider taking a week off. I hate to do that, despite the fact that I do it once in a while. But I do have a few “fall back” strategies, and one of my “reader favorites” (thank the six of you who have said this) are book lists.


  • The Sweeney Sisters, by Lian Dolan. This book could have been written by me, or at least the plot–it is about three sisters who discover after their father’s death that they have a fourth sister, one their father produced via a mistress. It hit very close to the bone, but it is a really good read. Since I could never write about my own story, I am glad Ms. Dolan wrote this.
  • Early Morning Riser, by Katherine Heiny. A wonderful book about family. This one is a heartwarmer.
  • Leave the World Behind, by Rumann Alam. Wow. I don’t want to spoil it–just read it. You will be left staring into space.
  • The World That We Knew, by Alice Hoffman. This is a nominee for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. World War II fiction. There is a golem. Wonderful.
  • Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, by Jess Kidd. Full of saints, magic, and humor. Eccentric. I loved it.
  • The Last Flight, by Julie Clark. Two women. Two flights. One last chance to disappear. A page-turner.
  • Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters. I loved the series, then read the book, which is backwards, but it’s a good one!
  • Group, by Christie Tate. I don’t usually read nonfiction, but this was very interesting. Again, sometimes funny, sometimes surprising, but always intriguing.
  • Goodnight Beautiful, by Aimee Molloy. A plot that I cannot imagine anyone coming up with. This is all I will say.
  • A Crooked Tree, by Una Mannion. Another book that I don’t want to describe, but it is a portrayal of family that is unsettling but so well done.
  • Rules for Moving, by Nancy Star. I wrote a fan letter to Ms. Star after reading this. Enough said.

Take off your mask, but don’t go to the movies just yet. Read.

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