Category: Books

Kindle Spirit

I’ve finally bonded with my Amazon Kindle even though I’ve had it for a few years and it’s been getting dusty in my antique desk. I’m a book lover, a book hauler on vacations (three to five works weigh down…

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Are Witch Hunts Good for Tourism?

Fresh from a visit to Salem, Mass., and recalling a more distant one to Rouen, France, I can’t help but think about the similarities between these two places and how they’ve treated an especially dark period in their past. As…

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Bonus History in Witch City

I’m not sure whether fallout from Halloween or the occasional jokes about being North Salem (N.Y.) witches inspired the Brawny Sherpa and me to take a road trip to Salem, Mass., but we ended up learning so much more than…

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Don’t Miss in Salem, Mass.: One Over-the-Top Bookstore

I was in town to learn about the witches, and maybe just a little bit about author Nathaniel Hawthorne (with whom I spent so much time in freshman English class in high school), when I discovered a marvelous place: Derby…

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Beyond the New York Public Library: The Morgan

The Bonus Adventurers (teenage stepchildren) and I were drawn to the Morgan Library at 36th and Madison because of the Edgar Allan Poe exhibit (through Jan. 26, 2014). Who wouldn’t want to see handwritten scrolls of Poe’s handiwork? What we…

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Visiting Mount Kisco’s Invisible Church

It’s easy to cruise right past the tiny little cemetery at the corner of St. Marks Place and Main Street in Mount Kisco without noticing the Revolutionary War-era grave markers. Situated just across and down a bit from Friendly’s at…

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“I Survived the French Revolution and Didn’t Even Get a T-Shirt”

History, for me, is best understood in manageable nuggets. I keep targeting the French revolution because of the convergence of so many ideas: the roles of church, state, kings, budgets, freedom, violence, revenge. I can’t imagine I’ll ever understand it,…

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The First Thanksgiving Was in Florida

Sitting on the patio of the golf clubhouse at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando and watching the pastel-clad golfers, their carts, and the sand traps, Florida’s dark history seems remote, a dream. Brutal Spanish explorers, Protestants killing Catholics,…

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Have a Limited Travel Budget? Try an Amazon Jungle Walk

A life-changing trip: traveling the length of the Amazon.

Everything I needed to know about traveling, I could have learned from Ed Stafford’s Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time. He’s the first man to have walked the Amazon, a little journey that took him just…

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Venetian Calm and Venetian Crowds

“Venice has been painted and described many thousands of times” wrote Henry James in Italian Hours, published in 1909 (and which I downloaded for free on my Kindle). A century later, my visit there, as a single mom with her…

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