recommendations

The Right Writing Retreat

Writing is hard work, especially when you must squeeze it in alongside the daily commitments of employment, relationships, domestic engineering, childrearing and pet wrangling. Sometimes the only way to get anything done is to abandon these commitments altogether! If...

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June Tea and a Book — Timeless, by Moira Croghan

Timeless is a celebration of Mackinac Island and its cottage architecture. The book includes historical context and gorgeous exterior and interior design photography -- perfect for fine coffee tables everywhere! That said, I must also tell you that this post is much...

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April Tea and a Book: Eva Ibbotson

I first encountered Eva Ibbotson in the YA section of our local Borders bookstore in the early 2000s -- back when I was teaching high school English (and Borders still existed). I began with A Countess Below Stairs and so enjoyed this story of a Russian countess...

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February Tea and a Book: WWII Child Evacuee Stories

Recently I read When the War is Over, by Barbara Fox. This memoir of the author's mother, Gwenda Brady Gofton, focuses on her childhood years as a WWII evacuee in Cumbria. After a couple of false starts in other evacuation areas, Gwenda and her older brother Doug...

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December Tea and a Book: Calm Christmas

One of the few positive things about this terrible pandemic is that it's forced us all to spend more time with ourselves. In our own heads. Dreaming, reading, planning, growing. I'll confess that I love being alone. I inherited this trait from my mother, and many of...

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What to watch for Halloween

I just wrapped up this year's Spooky Film Recommendations, but there's more I wish to share. In case some of you are planning a bit of horror viewing over the weekend, I wanted to list my favorites from 11 years of blogging horror -- and I'm going to put the films in...

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Spooky Film Recs, part IV

Here we are with the final chapter of 2020's Spooky Film Recommendations. I intended these to be "ghost-free" horror, but a few ghosts wormed their way in despite my best efforts. The films are listed in the order that I viewed them. As always, all synopses are from...

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2020 Spooky Film Recs, Part III

Ah, my very favorite category of horror -- Ghosts and Hauntings! Strangely enough, I struggled to find good options this year. Had several false starts before I decided to share these five films with you. (All synopses from imdb.com) Doctor Sleep (2019) -- Rated R...

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2020 Spooky Film Recommendations, Part II

Each of the following films has been featured on one or more "Feminist Horror Film" lists. What does "Feminist Horror" even mean? I'm using the term for films featuring female protagonists with agency who don't need a man to rescue them or explain anything. For...

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Quiet afternoons with Emily

My last blog post (written THREE MONTHS ago, yikes) was about Emily Dickinson, and today--once again--it is Miss Emily who inspires me. A NEW BOOK: From the publisher: An engaging, intimate portrait of Emily Dickinson, one of America’s greatest and most-mythologized...

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Tea with Miss Emily & a GIVEAWAY

There's a new picture book about Emily Dickinson and it is marvelous. (Thank you, Best of Books in Edmond, OK, for shipping it so quickly!) This book written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander is beautiful, inspirational, and quite poignant--I...

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March Tea and a Book: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

After a long drought, I finally found a book that captivated me, kept me glued to the pages until the end, and only took two days to read because I could hardly bear to put it down. Goodreads synopsis: In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts...

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Friday Favorites: Holiday Tea at the Arizona Biltmore

Last week Steve had a conference at the Arizona Biltmore, and I was happy to tag along. The Biltmore is famous for its architecture, beautiful grounds, celebrity guests, and . . . afternoon tea! The hotel has a fascinating history and offers cozy elegance along with...

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Friday Favorites: Cozy Christmas Tea Party 2019

Does it seem like the holidays are rushing right past you? One way to slow time and enjoy this festive season is to sit down to a holiday-themed afternoon tea. Today I'm sharing a tea I hosted at home just last week, and in particular I'd like to highlight some of the...

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Tea for One at the Boston Public Library

I've been longing to have afternoon tea at the Boston Public Library's Courtyard Tearoom for years now. Due to various commitments and unforeseen conflicts, I haven't had success in getting my husband or a friend to join me, so during this latest trip I went solo. It...

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