Recent Posts - page 2

  • Still no haggis for me, thanks.

    Eight months ago I reviewed The Haven, and today was our return visit. You’re wondering, I’m sure, about three things: whether anything has changed, whether I relented and had haggis this time, and whether there was any bagpipe music. The… Read More ›

  • What’s math got to do with it? Alaska’s new voting system would be good for Massachusetts…perhaps.

    Because of its small population—despite being the largest state in area—Alaska gets to elect only one member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Until last year it used the traditional system: a separate primary for each party chooses one finalist… Read More ›

  • Secrets Typed in Blood

    As the third, most recent, and best-so-far novel in Stephen Spotswood’s great Pentecost and Parker series, Secrets Typed in Blood is an outstanding detective novel that takes place in the year of my birth. I reviewed the two previous books… Read More ›

  • Brunch at Via Cannuccia

    To follow our first excellent experience—dinner on April 20—Barbara and I joined our friend Meredith for brunch yesterday at Via Cannuccia. Like the dinner, brunch was first-rate. From Stefano’s wonderful home-made pastries, we each had a shy brioche roll with… Read More ›

  • Flicka says it’s her turn.

    “It’s not fair,” says Flicka. “Why does my brother get all the pictures?” So here’s one of Flicka. You can see her stripèd nose, but not her extra toes:

  • “JP” stands for…

    For some of us, JP means Jamaica Plain. For others of us, it’s the country code for Japan—as in URLs ending in “.jp” and other related uses. For everyone, and for both of the above reasons, it’s appropriately in the… Read More ›

  • Virtual abutters

    “Virtual Abutters Meeting” was the headline on the notice. My first reaction was to ask myself “What’s a virtual abutter?” And then I realized that I had misparsed the headline. “Virtual,” it turned out, really modified “meeting,” not “abutters.” Also,… Read More ›

  • Two truths and a lie

    Your task, of course, is to figure out which of the three is the lie. Yesterday, you see, was a special occasion. (No, not my birthday. And that’s no lie.) As a result, Barbara and I decided to indulge in… Read More ›

  • Teachers deserve better.

    “Teachers deserve better. They deserve more trust and respect, and less standardized testing, smaller class sizes, and yes, larger paychecks.” So says author Alexandra Robbins in The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession. A well-known long-time New… Read More ›

  • A language-learning proposal

    Continuing to sing the praises of the under-appreciated Helen DeWitt, I must tell you about her language-learning proposal. For a bit of context, I will first tell you about a brief conversational exchange I had with my ninth-graders at Weston… Read More ›