In defense of the Xmas letter …

During the holidays, a message from an old friend popped up in my Facebook feed. It read—with a tinge of regret—that because some people had disparaged the annual Christmas letter, she would not send one out this year. Her Facebook message would have to suffice. I felt sad for her and for those who wouldn't …

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Late-blooming geniuses

Have you ever known a bonafide genius? Have you ever aspired to be one? I've been reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell—one of the most innovative writers I've ever come across. The book, What the Dog Saw, is a compilation of essays Gladwell wrote for the New Yorker. In one essay, he asks the question of whether prodigy is …

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Tiptoeing into the marketplace …

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a fan of marketing. In fact, I'm terribly cynical about advertisers and all their tricks to get me to buy their products. Yet ... Yet, I understand the need to stand out in a marketplace that is as crowded as it has ever been. In the book world, …

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A master of friendship …

Yesterday I learned that my friend, Sandy, had died. She was older than I was and far less accomplished than most. In fact, she had spent her seven decades as one whom society used to describe as "mentally retarded." She had no advanced degrees, no career, no fame or fortune — all those descriptors we …

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The gift of September 11 …

Today's post is an adaptation of a piece I wrote on the 10th anniversary of 9-11. It is worth remembering the day, but it is especially important to remember what happened afterwards.  The sky was an exquisite shade of blue that morning. Nothing hinted at the immediate future — or the malevolence that had taken …

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