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From Nook to Wi-Fi

“What do we need at home so we can use our Nook to buy ebooks?” Marge and I asked our Nook class instructor. “A wireless connection. Wi-Fi,” he said. “Do you have that?” No. I bring my internet connection into a 2-Wire, and then I’ve hardwired the 2-Wire to our computers . . . so [...]

Guess who’s joined the 21st century?

Me! I have an e-reader. A Nook. Actually, I purchased it for Marge, but she lets me use it. We had to go to class, to learn how to use our Nook . . . of course. A tragic/comic evening. We arrived at the store late. My fault. The Nook professional asked us whether we [...]

Meet the man who launched a books-for-kids-in-crisis project

Paul Gilbertson wanted to be a writer of children’s books. He lives not too far from me, up the road in DeForest, Wisconsin. Four years ago, Gilbertson went to New York, to attend a book expo, hoping he might connect with a publisher who would help him launch his career. While there, he saw a [...]

Books for kids

Nothing must be scarier for a child than to see his or her parent being arrested by the police and carted off to jail. Here in my town, the members of the Optimist club decided they could do something to ease that trauma, to ease that fright. They stocked our police department’s 18 patrol cars [...]

A library book overdue for 74 years

Who of us hasn’t checked out a book from our neighborhood library and – uhm – forgotten to renew it? We find the book under a pile of papers. It’s a couple days overdue. We return it, pay the fine, and life goes on. Howard Severson checked out the book “Seaplane Solo” from the Amador [...]

One special horse story

Every year, it seems, a fine horse story comes out, either as a book or a movie. Last year, released after Christmas in time for this year’s Oscar race, it was Steven Spielberg’s movie “War Horse” . . . based on Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel of the same name. No, the film script was [...]

Clearing off my desk – Part 1

My good wife hinted that I ought to clear off my desk before Christmas guests arrived. When I attacked the pile, I found all sorts of good stuff I just couldn’t throw away, newspaper clippings and story notes scribbled on envelopes that I had saved for blog posts. Last year, 255 other ideas for posts [...]

God types 30 at the end of writer Russell Hoban’s life story

Writer Russell Hoban died in London on December 13 at the age of 86. I didn’t recognize the name when I came across it the other day. Curious, I googled Hoban and found he wrote a story that Jim Henson adapted for an HBO Muppets movie, “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.” Hoban’s “Jug-Band Christmas” plays on [...]

Tim Green writes good fiction

I’ve always wanted to read a Tim Green book ever since I heard him interviewed on NPR when his first novel, “Outlaws,” came out in 1996. He was a familiar voice on public radio for years, a commentator on sports, particularly football. Prior to that, he had played defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons for [...]

Thriller writer Tim Green crashes

Tim Green – writer of best-selling thrillers, lawyer, sports commentator, and former NFL great – faced a dilemma at the beginning of 2010. He lives in Skaneateles, New York, outside of Syracuse. His son’s high school football team, the Skaneateles Lakers, won only two games in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Green could either sit [...]