The Emoji Code by Vyvyan Evans

The Emoji Code by Vyvyan Evans

Do you speak Emoji? Wait—the correct question is, do you text Emoji? Another question:  what is the difference between Emoji and an emoji? Cap e Emoji refers to the language system consisting of little pictographs used to add nuances of tone and meaning to our textual digital communications. Lower case e emoji refers to one […]


Frozen in Time by Joseph Epstein

Frozen in Time by Joseph Epstein

In his latest collection of short stories, local author Joseph Epstein writes about ordinary people–mostly Jews, mostly Chicagoans or denizens of neaby suburbs, mostly men, mostly above the age of 50. Despite being ordinary, there are extraordinary stories to tell about his characters. Father-son relationships, high school hearththrobs, feuding old friends, wannabe literary lions, cheating […]




Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks

Even though this book was originally published in the 1990’s, it still offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Muslim women in such countries as Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Brooks interviewed both fundamentalist and feminist women throughout the Islamic world to find out what life is like behind the veil. She examined […]


Word by Word by Kory Stemper

Word by Word by Kory Stemper

Among the many different senses (i.e., meanings) of the word “wit,” in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition there are a couple that apply perfectly to this author. “Clever or apt humor; a witty utterance or exchange.” It’s a synonym for humor, irony, sarcasm, satire, and repartee. Stemper’s very readable, sometimes laugh-out-loud exposition on how […]


The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell (2016)

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell (2016)

I started reading this book because I thought the “secrets of the world’s happiest country,” could help me construct my post children life. However reading Helen Russell’s book stirred up more political thoughts: Danes are happy because they have guaranteed health care, excellent low cost childcare, paid maternity & paternity leave, an excellent educational system […]


It Takes a School by Jonathan Starr (2017)

It Takes a School by Jonathan Starr (2017)

In 2008, a brash American hedge fund manager decides to make his mark in providing great education to the best students in Somaliland, an autonomous state within Somalia. Despite nearly getting his school closed and himself deported through his ignorance of the culture, he does triumph in the end through his students. who win scholarships […]


The Divine Dance: the Trinity and Your Transformation

The Divine Dance: the Trinity and Your Transformation

In tackling the mystery of the Trinity, Franciscan Richard Rohr goes to the most foundational yet elusive of Christian doctrines and explores it in ways that connect it powerfully to just-as-foundational and equally hard to articulate human experiences. Rohr animates the dry, lifeless words of (much of) theology with passion and creates a sense of […]


A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance by Marlena De Blasi

A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance by Marlena De Blasi

Writer/chef Marlena De Blasi tells the incredible and captivating story of her late-in-life romance with and marriage to a Venetian bank manager, Fernando, who fell in love with her the moment he saw her in the Piazza San Marco. Although he didn’t have the courage to speak to her, a year later when she returns […]