February 17, 2015

Over vacation, my brother read me a great passage from Joshua Ferris’ latest novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. In it (pasted below – it’s worth looking at), a neurotic dentist in NYC ponders the psychology of perspective. I’ve tried to remember the passage as we sit, sun-starved, wondering when this winter will… Read More

An Arab & a Jew Walk Into a Cafe OR How Reading Creates Space For Dialogue

August 11, 2014

How is one, as a teacher (like myself) or as a parent, supposed to teach teenagers and children how to converse, if the adults around them don’t model it themselves?  My cousin asked me the other day: “What’s the point of reading books – as opposed to watching movies or reading newspaper / magazine articles?”… Read More

Meeting Readers Where They’re At OR Why Corporate Yogis Don’t ‘OM.’

July 1, 2013

Sitting on the dock of the bay with my lovely, old friend, Melanie Richards (founder of Montreal’s HappyTree Yoga), we got into an interesting discussion of the correlation between readers and yogis: “You have to meet people where they’re at,” Mel says with her ethereal-yet-no-nonsense approach to life. “What do you mean?” “If somebody wants… Read More

Why I Hate Push-Ups OR How to Create a ‘Non’ Reader

June 16, 2013

“Gimme some push-ups. BOOM!” my charming friend, Vanessa, instructed me when she offered me a free ‘program’ at the gym one day. I stared up at her like a puppy in the rain: “That’s ok.” “What do you mean: that’s ok?” She looked down at me and – for a brief moment – I imagined… Read More

Having the Flu OR the Comfort of a Good Story

June 7, 2013

Having the flu this past week kind of sucked. Silver linings include: • More time to read – an obvious one. • More time to catch up on some TV (hello, Nashville!) • More time to watch movies After staring at the ceiling for an unhealthy amount of time – I decided to muster the… Read More

Negative Reviews: What I Learned From an Angry Hockey Mob

May 18, 2013

A few years ago – when I was living in Toronto – I met a lovely girl who overheard a conversation between myself and my fellow teachers: “Sorry – I know this might be weird – but I just moved here from the States and I was just wondering if maybe you could give some… Read More

The Beauty of Book Clubs

April 11, 2013

I once went to a book club where they couldn’t wait for me to stop talking: they just wanted to get to the food (it was an Indian-themed soiree). Despite my increasingly waning efforts to stimulate discussion, the group collectively took an immense interest in the ceiling’s grooves and paintjob. The host, polite and apologetic,… Read More