My book sale phinds and phooeys

book cover what it feels like to be a building

I used to try to make extra money selling used books online. I would go to library book sales and try to spot rare and unusual volumes that people would be willing to pay a fortune for. Using only my intuition, I paid $1 for a probable first edition of a biography of Charles de Gaulle, which I turned around and sold for $80. Wildly encouraged, I used that same intuition to buy another fifty or sixty likely-looking books, also for a dollar each. And every single one of them, nobody wants because n … [Read more...]

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It’s our 17th anniversary SALE-abration!

anniversary pic 1

I can't even believe I just said that.Anyway, tomorrow is my and Damien's 17th wedding anniversary, which we will be celebrating with great joy, eventually. Heck, we've kept it together for seventeen years, more or less, so I guess we can hold out for one more week.Seemed like as good a time as any to put my dear beloved ebook back on sale. I wish I could put the paperback or audiobook on sale, but the ebook is the only one I control. The price is now as low as Amazon will let me set it: … [Read more...]

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Seven Quick takes: Seven Really Good Books for Young Adults

canticle-for-leibowitz

Wow, I haven't done a 7QT in forever! And I'm not actually doing one now. This post originally ran in 2010. I was inspired to rerun it when the The New Yorker printed this appreciation of A Canticle for Leibowitz . Enjoy, thou parents looking for some decent fiction for your older kids! *** Sorry this is so long.  I didn’t have time to write anything shorter. Seven Quick Takes:  Seven Really Good Books for Young AdultsWhen I was in high school, everything we read had to be about either the … [Read more...]

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The American Catholic Almanac is meaty and fascinating

american catholic almanac 2

If you're like me and most of my American Catholic friends, any combination of the words "American" and "Catholic" gives you the heebie jeebies. Either you're going to get one of those "Jesus was a republican, and food stamps are a mortal sin" tirades, or else we'll be treated to another learned treatise on how the one thing the Pope needs to do right now, IF he's really the Pope, is to pronounce anathema against people whose disgusting little irreverent offspring eat Cheerios during M … [Read more...]

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What are you doing for catechism this year?

All right, YOU catechise this, if you're so smart.

For the older kids, in 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th grades, I give up. Wait, no, that's not what I meant to say out loud. What I meant to say is that we haven't found either EDGE or LifeTeen to be a good match for our family, and every time I try to read something aloud to the kids, or do a pre-packaged curriculum with them, something happens to capsize the whole endeavor.  It's some combination of the kids being in three different schools, and me and my husband working four different jobs, and the … [Read more...]

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At the Register: Maite Roche is a treasure

roche mary and jesus

   As a writer with children, I receive lots and lots of Catholic children's books, and nearly every time, I regretfully decline to review them, because I cannot deal with the way Mary and Jesus' faces are drawn. The best of them are blank and insipid, giving the impression that the Holy Family was dabbled in narcotics; and the worst are goony and pandering. Take it from me: transferring Spongebob's features onto a human body and slapping a halo on his head is not, in fact, … [Read more...]

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I don’t always do obnoxious fist pumps

Lemieux,_Fr._Denis_-_Official_(Linda_Lambeth)_07-04

. . . but when I do, it's because I got a good book review from a priest. Madonna House's Fr. Denis Lemieux, whose blog, Ten Thousand Places, you should be reading, had this to say about The Sinner's Guide to  Natural Family Planning: The meaning of chastity in marriage and the painful journey towards it is well treated, as is the delicate subject of discernment around the choice to have another child. The judmentalism that can sometimes pervade NFP circles is squarely and forthrightly c … [Read more...]

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