The Lake, by Banana Yoshimoto (#4 of 5 reviews in 5 days)

I read Banana Yoshimoto’s first novel, Kitchen, two decades ago as part of a summer class on modern world literature. She and her memorable pen name had created quite a stir in Japan — launching “Banana-mania” — and her English translations had been well-received too. I found Kitchen much more accessible than many of the violen… read more »

Any Westchester readers? Workshop in Hastings-on-Hudson tonight

Do you live in the ‘burbs north of NYC? Are you looking to squeeze some professional education into your schedule tonight, March 26? I’m doing a hands-on workshop on time management and productivity at the Purple Crayon Center in Hastings-on-Hudson starting at 7 p.m. (there will be a few munchies beforehand, I’m told). It’s conv… read more »

Review #3 — Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less, by Joseph McCormack

There is an irony to this book. Joseph McCormack, the founder and CEO of Sheffield Marketing Partners, knows that. Lest you think you are the first person to ask why someone would write a book on being brief (and not just a paragraph!) McCormack wants you to know that he’s thought of this. “When I first told my wife, Montse, and kids that I was writing a book ca… read more »

Sources for stories: Night owl productivity

I’m interrupting this week of book reviews to ask for sources for another Fast Company post. I’m writing about productivity for night owls. Much of the world is set up to reward early birds. School starts early (so parents and kids need to be up for the bus) and workplaces have that first meeting around 8. So if you’re not a morning person, ho… read more »

5 reviews in 5 days: Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter (#2)

I went on a reading spree a few weeks ago, and read 5 books in 5 days. I’m now posting short reviews of all 5 this week. Up next? The Optimist’s Daughter, by Eudora Welty.
I grabbed this book from the library because it fit my key demand-side reader requirement: That it be short. But Welty packs quite a bit into this slim tale.
To be sure, the theme of a ch… read more »