Relighting the Tree of Life

It's October.  That means, at least here in Pittsburgh, everyone is beginning to talk about how to commemorate the terrible thing that happened here last October 27, when some guy from the suburbs drove into our Squirrel Hill neighborhood, went into the Tree of Life synagogue, murdered 11 people, injured others, and traumatized many more. … Continue reading Relighting the Tree of Life

Trixie Belden and the Little Fires Within You [book reviews]

My daughter Lydia is about to start kindergarten and is not really reading yet, only recognizing about 10 words.  That's fine.  When I was her age, I was reading on about a fourth-grade level, and that was fine, too--except that I got bored with the books in my classroom.  My father mentioned to a co-worker … Continue reading Trixie Belden and the Little Fires Within You [book reviews]

A Certified Wildlife Habitat in an Urban Churchyard

"Wildlife" sounds like something that lives out in the wild, right?  We picture wildlife in the jungle, in the desert, or at least deep enough into the forest that it can't hear motors. But wild animals live in almost every acre of Earth's surface.  Squirrels are wildlife.  Ladybugs, ants, and even pigeons are wildlife.  Leopards … Continue reading A Certified Wildlife Habitat in an Urban Churchyard

Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews

My brother got me two books about cities for my birthday--one fiction and one nonfiction, both great books with great covers! Here they are, along with reviews of the other books I've read recently. Walkable City by Jeff Speck I love living in a walkable urban neighborhood!  This book by a city planner told me a … Continue reading Walkable City, Visible City, and 4 more book reviews