There are so many other better books to read

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I used to be a librarian, so I pay attention to what books people are reading and what books are talking about.

I was also kind of an old-school snobby-about-reading-material librarian, so let me just say that I usually thought people were not actually reading or talking about the books I thought they should be reading.

Let me rephrase that. I’m all for people reading what they want, and if what they primarily want is to read what other people are reading so they can talk about that book with others, that’s great. …


Retro Rewind

Try this for a deep, dark secret

Artwork by FanFare, original by NBC
Retro Rewind is a weekly series that reconsiders pre-2000 pop culture. More here.

“The great detective Remington Steele? He doesn’t exist.”

I heard those words for the first time in 1982, and I fell in love with a television show that changed my world. Little did I know then it would also ruin me for adult life.

It was 1982, and season one of the mystery/romance/screwball comedy series Remington Steele premiered on the NBC network. …


I think it will be cathartic*

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Do you read Shannon Ashley?

I do, because of course what Shannon Ashley writes is very readable. I’m not usually a jump-on-the-bandwagon kind of reader — I’ve got no FOMO of anything, and I hate discussing new, “hot” books or authors because I’m allergic to being told what to do, even when it comes to making recreational reading choices.

But I like Shannon Ashley for a couple of reasons.

  1. She doesn’t pussyfoot around. She may not be telling me everything, but she’s telling me a lot, and she’s often including pictures. One of my favorite books is by an author…


With everyone except themselves

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Anybody who has ever worked in the service industry could tell you this: Rich people are cheap.

My experiences as a waitress, a barista, and even as a librarian all taught me one thing: When the chips are down, and you want to witness generosity, you don’t look to a rich person.

I have absolutely no problem with frugal people. I like frugal people. I myself am a frugal person. My living room contains furniture I bought used when I was in college because the furniture still works (and I also hate to shop). If you are a person who…


I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games/Image courtesy of Lionsgate.

Remember when The Hunger Games trilogy was big?

Yeah, me neither. The first book in the series came out back in 2008 and that seems like a long, long time ago. (For me, personally? That time span has included a couple of kids, serious health challenges for my mom and my husband, and oh yeah, a global pandemic.)

So why, all of a sudden, did I recently have the urge to watch the movies based on the series, and then go back and read all three books? I couldn’t really tell you.

I can tell you this: I thought the…


And also? They’re what make you, you

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Just lately I have read The Hunger Games series for the first time, and it knocked me over.

Not because of the horrible dystopian storyline. (I actually feel like we passed the level of Hunger Games dystopia years ago, when we sent our American children to kill other children, and grown women and men, in the Vietnam War.) Not because of the strong, excellent-shot-with-a-bow heroine. (Although I liked the heroine Katniss, I feel like there have been women warrior characters around since at least the time of the Amazons.) …


But everyone should

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The other day my sister told me about a book she was reading (that I had given her). She said, “Sarah, I don’t think I can even read this book this summer.”

The book in question is Brian Alexander’s The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town.

The last thing any of us want to think about right now is going to the hospital. In fact, we don’t want to think about pandemics or diabetes or obesity or anxiety or any of the things that are killing us. …


Don’t laugh; work with me!

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

I am really terrible at teaching my kids how to get along in the world.

To some extent, this is because I am terrible at getting along in the world. I don’t make friends easily, I’ve never been good at holding a 9-to-5 career job, and I completely fail in my interactions with most systems, like American health care and my kids’ school district.

But here is one thing I try to do: I try to look at people. Especially when speaking with people who are just out there trying to survive life with me (think cashiers, health office staff…


And are women still expecting them to?

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I just read an article offering tips for men to more easily talk to women.

I had lots of problems with this article, including the fact that I personally think we should endeavor to talk WITH others, not TO them, but the article was competently written and I salute the author’s right to offer the tips she feels tip-worthy.

But something I read right in the introduction rubbed me the wrong way:

The bartender came over, and I ordered a beer. Cute guy said, “Could I get that for you?”

I took another look at him, assessed if I thought…


It’s not possible to get by on mere fiscal responsibility anymore

Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash

Ever talk with your parents, or anyone else in the generations above yours, and think:

You’re just not getting it.

This never used to happen to me as much, because, as my husband points out, I’ve always had the soul of a sixty-eight year old woman (many, many years before I’ll turn sixty-eight). Mostly I get along with older people very well and always have.

But today I saw how fundamentally people of a certain age do not even have the basic framework to understand the country’s current economic picture.

I live in a very desirable area, mostly because I…

Sarah Cords

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything.” Author of “Bingeworthy British Television.” Fellow curmudgeons welcome at citizenreader.com.

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