Author Archives: jzbrence

Checking Out at the Grocery Store

When it comes to grocery shopping, there’s absolutely no limit to the things I can forget.  Every week, I start with the best of intentions – detailed list in hand, reusable bags at the ready – but as soon as … Continue reading

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Dads Who Go The Distance

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2013)       Us by David Nicholls (2014)       Father’s Day is the perfect time to highlight two noteworthy books featuring particularly intrepid dads.  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of … Continue reading

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The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (2013) “Where is the spiritual value of rowing?…The losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew as a whole.”   George Yeoman Pocock Once in a while, a … Continue reading

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Positive Energy

Last Sunday, I hit the pavement along with nearly 8,000 other runners for the 8th Annual Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The day was unseasonably warm and humid, which set the stage for a slow, sweaty slog … Continue reading

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Hats Off To Mom

An epic convergence of all things maternal took place over the weekend, with a celebration of my mom’s 70th birthday on Saturday, followed by Mother’s Day on Sunday.  The birthday party was a Kentucky Derby theme, with roses, mint juleps … Continue reading

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Winning Words

At this time last year, I was feeling distinctly uneasy about the state of the English language.  In my post Is Modern Language Boring?, I fretted over our shrinking vocabulary and the resulting deterioration in the quality of our communication.  … Continue reading

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The Rosie Effect

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (2014) If you enjoyed The Rosie Project as much as I did, you’ll be thrilled to know that Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back in Graeme Simsion’s second novel The Rosie Effect.  Not … Continue reading

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Dear Lorne Michaels

March 4, 2015 Mr. Lorne Michaels Saturday Night Live 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10112 Dear Mr. Michaels, There we were, settled in on the sofa for the comedy event of the year – the Saturday Night Live 40th … Continue reading

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All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2014) Once upon a time, there was a French girl who was enthralled by the creatures that dwell in the sea.  In a land far away lived a German boy who … Continue reading

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Mommy Piñata Syndrome

The flu is on every mom’s mind these days.  Apparently, mutations to one of the active strains of the virus have rendered this year’s vaccine less effective.  That’s why you and your family and all of your friends and neighbors … Continue reading

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