Coming to a library near you? The Joy of Holds + Recommendations for eBooks

Today–all my friends who love libraries–I’m going to tell you a secret that will make you very happy. HOLDS If you are a library regular, you probably know you can put a “hold” on an exciting new book. You can do the same thing with ebooks. After the ebook you requested is returned, it can […]

Veggie of the Week Challenge: The Colors of Italy Pizza

pizza baked on a stone with pepper and zucchini length-wise slices, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and an Italian flag toothpick in the center.

This summer, my brand-new middle grade book, TROUBLE WITH PARSNIPS, took up the vegetable portion of my brain (I heard that) so dinner was often shoot-your-own-sandwich. We interrupt our veggie challenge for a moment to bring you a word from our sponsor: If you’d like to try TROUBLE WITH PARSNIPS at your local library, you […]

Tour a German publisher: Kiepenheuer and Witsch in Cologne

bright red front desk with name of publisher in white and a row of books in a built in shelf

Last week, our local library visited the German publisher Kiepenheuer & Witsch in Cologne. Their offices look right out on the Cologne Cathedral. Their location next to the main Cologne rail station make it easy for their internationally renowned authors to drop by for coffee. They have a fascinating history. I never thought about German […]

8 Ways Books are Better Than Scrolls: eBooks of the Ancient World

book cover of Libraries in the Ancient World

While trying to figure out how ancient books were repaired, I came across the delightful Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Casson. It’s a small, friendly sort of book, clearly written and even the black and white illustrations are fascinating. If you asked for a book in an ancient library, a page would bring […]

A Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Public Libraries in Germany

glass case with small toys and points required to earn them

  The city library of Cologne is a magical place! I got to go on a behind-the-scenes tour with volunteer librarians from my local library. Six floors of books, music, DVD’s to make any library fan happy. There’s even a special support office that supplies books and support for blind readers. Author Heinrich Böll’s archive […]

Writing Gratitude Countdown: (3) People who Rocked my Worlds

inside the Cafe Profittlich

This is the third post in my Writing Gratitude Countdown. I’m noticing that gratitude is like a pair of sunglasses. My writing journey takes on a whole color. (You can find the earlier posts here: 1. The Gift of Attention , 2. The Gift of Permission.) 3. The Gift of Hospitality: the value of an […]

What do gardens, libraries and exploring have in common?

Tree like a cathedral, with flying buttress sort of trunks. Huge canopy of leaves and the trunks more than twice the height of a person.

Planting a tree in Palermo a few hundred years ago means a gigantic tree is still living today. A botanical garden is a living library and so is a zoo, an art museum, or a national park. These storehouses of genetic variability are important because today’s shortcoming may be the key to success in another […]

7 Reasons Why “There’s not a moment to be lost”

Patrick O’Brian’s sea adventure novel, MASTER AND COMMANDER, is an action-packed story about the friendship between two very different men. Jack Aubrey is an ambitious Captain in the Royal Navy and Stephen Maturin is the ship’s physician and a devoted naturalist. Stephen’s nirvana is anteaters, platypuses, or a rare liana. He’s always longing for a […]

Check it out: more evidence for the power of libraries

Vending machine for mystery novels from the city library in Cologne. Big red box with computer screen and door with window to get book.

On a recent trip to Cologne, I was surprised by this machine in the Neumarkt underground station. It lets library patrons check out and return mysteries and thrillers on their daily commute, 24 hours a day. You gotta love librarians. They’re always thinking up some new way to share books. _________________ Thanks for your interest […]

Noblesse oblige, libraries, trees, and cyberbullying prevention

Burg Satzvey Castle with towers and moat and red and white patterned shutters. Burg Satzvey, Germany.

Yesterday, I visited a nearby village and strolled through the public part of the castle grounds of the lovely Burg Satzvey. It was built in the early 1300’s and now hosts jousting and other medieval-sounding shows for the entertainment of the populace. Half-timbered houses cluster around the castle and a large church stands just up […]