BECOMING BETTER

Jean Croker Petke


Category: books

Opulence and Disarray

Opulence and Disarray

Last week I explored the summer cottages in Newport, Rhode Island — mansions created by America’s wealthiest during the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. These mansions depict an unimaginable life of wealth and culture. For the original inhabitants, this was the only life they knew. And for most of them, these houses were […]

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Truth in Writing

Truth in Writing

Back in the 90’s I read Marlo Morgan’s Mutant Message Down Under. It’s the story of the author’s trek across Australia’s Outback with a tribe of Aborigines. I still remember thinking as I read, “What would I have done had I been in her circumstances? Would I have survived such things?” The narrative was chilling […]

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Plundered Libraries

Plundered Libraries

On my library excursion The Book Thieves caught my eye as I wandered past the new books shelves. I first thought it was The Book Thief, a novel by Markus Zusak. As I read the fly leaf, the back cover, a bit of the introduction, and scanned the table of contents, I realized this was a nonfiction account […]

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Literary Adventures

Literary Adventures

In February I wrote about libraries — the public ones of my past — and I promised to visit the ones in my city and in the places I travel. In March I wrote about independent bookstores — their uniqueness — and I promised to frequent them more often. Last Saturday I visited the main branch […]

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The Death of Dickens

I killed Dickens. Last week. On a warm spring afternoon. I hit delete and he was gone from my life. You see, I read him once in high school. A Tale of Two Cities. I didn’t like it much then but it was required reading. In recent years, as I’ve added classics to my regular reading, I’ve often […]

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