When it comes to short stories, the best insight on how to read them I've ever found came from a new book on writing, “Unless It Moves the Human Heart,” by Roger Rosenblatt. One of Rosenblatt's graduate students said, in effect, that the writer begins by saying, “And so, we have come to this.” Of three new collections out this winter, two rank among the best I've ever read. If this is what we've come to, 2011 should be rich indeed.
Spring Equinox: One mom eschews spring cleaning for some good, old-fashioned, digging in the dirt. She learns the best way to bond with her kids is tending to garden beds, not wiping muddy prints off the floor.
In fish-crazed Japan, where eating seafood is a vital part of the nation's culture, conservation groups are working with companies to persuade more Japanese to eat certified, sustainably caught seafood. If they succeed, it could have a significant positive impact on the world's fisheries.
Chickpeas and spinach bring big health benefits to this hearty one-pan meal. Cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion bring big flavor.
Other than the one we're currently living on, that is. As discoveries of alien planets accelerates, the discovery of an "alien Earth" could be just over the horizon.