The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga

Un uomo mediterraneo. Doesn't that have the loveliest ring to it? It translates from the Italian to "a Mediterranean man" but it means so much more than that bland phrase. Un uomo mediterraneo is elegant, dapper, romantic, tips his hat to ladies, dresses immaculately, does not rush through life but rather meanders joyfully, enjoys all … Continue reading The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga

A Sweet and Spicy Memory: Biscochitos in New Mexico Culture

I am very pleased and proud to share this article I was asked to write on the cultural significance of biscochitos in New Mexican culture. It is the first (but hopefully not last!) article for which I got paid, and so I feel like a real, true writer now. 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading … Continue reading A Sweet and Spicy Memory: Biscochitos in New Mexico Culture

Episode 3, Season 2 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

My latest podcast episode just dropped and it's a hilarious one, filled with lots of laughs, an in-depth discussion of Shakespeare and food, the dubious merits of Mel Gibson's rendition of Hamlet. My guest, the witty, intelligent, extremely handsome and wonderful cook and author Giovanni Franceschini and I swap cooking methods, he creates an impromptu … Continue reading Episode 3, Season 2 of “Cooking The Books” Podcast Now Available!

Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp

A day after Halloween, I am rereading some classics from my childhood and I thought it would be fun to focus on one of my favorite scary books from when I was quite young, and one that still has an effect upon me to this day. Childhood fears are less insidious than those we learn … Continue reading Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

We're kicking off the high holy spooky season, and in honor of the month, I am starting off with Stephen King. Today we are talking about one of the darkest books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read some bleak stuff, but this book has the distinct advantage of not only scaring the hell out of … Continue reading Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Episode 2, Season 2 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

Season 2 of the Cooking the Books podcast continues with Episode 2, and a lively and funny discussion of one of the ultimate Gothic novels and an in-depth interview with food writer and cookbook author Allie Pino, whose latest publication A Gothic Cookbook is being crowdfunded at: https://unbound.com/books/a-gothic-cookbook/. You can support this wonderful book by … Continue reading Episode 2, Season 2 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice

Being the horror aficionado that I am, and having read so much horror literature in my life (good and bad), I feel pretty comfortable in my own literary criticism and analysis of the horror genre. Any horror writer worth his or her salt is going to prove their worth when they take on the typical … Continue reading The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice

Episode 1, Season 2 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

We're back with Season 2 of my podcast “Cooking the Books!" Episode 1 of this new season features one of the great Mafia novels of all time and the three epic films that followed it, a very fun and informative discussion with a professor of English who claims to love the film trilogy more than … Continue reading Episode 1, Season 2 of “Cooking the Books” Podcast Now Available!

Circe by Madeline Miller

Western culture is by definition patriarchal. You see it in our art, our music, our religion, our family genealogy, our rituals, our language, and of course, in our literature. Much of our culture is predicated on what we learned from ancient cultures such as the Hebrews, the Romans, the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons; and particularly, the … Continue reading Circe by Madeline Miller

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Horror in any form is always subjective because what is horrifying to me may not be frightening to someone else. I think that's why there is such diversity within horror - after all, anything can become scary if given the right context and circumstances. Personally, I love the horror genre because it's an excellent way … Continue reading Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt