Serial software entrepreneur, writer, translator, and mother of 3. Avid follower of French media, culture, history, and language. Lover of books, travel, history, art, cooking, fitness, and nature. Cultivating connections with francophiles and francophones.

American Dirt, The Out Crowd, and Cancel Culture

Saguaro National Park by Joe Parks

Since Covid, I’ve been very diligent about staying home, limiting my social interactions, wearing a mask, etc. Last week, however, I decided to escape the confinement and join my husband Andy on a short expedition across Wyoming and South Dakota. I thoroughly enjoyed the break from routine. To sum things…

Continue reading

Two Graphic Novels, Illuminating Memoirs from the Middle East that are Fun to Read

Panel from Persepolis

For most westerners, the Middle East is a frightening and poorly understood part of the world. It’s impossible to develop an appreciation for the diversity of its people, its rich history, and the range of life experience in the region if you only rely on western news reports. In the…

Continue reading

Fanciful Visions of Notre Dame’s Reconstruction

Christophe Pinguet, Que la lumière soit

Earlier this month, and more than a year after a disastrous blaze nearly caused Notre Dame’s total collapse, President Emmanuel Macron announced that the ancient cathedral’s spire will be reconstructed in its previous form. This declaration may seem a bit overdue. However, much has transpired since flames engulfed, then toppled,…

Continue reading

Recent News from the World of Wine Forgery

Old wine bottles

Last summer I wrote a post about Rudy Kurniawan, perhaps the world’s greatest wine forger. His story is told in both a Netflix documentary, Sour Grapes, and an award-winning book, In Vino Duplicitas. Kurniawan, a young and charismatic wine dealer who scammed wealthy wine collectors out of millions, makes a…

Continue reading

Two Very Different but Excellent Podcasts

The Dying Gaul

The summer months have me outside on most days, working to restore my garden after years of my son’s punishing soccer drills. As I water, weed, trim, and thin, I like to listen to podcasts. I recently discovered two of the historical variety that I thoroughly enjoyed. In each recording,…

Continue reading

The Miseries of War Part 2, Crimes of a Nascent State

Plate 11, The Strappado

Last week I wrote about an 18-plate series of 17th-century engravings by the prolific artist, Jacques Callot. Published in 1633, The Miseries of War provides a visual account of the Thirty Years War that ravaged Europe between 1618 and 1648. In my previous post, I presented plates 1 through 9.…

Continue reading

The Miseries of War, 400-Year-Old Portrayal of Treachery

Plate 11, The Hanging

Several years ago, I was visiting friends in Chicago and looking for some free exhibits to see downtown. We noticed that there was a Day of the Dead exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center that looked interesting. The assembled collection was fun and informative, complete with works of art, photographs,…

Continue reading