Juliette Drouet; The Lonely Life of Hugo’s Devoted Mistress

Juliette Drouet, circa 1850

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a love letter that Victor Hugo wrote to his mistress, Juliette Drouet, shortly after fleeing France to live in exile. In that post, I remarked that over the course of their impressive 50-year relationship, Juliette penned roughly 20,000 letters to the storied author. It’s…

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Valentine, a Killer Debut Novel, and Banned Books

Sunset in Big Bend National Park

Last week, I finished reading Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. I previously thought that American Dirt would be my favorite book of 2020 but unexpectedly, Valentine bumped it out of the running by a significant margin. What each of us finds praiseworthy about a book is entirely personal and while I…

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Kiki de Montparnasse, Muse of A Thousand Faces — Part I

Photo of Kiki by Pablo Gargallo

There are many reasons why I love my public library and high on the list is its world language section. Over the years, regularly browsing the French stacks, I’ve often noticed the book Kiki de Montparnasse, by Catel Muller and José-Louis Bocquet. For whatever reason, the cover blurb never managed…

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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…

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