Jennifer Government

Australian writer Max Barry’s second book, “Jennifer Government” is a well-crafted light satire. It could be called speculative fiction or science fiction. It’s set in a dystopian near-future in which governments have been downsized and government functions privatized. People take the name of their employer as their surname – Hack Nike, John Nike, Billy NRA, …

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White Teeth

“White Teeth” was British writer Zadie Smith’s first novel. It was critically acclaimed, it won awards and it was turned into a mini-series on British television. We saw it last winter on PBS – Masterpiece Theater. My daughter Claire was caught by the story and bought the book. In looking up Smith on Google, I …

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Starting Over

Starting Over is a self-help book by Thomas A. Whiteman and Randy Peterson, published by Pinon Press in 2001. I found it at McNally Robinson, a Western Canadian chain of bookstores. Whiteman is real licenced psychologist with a Ph. D. degree from Bryn Mawr, a real university. I don’t take that for granted in the …

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Sunscreen

My friend Stephen Katz offered my some support and advice in a private email message in the form of a quote from the Sunscreen song. I may have heard of it, but I didn’t think I had ever actually heard the song or read the lyrics. The story of the Sunscreen column, the Sunscreen speech …

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