On June 28, my husband and I bought our first home. Yes, we are a little late in the game, but we don’t want to grow up. Buying a first house was a stressful and time-consuming experience, just as everyone warned. I didn’t believe them. Then we were in the thick of it. Then we learned. Folks told us we would collect a number of stories about house-buying. They were right about that as well.

For instance, the alarm company ripped us off while

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I must have wanted simple abundance in my life, otherwise why buy this book, Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ben Breathnach. The Oprah Book Club sticker on the cover was not a selling point. Simple Abundance is a “daybook” diary/journal that teaches readers to “simplify” their lives through consumption. The message is so ironic. On one page, Breathnach tells readers to discard all their glossy women’s magazines because they make us feel bad about ourselves and then on the next, in the very idiom of those glossies, she tells us to go shopping in order to discover our “authentic” selves. For instance, here is a representative

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My church has a Mother (or guardian)/Daughter Book Club that meets once a month to read books of interest to middle school girls. Last month, the kid and I attended the potluck that gets the book club off the ground. Everyone got to suggest one book, and since there were twelve of us (six mother/daughter pairs) we each got to recommend a selection.

The selections were quite amazing. Nearly all of them shared a common theme of

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This week Entertainment Weekly featured Natalie Portman and an article on Star Wars. The picture looks so much like the cover of L. Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz that I am beginning to wonder if Oz was influential to the production designers.

Interestingly enough, an article in the Chicago Reader points out that “the underwater city of Otoh Gunga could probably be traced back to John R. Neill’s illustrations in one of the Oz books,” so others have noticed this similarity too.

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