Quotation of the Day for July 2, 2014 “I think the deepest sacrifice of those that we ask to go to war is not the possibility that they may die or their colleagues may die, but the sacrifice of their normal unwillingness to kill – and in particular that when they come back we don’t […]

Yep, that’s an accomplishment

I just got back home after being on the road for three weeks. I was in Jordan in the Syrian refugee camps, the United Nations, I was signing books in Norway and in Sweden and in Spain. And I got home, and waiting for me was the board copy of “Chu’s Day,” which they’d just […]


Quotation of the Day for January 23, 2012 “‘No accident that _débâcle_ is a French word,’ observed my brother once…. The word _débâcle_ suggests the going-wrong of an elaborately conceived plan: a disaster that somehow leaves the principal parties not only having lost what they were aware that they were risking but much more besides, […]


And so — 2012. As usual Neil Gaiman has the best wish, which has managed to condense thoughts that took me three pages to write for my niece into a few short lines. Well, that’s why Neil gets the big bucks and I don’t, isn’t it? I hope that in this year to come, you […]

On the shortness of life

Quotation of the Day for April 12, 2009 “You will hear many men saying: “After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties.” And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan […]

I have great friends

Quotation of the Day for November 9, 2009 “That same afternoon I was sitting on a stool in an intoxicated condition in Grogan’s licensed premises. Adjacent stools bore the forms of Brinsley and Kelly, my two true friends. The three of us were occupied in putting glasses of stout into the interior of our bodies […]


Thank you, sir, for worrying about the right things: John Williams has been making wine in California’s Napa Valley for nearly 30 years, and he farms so ecologically that his peers call him Mr. Green. But if you ask him how climate change will affect Napa’s world-famous wines, he gets irritated, almost insulted. “You know, […]

I’m okay, you’re okay – in small doses

Quotation of the Day for February 27, 2010 “Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone,” writes Jonathan Rauch in The Atlantic. “In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially `on,’ we introverts need to turn off and recharge. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does […]

Sensible words from Michael Pollan

Well, you know, it’s very interesting. Since this book came out, where I argue don’t buy high-fructose corn syrup and don’t buy products with more than five ingredients, suddenly the industry is—you know, they’re so clever. I have to hand it to them. But now they’re arguing that their products are simpler, and there’s new […]