Author Archive: MaryKate Perry

MaryKate Perry lives, writes, and bakes in Olympia, Washington. See her at www.marycakeblog.wordpress.com.

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The Family Vacation: A Toxic Disaster We’re Helpless to Resist
By February 12, 2015 0 Comments Read More →

The Family Vacation: A Toxic Disaster We’re Helpless to Resist

One Christmas holiday, I spent a few days in a beachside house with my siblings and their children. On his maiden voyage with the Wii, my little nephew accidentally sent his untethered remote control careening from his hand, end over end, toward the obscenely large television. The plasma screen splintered, and a hissing, steaming ooze bubbled forth.  Soon […]

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Look Here! Look Here! A Southern Family Drama with Comic Restraint

Look Here! Look Here! A Southern Family Drama with Comic Restraint

I read a fair amount of books: good, bad, and occasionally ugly. I read some worth passing on and some worth passing over. But I seldom read a book I consider Great. To be Great, the author must stun me with his or her command of language, so much so that I wonder if they made a deal with […]

Posted in: Book Groups
Raising Your Spirited Badger

Raising Your Spirited Badger

I revisited a bit of family lore the other day, regarding my oldest daughter’s first encounter with Russell Hoban’s Frances series.  I was reading Bread and Jam for Frances aloud, when her violet eyes grew wide with forbidden pleasure as she said in a scandalized voice, “Frances is naughty!” Yes, she absolutely is. Frances may be a badger, but she is us.  When I was recalling all this to […]

Secrets, Lies, Forgetting

Secrets, Lies, Forgetting

One college summer, in a 20th Century American Literature class, I was pleasantly surprised to find the reading list included Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist. The professor said, “People enjoy reading her, so naturally, the critics are suspicious.”  It must be so awful to be a critic.  Think of all the reading material they are forced to consume on the sly. […]

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Fortunately, Neil Gaiman

Fortunately, Neil Gaiman

This is not the first time I have posted about Neil Gaiman, an author much beloved by my household. I recently put forward my theories of therapeutic reading, and I had opportunity to do further research this week. I know, I work too hard.  Now then: are you world-weary?  Are you cynical? Would you be suffering from ennui if […]

West of Here

West of Here

Our guest blogger, Marnie Lassen, hails from Melbourne, Australia, where she is a reader, conservationist, adventurer and excellent cook.  She recently scaled the tallest mountain in Borneo (and got back home in time to whip up a pavlova).  When I last saw her she was passing through the Northwest, on her way to brave the dangers of an all-inclusive […]

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Mink River

Mink River

I have vowed that when I reach my crone years, I will sport a talking crow on my shoulder. Once I grow accustomed to the sensation of talons gripping my flesh, and the proximity of a carrion-tearing beak, I think the bird and I will get on famously. I had been thinking about crows because I was […]

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The Clue in the Jewel Box

The Clue in the Jewel Box

As told to me by avid mystery fan, Phoebe, age 11: My favorite Nancy Drew mystery is The Clue in the Jewel Box, because it keeps you guessing until the very end.  You get to figure out the mystery yourself, FOR ONCE. Through a series of strange events, Nancy becomes acquainted with Ms. Alexandra, a former queen.  Ms. […]

The Boy in the Suitcase

The Boy in the Suitcase

Are you craving a cozy read?  Longing for a book with a body in the billiard room, spilled brandy snifter at its side?  If you are ready to sink into your couch with a good, wholesome murder in hand then steer clear of Nordic Noir. This stuff is dark. I am the person who thinks The […]

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Don’t Supersize Me

Don’t Supersize Me

Overlook, if you will, the title of this book, which plays on women’s deepest fears.  Picking up where the French Women Don’t Get Fat trend left off, Naomi Moriyama takes us to her native Japan, where women get neither fat nor old.  What, do they not get uninteresting or senile either?  Well, probably not.  Lay your skepticism aside […]

Posted in: Book Groups