{Ephemera Almanac Vol. 1, Issue 20} Get Cozy, Readers!




We did it! This is the twentieth issue of the Ephemera Almanac. I love gathering these links and treats for you every week.

However, since assembling 13 links for Halloween last issue tuckered me out a bit, this week I’m sharing everything I’m loving right now to get cozy and curl up with a book. It’s finally getting cold here in LA. (yes it does get cold- in the 40s at night)

Here you go:

  • These cozy jammy pants are on their way to me in the mail right now!

Enjoy the fall season and I hope you spend some time this weekend curled up and reading. I’ve got a date with some Lorrie Moore and I can’t wait!

much love to all and happy reading.


{Ephemera Almanac Vol. 1 Issue 19} The Spooky Halloween Edition

halloween cat in costume

Halloween is tomorrow! Everyone’s getting in the spirit, even Oskar. He’s very happy to be dressed as a lion. Don’t worry- he’s not angry. As I told my aunt who sent the cat costume props, that’s just his face.

I know I’m not alone in calling Halloween a favorite holiday. The costumes and the excuse to let loose and dress like the person you feel you are inside- it’s the best. And it is true that more often than not, I’ve picked librarian. I can’t help it- it’s one of my alternative lives for sure. And an easier costume than some others I dream of.

Here are my favorite 13 spooky Halloween discoveries around the web. (in fairness spooky is a generous term on my part- I can’t handle things that are too scary.)

Happy Halloween to all, and happy reading! Please share any spooky links or scary stories you have collected in the comments below or on our Facebook page.


{Ephemera Almanac vol. 1, issue 18} Eye candy for readers

eye candy

Oh, how I love eye candy, don’t you? I have been guilty more than once of picking a book by its cover. Wine by the label, too. There’s just something about good-looking design.

This week, I share with you all the cool looking things I have discovered on the literary interwebs. Happy peeping.

  • I happen to love this photograph, even if the creator didn’t.  (and the recipe with it sounds delicious!)
  • This pen is most definitely eye candy, but it’s even better in the flesh. Or the metal, rather.

Have a beautiful weekend! I hope you get to curl up for a bit and read. That is my plan on Sunday.  Here’s hoping LA stays cooler…


{Ephemera Almanac vol. 1, Issue 17} Reading by the Numbers

Reading by the Numbers

This week, I decided to gather all my numbered reading lists together for your enjoyment. Get ready for the numbers!

  1. 21 things you didn’t know you could do with your Kindle.
  2. 25 bestsellers from the past 25 years you simply must re-read.
  3. 50 of the best books of all time– with explanation about how they were chosen…
  4. For my gentlemen readers, 80 best books every man should read. Ladies, I won’t tell if you read this list, too.
  5. From the Powells blog, 11 best places to read.
  6. 25 of the most beautiful libraries in the world. (My favorites? 4, 5, 12, 13, 19 and of course I’m partial to 20) I predict a few stops on the honeymoon for these next year…
  7. NY Times review of Colum McCann’s new book, Thirteen Ways of Looking. Definitely going on my list.

Do you keep reading lists? I know one person who keeps a written list of every book she reads every year. Do you plan out your reading for the future? I love lists… so please share yours!


{Ephemera Almanac Volume 15} The Take a Big Bite Issue. ( Best Gluten-free cake inside!)

take a big bite

I’m all about taking big bites lately:

Start videos for the blog, learn to speak German fluently, learn calligraphy. Get married. Plan a wedding. Change work and career around to completely new model. Kondo the whole house.

What am I waiting for anyway? I’m chomping into things. It feels good.

Here’s some inspiration for taking your own big bites out of your goals. Dream big.

  • Possibly the best gluten-free cake I have ever had. Maybe the best cake ever, period. It’s worth the trip, I assure you.
  • It’s ok to try something and not be any good at it. I find removing the pressure helpful when diving into something new…
  • I have been on the Kondo train. This week it was books, but last week I cleaned my closet out for good. You can, too.
  • This Ted talk is my favorite kind: it cracked my heart open and made me hopeful at the end. Here’s how books helped a woman in Communist China keep her dreams alive. Inspiration in just 6:12! Trust me, just watch it.
  • I’ve been building up my meditation practice in this big bites phase and I was worried about my mind drifting. I love this article about why that doesn’t matter after all… I’m glad. I credit meditation with 98% of my remaining sanity.
  • And if you need permission to do something wild and wonderful. this is your permission. I was grateful to have it myself. It’s been said many times before but I’ll say it again. Don’t wait. Do that thing that’s calling you. It is worth giving it a shot.
  • If it doesn’t pan out, or if it does, there’s always pattycake cats.

or that gluten-free cake. I think we’ll go eat more tomorrow.


{Ephemera Almanac Volume 14} Writing Resources

tell stories people want to read

As much as I love books as objects, I also love them because of the stories they tell. And perhaps the idea of story that I am most enamored with in the end.

This week has been a bit of a challenge, and I am giving a lot of thought about how I write the story of what my life means in my own head. The links I found along the way were a lot about writing and writing resources, as a result, in all its many forms.

Happy exploring…

  • Then I was pumped about writing in general and dug up the 15 best writing blogs and am dying to dive into all of them immediately. Look for more thoughts on these in future posts.

{Ephemera Almanac vol. 13} Meditation and Mindfulness in Hawaii


meditation and mindfulness

photo credit: barrymcw.

This week, we’re returning to the woo-woo. It seems that everyone enjoyed that previous woo-woo edition, so I’m going to share more resources for meditation and mindfulness this week on the Ephemera Almanac.

I’ve been very lucky to spend this week in Hawaii on the Big Island with my family and found this beautiful spot for my morning meditation, just a few minutes’ walk from where we’re staying.

Every time I get away from my everyday routine, it gives me an opportunity to re-evaluate how I spend my time and live my life. I love the chance to fine tune my personal practices.

Here are some treats for you as you assess these aspects of life as well.

  • In my mid-twenties, I left psychotherapy as my profession and went to Spirit Rock for a silent retreat to mark the transition. It was a wild ride- my mind was anything but quiet, I assure you. The experience taught me so much and to this day my practice is a hybrid of zen and vipassana.
  • Later, I added mantra practice to meditation. I use this mala, which I love so much. I have worked with several mantras, but this is the one I am most pulled toward at the moment. Youtube is a surprisingly helpful source for mantras, as you get practice through repetition and the correct pronunciation. Just search for the mantra you want to work with in YouTube and keep clicking until you find a voice and orchestration you enjoy.
  • One of the best things I did for myself this past year was to take this course with Susannah Conway, The Sacred Alone. It’s starting up again in a couple of weeks and if you want to build a meditation practice, I highly recommend it as a great starting point.
  • If all these practices and resources feel overwhelming, start with just 5 minutes a day. That’s as much as I can do at home in my regular life a lot of the time and it still makes a difference.
  • And finally, following a Buddhist philosophy doesn’t mean you have to purge all your emotions. Here’s why it’s important to allow anger in a healthy spiritual life.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled swimming and reading. A whole stack of reviews to come… Im about to start my 4th book of the week… am hoping to get through five by the time we’re home…



[Epehemera Almanac vol. 12] Secrets and Escapes

secrets and escapes ephemera almanac


This is Oskar, our middle kitty. He has just turned 8 and was becoming too boisterous for our 16-year-old kitty. So we got him a little kitten friend. Great idea, right? Someone more age appropriate to play and run around with? Wrong.

Oskar spent the first two weeks we had Hugo hidden in our towel closet in the bathroom with his head against the wall, groaning. How could you do this to me?

Now, after a month, he seems to be returning to the fold, even playing with Hugo a little bit. But when he was worn down by yesterday, he turned to a book for support. I must say, I couldn’t help but feel a little proud of this choice.

This week, the links seem to gather around secrets and escapes:


[Ephemera Almanac vol. 11] Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride edition.

Mr. Toad's wild ride



Holy moly, it’s Sunday already. What with jury duty kidnapping my Tuesday, I felt like Wednesday was a whole new Monday. So here we are, on a kooky schedule.

And in honor of this upheaval, I have a group of links that will promote transformation and bold new adventures.

  • Another blogging friend and poet, Claire Mann, made a pilgrimage to the Bronte sisters home. I am dying to go there now. These photographs make me want to hole up somewhere and write my butt off.
  • I know I talked about it earlier this week, but Fluent Forever is still seriously rocking my world. I want all the languages immediately.
  • Susan Cain, author of the excellent book, Quiet, has started a site for introverts. I am loving it, especially this knockout post by a teen who describes how the book helped her accept herself.

Happy Sunday!


[Ephemera Almanac vol. 10] Make Your Nerd Heart Sing

ephemera almanac

Welcome back for another jam-packed issue of the ephemera almanac. I’m excited to see we’ve reached number 10! Thanks for all your comments and support. If there’s something you’d like to see here, please do let me know via email or in the comments.

Here’s the roundup of treats for this Thursday:

Happy Thursday everyone! What have you seen on the web that made your nerd heart sing this week? Please do share- I love to know what you’re all reading…