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The Upside of Artists Dying

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Not to be mean-hearted to the grieving or entirely self-serving, but I’ve discovered an upside when I hear about artists’ deaths. Recently, the American novelist Russell Banks died. Some years back I read one of his novels, The Sweet Hereafter, and found it compelling and intelligent. When I heard of his death, I remembered that his novel, Affliction, was sitting on my bookshelf. I don’t...

A Teaser for my Next Novel

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This is what’s known as a teaser: I show you the cover of my next book and let you read an excerpt to get you excited about purchasing the novel when it’s published in the very near future.

Below is the cover. Here is the first chapter. Enjoy!

Two Books I Put Down, and One I Couldn’t

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I’m willing to put down books before I reach the end. I used to suffer from a “finish what you start” syndrome, and I would keep hoping the book would turn the corner and start to captivate me. It rarely did. One reason I’m quicker to move on to a different book is a few years back I calculated how many more books I might read in my lifetime, factoring in average male longevity and my reading...

Lyrics to a Song

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I have a musician friend who performs covers and now is trying his hand at writing his own songs, in particular love songs of the singer-songwriter variety. He asked me if I wanted to come up with some lyrics for him. Knowing little about music and even less about songwriting, I asked him the chicken and egg question: what comes first, the tune or the lyrics? The answer is what I knew it would...

Back on the Racecourse

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I have Harriet to thank for this one. She asked me and a few others in our circle if we wanted to join her in registering for the Helderberg-to-Hudson half marathon scheduled for April. I initially scoffed at the idea. My days as a runner have been dwindling in recent years. Various age, injury, overuse, and motivational factors have taken their toll on my “elite runner” status. It was almost...

This is No Musical or Comedy

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Last week I saw the film The Banshees of Inisherin and the other night it won the Golden Globe award for “best picture, musical or comedy.” Best musical or comedy? One of the characters plays the fiddle, but this is no musical. And I did laugh a few times during the film, although given my stunned and sad state after leaving the theater, I would never classify what I saw as a comedy. But did the...

The Wellness Industry’s Dirty Little Secret

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Here’s another post from my favorite guest blogger, Julia Klein. It’s a new year. For many of us, that means New Year’s resolutions. People resolve that this year is going to be the one where they “get healthy.” Although striving to improve our health is a worthy cause, it is often twisted by diet culture.  Our cultural rhetoric around health has shifted. In recent years, diet culture...

How Did Damar Hamlin Survive?

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As a Buffalo native and a lifelong Bills fan, I was watching the Bills-Bengals game with Owen last Monday night between two premier NFL teams fighting for playoff positioning. We saw Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapse on the field. By now, most of the country knows what happened: after making a hard tackle on a Cincinnati receiver, Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. The Bills training staff and...

New Year’s Resolution: Unfulfilled Life Goals

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In a previous blog post, I pondered whether New Year’s resolutions are helpful. Most resolutions fail because most are focused on self-sacrifice and self-improvement, and that stuff is really hard. As Arthur C. Brooks wrote in The Atlantic, it makes sense that such resolutions rarely succeed: “If meeting self-improvement goals were so easy, we wouldn’t need to make resolutions in the first...

“Best Of” Reader’s Poll!

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Dear Cherished Readers: It’s that time of year again: the end. Which can only mean it’s time for all the “best of the year lists.” Best books, best movies, best albums, best hockey goals, best startups, best advice . . . There are a lot of “best of” lists! Did you ever wonder who compiles these lists? Who gets to decide what’s the best? It’s a subjective...

Lights of Winter

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Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere—and therefore the longest and darkest night. I’m thinking about light. Not the demure natural light of the low sun on this day, but the artificial light we use to beat back the darkness. In my safe, residential neighborhood of mostly single-family houses, I am surrounded by light on all sides. The neighboring...

Ten Percent Off Your Next Order of Health Care!

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While I was listening to a podcast, an advertisement came on for a company called BetterHelp, offering me 10 percent off my first month’s subscription. Subscription to what? Therapy, delivered online or over the phone. The pitch started like this: Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with a user manual, so when it’s not working for you it’s normal to feel stuck. Therapists are trained to help you...

I Almost Won a Darwin Award

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I’m sitting at my desk hearing icicles break off from my roof edge and crash to the ground during the winter storm that’s passing through, and I’m reminded of the time I almost won a Darwin Award. For those who don’t know Darwin Awards, they are given out to “commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate...

The White Lotus: Sex and Intrigue

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The world may not need one more take on season two of Mike White’s The White Lotus, but it’s getting mine anyway. The seven-episode season on HBO lands in what I consider a sweet spot in storytelling length—about six to eight hours of programming. This length also works well for adapting novels to the screen, which rarely transfer in any satisfying way to a two-hour feature film, but gain...

Too Proud of This Accomplishment?

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My daughter Julia is one of those people in my life I want to check in with every day. Not to keep tabs on her, or her on me, but because deliberately and proactively thinking of the people I love the most is time well spent. Enter Snapchat, that simple social media platform that claims it’s the easiest way to share a moment. Snap a photo, usually a selfie, add an optional caption, and send...

Capital Exploits Labor

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President Joe Biden, who I voted for (what a surprise), stepped into a labor dispute between railroad companies and the unions representing railroad workers. In September he helped broker a compromise labor agreement that prevented a rail strike, but that deal was ultimately voted down by four of the 12 unions that represent about 115,000 railroad workers. With a strike deadline looming this...

2022 Word of the Year

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It’s not that surprising that Miriam-Webster Dictionary chose gaslighting as its word of the year. The term first gained use in the mid-twentieth century due to a play and a subsequent film called Gaslight. Its definition then, according to Miriam-Webster, was: Psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their...

What a Start to the Day!

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I wake to a strange reddish cast of light in my room. Is it the apocalypse? I get out of bed and stumble my bleary way to the window and there in front of me is the most incredible dawn. By the dawn’s early light. This has to be an omen of good things to come. Sure enough, while I’m getting dressed, I choose a shirt from my drawer I have not worn in months, and folded inside it is my...

Friends & Family Fans

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That’s my friend Howard on the left. He’s the frontman for the rock band the Coal Palace Kings. They get it on every Black Friday, this year at the Hangar on the Hudson, a cavernous, spartan venue in Troy, NY. If you miss the Black Friday performance, you don’t get to see the Coal Palace Kings. They perform once, maybe twice a year, these oldish guys who’ve been loving and playing music all their...

The Vesper

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There are six of us. We’re three couples, all good friends. When we get together there is always a signature cocktail for the evening. It’s my turn to play bartender tonight and the choice is easy: the Vesper. It’s a variation on the martini with a three-to-one gin to vodka ratio, a half measure of Lillet blanc, a dash of bitters, and a lemon peel garnish. Shaken not stirred, the way James Bond...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, journalist, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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