CategoryTwo-minute Reads

Fatherhood: The Road Taken


After being the object of celebration in my household on Father’s Day yesterday, I’ve realized something about fatherhood: I can’t recommend it. Sure, it’s worked out for me. I happen to have won the kid lottery. I’ve got two adult children in their twenties who are thoughtful, loving, and kind. Who seem to appreciate me as much as I appreciate them. Who have, from the moment they were born...

Library 2.5


Recently I noticed my little free library looking beaten down. Its foundational post was listing, the paint peeling, the glazing on the glass door chipping away. I did nothing about it, because I was contemplating shutting down my library. Version 2.5 standing straight with a fresh color scheme. I’ve been hosting this community book repository for about eight years. Mine was one of the first in...

A Little Praise Goes a Long Way


It doesn’t happen nearly often enough, in fact hardly ever, but it happened twice in one week, and I admit I feel damn good about it. First, I got a letter (actual handwriting, ink on paper, delivered to my mailbox) from a reader who said great things about my novel In Flight. “The mystery of what happened when Robert was in the fugue state made it a real page turner . . . I’d be reading along...

I’m Upside Down


During the Battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861, Major Robert Anderson, the Union commander, ordered the U.S. flag to be flown upside down to signal dire distress and to request assistance as Confederate forces were bombarding the fort.  More recently, the upside-down flag has been used in protests to express dissatisfaction with government policies or actions, symbolizing a belief that the...

Brooklyn: The Book and the Movie


Occasionally someone leaves an interesting novel in my Little Free Library—and I snatch it up. This time it was Brooklyn, by the Irish writer Colm Toíbín, published in 2009. The timing was perfect because Toíbín just published a sequel to Brooklyn, which is now on my list to read. Until now, I hadn’t had a chance to read Brooklyn, but back in 2015 I saw and greatly admired the movie based...

Does it Stand the Test of Time?


It was our kitchen that got me thinking. Twenty years ago we decided we were staying in our smallish house that we loved and we embarked on a massive renovation. The biggest project was a new kitchen: we knocked down walls to create a bigger, open concept; we installed new windows, floors, cabinets, appliances, and countertop. Now, against any standard of trends and current taste, our kitchen is...

A Challenging Love Triangle


The love triangle fascinates me. It’s a classic storytelling device because it comes with built-in drama, tension, and excitement. It radiates sex, secrets, and heartache. What more can you want from a story?  Rick, Ilsa, and Laslo in Casablanca. Jay, Daisy, and Tom in The Great Gatsby. Vampire, Werewolf, and Bella in the Twilight series. The love triangle never stops delivering. I’ve been...

2,000 Consecutive Days


I’m not a dedicated social media user. I have a LinkedIn account but use it only to keep tabs on a few professional contacts. No Instagram, no TikTok, and no other platform that I happen not to know about because I’m too old or not cool enough. I fiddle with Facebook, mostly as a lurker and tracking old friends, with the occasional shameless self-promotion to persuade someone, anyone, to buy one...

The Juice is Gone


It’s my first job in the corporate world. I work at a software company called MapInfo, a supposedly cool tech company. And yet today there’s a television on in the cafeteria and there must be a hundred people gathered around it to watch the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial that had captured our entire nation’s attention. Former NFL star, ad pitchman, and film actor Simpson had been...

Sunbeams Aren’t Made Like Kurt


You learn a little more about this guy and you might not be so disdainful of the “tortured artist” cliché. No, this post is not about me. Kurt Cobain was a wildly talented musician and lyricist, and he fought his depression and addiction demons to the death—his own—joining the “27 Club” of musicians and other artists who died at that age: Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix...

I’ve Got My Father’s Longines


My father, Bob (1927), and Harriet’s father, Joe (1926), were born a year apart. They both served in the Pacific in World War II. They both went to college on the GI bill that paid their way. They both married, led professional lives, and raised families—Bob in Buffalo and Joe in Brooklyn. They both lived into their eighties. They also had almost identical Longines wristwatches from the same era...

“The Zone of Interest”


About “The Zone of Interest,” long-time movie critic Manohla Dargis at the New York Times wrote, “Jonathan Glazer has made a hollow, self-aggrandizing art-film exercise set in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.” I couldn’t disagree more. This film, loosely based on the plot of a novel by British writer Martin Amis, packed an emotional punch whose pain lingers in me days later. I’m more convinced...

Tree Trunk In My Way


For someone who often willingly glues himself to his desk, I’m a physical, movement-oriented person. I need to exercise, do things, play things. I like to compete. I love to test my limits. And as lucky as I’ve been and as devoted as I am to my fitness, my limits are a lot closer than they used to be. The bar is no longer getting higher. It’s only dropping lower. About two years ago I wrote about...

“When We Were Orphans,” Kazuo Ishiguro


Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the world’s most respected novelists, having won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017 based on a body of work of only seven novels and one collection of short fiction. I say “only” because many Nobel Prize winners have a much larger oeuvre. But Ishiguro’s work has a distinct and unique voice. He’s unlike any writer I’ve come across. His novels feature...

Riveting, Suspenseful, Drama


I was perusing the offerings on Netflix recently and ended up watching nothing. That’s because I was so absorbed by the three-word tags that Netflix has appended to every movie or series title. Understated, Inspiring, Dramedy Gruesome, Suspenseful, Horror As different titles and their accompanying graphics and text tags were presented to me, one after the other, each one shown just long enough...

David Klein

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


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