CategoryTwo-minute Reads

This Solemn Form of Joy


Sometimes I read a passage that strikes so close to me that it answers the question: Why do I read? In the novel, Trust, by Hernan Diaz, a young woman, Helen, walks from a European villa where she is staying into a nearby town, 1920s: The dry echo of her shoes on the cobblestones was all she could hear in the empty streets. Every few steps, she gently dragged a foot, just to feel the skin on her...

“The Last of Us”


I’m not one to gravitate toward a television series based on a video game, but I’ve looked over Owen’s shoulder a few times while he played “The Last of Us,” got absorbed in that story world, and then became interested in checking out the HBO series by the same time. I’m glad I did. Set in a post-apocalyptic world mostly destroyed by zombie-like humans who have been infected with a...

The Feast of St. David is Upon Us


I was born on Christmas, December 25. My brother, Peter, three years older than me, was also born on Christmas. So right from the start I’m sharing my birthday with both my brother AND baby Jesus. If that wasn’t enough to dilute my birthday, Christmas was a big deal in my family. There was the tree to acquire, the Advent calendar to hang, the decorations to bring out. Every Christmas Eve we’d...

Welcome to the Sunshine State


I was fortunate to get away for a long weekend to Florida with Harriet to visit her mom in Sarasota. There are benefits to sunshine and warm temps. There is joy in biking, tennis, swimming, walking on the beach, and seeing loved ones. There is calm in putting aside work and responsibilities for a few days. But about Florida, I’m conflicted. Beautiful beaches—yes. Fine weather—for the winter...

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow


I’m a generation too far removed to have embraced video games. The extent of my game knowledge comes from occasionally looking over Owen’s shoulder to see what’s on the screen and asking questions about the characters and game objectives. Then I picked up the bestselling novel, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin. This easy-to-read and well-crafted story centers on Sadie and...

Paying Attention in Two Worlds


I didn’t tell you what happened on my winter hike the other day. How when you’re fatigued and disoriented, your mind can play tricks. Earlier, when starting out, I was tuned to the environment. The trails were marked with colored disks, and the surface was packed snow and ice. I breathed in the cold air, the freshness of the outdoors. I took in the trail and bare trees and snowy terrain, the...

Artificial Intelligence Wrote this Post


You might have heard that artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over the world. Or my world, anyway. There are now dozens of AI tools that will write for you. Writing may be my profession and my passion, but if AI can write better than I can, I may be looking for a new line of work. The AI I tried is called Rytr. I think that word is pronounced “Writer.” Very clever. I had to do some...

The Upside of Artists Dying


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...

Back on the Racecourse


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


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...

How Did Damar Hamlin Survive?


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...

Lights of Winter


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...

The White Lotus: Sex and Intrigue


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?


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...

2022 Word of the Year


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...

David Klein

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


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