The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale By Miriam R. Kramer As a teenager in 1986 I first ran across Margaret Atwood’s newly published work, The Handmaid’s Tale, at Old Town’s wonderful Olsson’s Books & Records, which formerly stood on S. Union Street in Alexandria. I was taken aback by the power and simplicity of her writing. This classic […]

Waiting for “The Winds of Winter”

Waiting for The Winds of Winter   By Miriam R. Kramer   Do we currently need “prequels” and “successor series” to the television juggernaut Game of Thrones? HBO and most viewers would say yes. George R.R. Martin, author of the wildly successful fantasy series of books A Song of Ice and Fire and inspiration for […]

The Girl Before, The Girl After

The Girl Before, The Girl After   By Miriam Kramer     Every month I hopscotch across diverse genres to find the books I review. I gravitate towards psychological thrillers, preferably set in the United Kingdom or Ireland with a dark, chilly edge. J.P. Delaney’s The Girl Before fit that bill, so I dove into […]

The Stranger in the Woods

The Stranger in the Woods By Miriam Kramer   Those of us who live in Washington, DC’s political tangle or even in the bustling historic environment of Old Town, Alexandria might take a long weekend or week-long trip glamping near the Grand Canyon, hiking in the Shenandoah Valley, or sailing the Potomac to reconnect with […]

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken   By Miriam R. Kramer    It is very difficult to write about love well. For every realistic, flawed love story, there are hundreds of well-meaning, gooey fabrications: kitschy stories that come neatly wrapped like a box of heart-shaped chocolates. Neither All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, by Bryn Greenwood, nor […]

A Melting Pot of Comedy

A Melting Pot of Comedy   By Miriam R. Kramer     January is generally anticlimactic and dreary after the holidays, and the beginning of this year may feel particularly dreary in comparison with the ebullient atmosphere prevalent eight years ago. Yet it’s also a symbolic start. If we learn anything through reading about comedians’ […]

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas   By Miriam R. Kramer   At this time of year Old Town glitters by night with tangles of twinkling lights in the trees lining King Street, as shops and restaurants brace themselves for the onslaught of visitors celebrating events such as the Scottish Christmas Walk. One of my favorite […]

The Year of Voting Dangerously

The Year of Voting Dangerously   By Miriam R. Kramer Veterans Day is sacred to both veterans and their family members who sacrificed for our country, to those who served to defend our way of life. Let us now consider the diffuse phrase “way of life.” We consider voting in elections deemed free and fair […]

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child By Miriam R. Kramer “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Literary genius William Faulkner was a figure dour and frightening enough to scare any costumed child on his doorstep asking for candy on Halloween. That youngster might have gotten a few nasty surprises in her box […]

Me Before and After You

Me Before and After You   By Miriam R. Kramer     Carl Jung once stated “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Jojo Moyes hit the NY Times bestseller list several years ago with her blockbuster novel Me Before You. […]