Conquest The safe bet: she likes the taste of the old glue that binds the ancient paperbacks. Or the soft, torn covers invite her to chew. And that she’s picked not one, not two, but three of his books could be chalked up to their proximity to her snout (second shelf from the floor). But, for whatever reason, my nine-month read more >>

Summer Stay After a long day of travel and a night of uneven sleep, I slip out of the house before everyone starts to gather and head out for a walk. Halfway down the block I pass a dilapidated, one-story house on this block of fancy, remodeled homes. I have walked by it dozens of times and never quite noticed read more >>

Heavy Rain We pull into the little seaside town, early evening, a few hours after a heavy rain: the streets bustling, parking lot nearly full. High summer tourism in mid-swing. As we stroll over to the swanky new bistro, and are led to a table near the kitchen, I flash back on the bookstore that used to be located here read more >>

News of the World The grass is so drenched with night rain that the dogs pass through it like little kids running in feathery snow. The soccer fields are full up with summer players, out early to avoid the heat. Runners ring the fields, checking watches and fit bits as they jog. I steer my charges for the back lot read more >>

Swimming Hole There are only two shady-looking men down at the swimming hole, which is surprising for a late Saturday morning. The place is usually packed. An enjoyable, always slightly chaotic scene, with whole families out with their dogs, packs of young shirtless men nursing coolers of beer and taking turns napping in the bushes. There’s a manmade sluice built read more >>