My Favorite Books in 2016

Rather than create a top ten list, below I’ve listed the books I read this year that I loved, either because the book was a page turner or– as is more often the case– because I gained a new perspective that I could not have otherwise.

I stuck to popular titles that I found available for free in the public domain or through my library. I hope there are at least a few titles that are new to you, that you can enjoy in 2017.   Continue reading

Book Review: The Martian

Remember that scene in The Martian when (spoiler alert!) NASA attempts to send a Mars probe loaded with food to keep Mark Watney from starving? In the movie, the probe ascends into the atmosphere and tension in Mission Control builds signaling to us, the audience, that something is going wrong. Then the probe blows up.

In the book, the reader learns more about what happens inside the probe: Continue reading

Contributed Article: America’s Parade Veteran’s Day Magazine


In the 1960s, the war in Vietnam raged and was broadcast into the homes of Americans.  Public opinion frayed; skepticism begot distrust and distrust begot hostility.  The outcome was tragic on all fronts, especially in the treatment of veterans returning home.

Today at least, this is different.  Many organizations have championed veterans across a spectrum of needs as varied and diverse as the people who serve.  Fortune 100 companies have launched military focused recruiting, and top universities offer military scholarships.  Public interest in veteran treatment and mental health has even compelled top media outlets to investigate government agencies, and jurisdictions have founded Veteran Treatment Courts to address the specific needs of veterans who find themselves in trouble with the law.

“I know with PTSD, if we’re not treating it, [veterans] will continue in our system,” said Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge and Veteran Treatment Court founder, Stephen V. Manley. “That’s what we’ve seen with Vietnam veterans. We did not address the unique problems of veterans after Vietnam…and we had terrible outcomes.”

To not address the needs of veterans transitioning from military service is to repeat history; it’s one area where the trend is moving in a positive direction.

Plebe Summer

I love this image of Plebes at the Naval Academy. It’s by Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Lucian Perkins and titled – of all things – Taking Charge.  I wish I knew more about what brought him to USNA to document plebes.  There’s nothing like a few years between me and my military service to let me see it encapsulated like this with fresh eyes.  I found the image here.

Five Lessons From My Military Transition

After the moving service packed up my home, an Au Pair, a toddler, and two cats piled into my Subaru Outback.  I waved goodbye to the Marine Corps and a little known Army base at 95th Street in Brooklyn, the Verrazano Bridge shrinking behind us, to finally join my husband in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He was getting his masters at MIT.

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