Jersey Book Lovers – Check This Out!

Eat. Sleep. Read. Book people — there’s a brand-new festival coming to New Jersey! It’s for you, your spouse, your kids, your ‘rents, your best friend. (But mostly for you. Come on, you deserve a little time splurge, don’t cha?!)

It’s happening this weekend, September 26 – 27, in downtown Morristown. Twenty-one fantastic authors will be there, holding one-hour sessions to talk about their books and meet their fans. They’ll also sign purchased books … which is a great way to get your holiday shopping underway. (Whaddya mean ‘it’s only September’? Work with me here.)

Authors participating in the festival include Jane O’Connor (Fancy Nancy!), Celeste Ng (check out some of the rave reviews of her debut novel), Keepers cookbook authors Caroline Campion & Kathy Brennan, human rights activist from Sierra Leone Ishmael Beah, and beach-read fave Dorothea Benton Frank with her latest bestseller. All the Saturday events, running from 10am – 4pm, are free. No tickets needed — just come on down and wander around. Stay, lunch, lounge on a perfect autumn day.

You can read a terrific article about how the festival got started by clicking here.
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I want you to know about this Festival because I have devoted countless hours to helping bring it to life over the past four months. It’s been a true labor of love for everyone involved and we dearly want it to be a rousing success. We want to be part of the movement back to paper, back to sharing ideas, back to conversation and community. We want to support authors and local booksellers and small businesses that strive to make our Jersey towns vibrant and wonderful. We want to create a moment in which people who share a passion for art, creativity, and expression — wrapped between beautifully crafted covers — come together to celebrate and connect.

Morristown Festival of Books logoThe Morristown Festival of Books debuts this weekend. I hope you’ll join us. And I hope it will be the first of many, many more to come. Please visit to see the full schedule of author events. You can also visit the festival’s Facebook page for more information.

Until this weekend, I bid you …

Peace. Love. Books.

This is an original JerseyMomsBlog post. You can also follow Deanna Q’s walks along Jersey’s culinary roads at


Beginnings, Endings, and the Pages in Between (Or Why I’ll Never Love Reading e-Books)

I recently started a new job, leaving behind a complicated workplace where I’d spent a little over a year and come to bond very deeply with my fellow inmates. Saying goodbye — even knowing full well I’ll see everyone again the very next time happy hour is convened — was unexpectedly painful. Why, I wondered, as a full-blown adult who has had my share of long-term employment, did this particular separation hit so hard?

The answer came to me as I lay in bed reading a few nights after my farewell party, a haze of melancholy still hanging over me. That night, I turned the pages of a novel I’d been savoring, slowing my usual pace to enjoy the beautiful flow of language. Then, unexpectedly, I reached the end. It was one of those paperbacks with the sneaky reader’s guide housed at the back. I wasn’t anticipating the final page and the story’s close left me feeling adrift, unwilling to let go.

I closed the pages, turned the book over in my hands. [Read more...]

Dear Younger Self — You May Be Shocked to Hear …

Raising children reminds you, at times, of your own childhood. You see your kids floating along in their own little bubbles of reality — blissfully unaware of the great big world just waiting to overtake them in a tsunami of endless worry, doubt, guilt, fear and every other swampy emotion that seems specially packaged for adulthood — and remember what it felt like to lose yourself for hours in some invented world of plastic characters, curling leaves, tiny pebbles, who knows what.

Now we have less than 7.4 minutes at any given time to focus on a particular task, thought or emotion before the next one plows into the cerebral station, demanding attention. Which isn’t helped in the least by technology that has shaped the cultural world to fit that perfect snippet of availability, training us to never stand still cognitively.

But I, like my brain, digress. Raising kids makes you think about growing up. As you watch them dressing up Barbies or smashing down virtual enemies, imagining their own glam, top-of-the-world futures, you realize how much you didn’t know when you were in their adorable shoes. Though these may not all be the ones I’d choose to go back and tell my small self, given the chance, here are a few things I never knew back then … [Read more...]

First Annual Hot Celebrity Dads DVD Festival

We’ve all heard about MILFs and the passion they inspire in so many men. Having just cruised through Father’s Day weekend, it seems like a perfect time to celebrate the DILFs and their equally sizzling hotness.

As a woman of a certain age, who also happens to be an entertainment junkie, I’m finding it increasingly squirmish to gaze longingly on sculpted young men who are, literally, young enough to be my sons. And when thinking like that pops into your mind, well, there goes the nice little flutter of excitement right along with it … no matter how unbearably gorgeous Ryan Gosling may be. Hey, girl – how about a backrub from someone you might have served juice boxes to during a playdate just a few years ago? Eww.

So, in honor of all the delectable dads out there who make over-40 look so damn good, I present a five-day program-at-home DVD festival featuring just a select few of Hollywood’s most perfect specimens of real-life dads who are doing the world a great service by reproducing.

[Read more...]

The Indignity of the Office Space

Nothing much changes in the great big world of human interaction. The last time I had a “real” job (translation: one that required me to be in an office, wear pants with constricting fasteners, and actually complete assigned tasks within a regular timeframe) there was not yet such a thing as Facebook and no one had cell phones that you could do much with beyond that old-fashioned thing known as calling people.

This wasn’t very long ago, mind you. But technology moves along at lightning speed in this millennium, so these past six-ish years have seen a great deal of change in the way people communicate, interact, and isolate during any given workday.

It has not, however, changed the way they crunch their goddamn disgusting saliva-moistened snack tidbits like tiny starved mice trapped between the walls nibbling, nibbling with frantic efforts to save themselves from impending doom ALL BLESSED DAY LONG while innocent others, invisibly positioned on the other side of the single shade of grey corporate partition, sit and try with equal desperation not to slip into irrevocable madness while attempting to compose a logical sentence without being mentally derailed by the sound, again, again, of – what? what are they?? crackers? carrots? panko-crusted Lego shards? – of the gnashing of terrible teeth* and swallowing of terrible throats.

That is not even to mention the phantom slurping of hot liquids, done ever so carefully, meticulously, with a triumphant loud swallow as the coffee, soup, or illegal elixir of pleasure is tamed by breath and conquering lips. Ah, how they savor every gulp over there on that side of the cube farm! I would envy them … if I weren’t so busy thinking of ways to slip odorless poisons into their cups.

[Read more...]