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Heather's Essential Books

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‘My Essential Books’ is a new feature on the FRVPLD blog, where we talk up our favorite books in the hope that you may give them a chance, or at least appreciate our passion for the titles that have made us who we are.

Photo by Les Chatfield, flickr user.  

Album Obsession: Tourist in this Town by Allison Crutchfield

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As a huge fan of pop music on the depressive end of the spectrum, nothing quite piques my interest like the words “break up album.”  This year already seems like a stellar year for the genre, featuring promising entries from the likes of Ryan Adams and the Dirty Projectors.  Allison Crutchfield solo debut,

Bad Romance: Valentine’s Day Reading List for the Romantic Cynic

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Love in the air, couples fawning over each other, gooey love notes, Nicholas Sparks’ movies:  Valentine’s Day grosses me out.  I’m all for love and romance, as long as you keep it to yourself.  Even though I’m extreme in my squeamishness for a day devoted to public displays of affection (yuck!), I’m certainly not the only person who dreads Valentine’s Day.  Whether coupled or single, the day is kind of a pressure cooker of romantic expectations and disappointment. 

Staff Picks: Music of the Year

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2016 was a pretty impressive year in music, though it was also marked by the passing of several superlative performers including Merle Haggard, David Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen and many more.  However, we also saw some of the finest work by big name musicians, including the final albums of both Cohen and Bowie, as wel

Fall Zen: Books on Meditation and Mindfulness

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Late fall can be a stressful time.  We’ve just gotten over a heated election, the days are shorter, and the holidays are fast approaching.  It’s no wonder so many of us are grumpy and tired!  Want to feel more at peace?  Perhaps try to add a little meditation to your daily routine.

Girl meditating in road.

Photo by Nickolai Kashirin, flickr user. 

Catching Up with the Classics: House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

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After years of AP English and college lit courses, I pretty much eschewed reading “classic” literature for all of my 20s.  Like vegetables or exercise, it just seemed too good for me to possibly be enjoyable.  However, since it’s been almost a decade since I last had a reading assignment and smart books no longer have the tinge of “homework,” I’ve started exploring classics that have fallen into my reading blind spots.  Today I’ll highlight one of my favorite recent discoveries by the fabulous


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