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« Cowboy & Wills | Main | Resilience »



OOOOO--this makes my mouth hurt just thinking about it. I'd rather read a book.


Your post reminded me of an anecdote, supposedly true, of an exchange between the writer Isabel Allende and a dentist at a book signing or a reception.

Dentist: Your talk has been so inspirational, when I retire I'm going to write a book.

Isabel: Great! When I retire, I think I'll pull teeth.

Susan Bearman

I just heard a story on NPR yesterday about a country with more than a million people and only 11 dentists. I didn't hear the whole thing, but the gist was about some American dentists who have been volunteering to teach locals how to do basic dentistry and save lives. (Sorry, I couldn't find the link.) We take so much for granted.

On the other hand, my endodontist was amazed when I fell asleep during my root canal. He said no one had ever fallen asleep in his 20 year practice. At the time I was a mom of four young kids and some good drugs and a reclining chair seemed to me like the perfect opportunity for a much-needed nap.

Susan Bearman

Found it. It was on World View: This week's Global Activism segment features a Chicago area dentist who teaches dentistry in developing countries with little or no access to basic care. Plus, WBEZ’s Lynette Kalsnes reports on the changing role quinceañeras play in the life of young Latinas.


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When we compost garbage and recycle cans, when we clean a room and put coasters under glasses, when we care for everything we touch and touch it reverently, we become the creators of a new universe. Then we sanctify our work and our work sanctifies us.


Hi Anna. May,I really enojyed your book. It made me feel happy sad anxious worried delighted and most of all wanting more. You let us the reader feel as if we were part of your wonderful family and what a warm fuzzy feeling that was. Thank you.Mary O'Connor


Joint MD and co-founder of Infinite Ideas here. I see we've been mentioned above so I thguoht I would join the debate and explain our position.We became involved with the BWA last year as their ambitions seemed to match ours-to break the stranglehold of the mega-corp publishers and to do something interesting. There are quite a lot of accusations on this blog and on others about the BWA and it is not for me to defend or otherwise their position. All I will say is that they do generate extremes of opinion which is interesting in itself.As you're probably aware we published Catherine Cooper's The Golden Acorn last year and have just published her third book in the series. Agreed, this was a departure for us as we traditionally haven’t done much fiction or indeed children’s publishing. Have we been successful with it? I think the best person to answer that is Catherine herself. I believe her postings on various blogs and her speech at the BWA awards this year make her position towards us clear.In terms of our ongoing relationship with the BWA, we are not publishing any of this year’s winners. Sensitive soul that I am, I slightly bristled at the “top publisher” gibe from Harry. No, we’re not Harper Collins or Penguin-but isn’t that part of the issue? New writers are in the main ignored by the “top publishers” and I suspect Catherine has received a lot more TLC and support from us than she would have done from a big house. Never mind, I’m over the hurt already.Further, we are indeed guilty of offering a variety of services (I’d probably dispute “book packager” but we’ll let that go). Why do we make these offers? Well, put simply, we set the business up 8 years ago to do things differently. The implosion of most of the old publishing (and bookselling) models in that period has presented both opportunities and challenges. We are merely trying to respond accordingly.We pride ourselves on our openness. If anyone wants to contact me direct with any specific questions or issues please do. I find often that to be more effective than blog speculation. My email is

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