Your Favorite Books From Childhood May Be Back in Print

DebutanteHill/Lizzie Skurnick Books

DebutanteHill/Lizzie Skurnick Books

Lois Duncan. Paula Danziger. Richard Peck.

If all of these names ring a bell, you’re likely over 30-years-old and spent your tween years gobbling up one young-adult novel after another, living vicariously through characters navigating puppy love, puberty and out-of-touch parents. While today’s YA fiction has taken a different turn—series about vampires, werewolves and aliens are all the rage—the book industry has caught on to the fact that Gen Xers and Yers want to revisit the books of their youth. The popularity of blogs about bygone series such as The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High has proven that.

Now a new imprint, Lizzie Skurnick Books, is reissuing YA classics from the most beloved authors in the genre. The imprint will kick off its launch with Lois Duncan’s 1958 novel Debutante Hill about a teen from the right side of the tracks who gets the cold shoulder when she opts not to be a debutante. Is anyone else reminded of the “Gilmore Girls” episode when Rory makes her debut? But I digress. In addition to Duncan’s work, Lizzie Skurnick Books will give fans of classic YA the opportunity to read the works of Ernest Gaines, Lila Perl and Ellen Conford, to name a few. Continue reading

Six Ways to Prepare for Surgery

Operating Room

Photo by Ruhrfischer/

A handful of years ago when my husband, Anthony, and I were still dating, he quizzed me about my experiences in hospitals. He wanted to know if I’d ever been hospitalized or rushed to the emergency room. I answered no to both questions. The only times I’d visited hospitals were to visit sick relatives or to report on healthcare for newspapers. I still remember the look of disappointment on Anthony’s face when I made this revelation. He, after all, had been hospitalized multiple times. Over the years he’d suffered from appendicitis, sports injuries and once in college was even struck by a hit-and-run driver as he stood on the sidewalk with friends. How did I have the good fortune to pass through my childhood, teens and twenties with no serious injuries or illnesses?

Little did we know that my luck would change in 2011, our first year of marriage. After just 10 months of matrimony I suffered a severe allergic reaction to hair dye that ballooned my face to triple its size. Off to the emergency room we went—at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m. Nine months after that I discovered that I had a huge uterine fibroid tumor (the doctor likened it to the size of a newborn’s head) that would require major surgery to remove. I had the surgery, an abdominal myomectomy, in the spring. But I wasn’t quite finished going under yet. Just more than a month ago I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted.

The combination of that surgery and starting a full-time newspaper job in August resulted in me taking an abrupt break from writing for this website. Now I’m back, and though I won’t be able to write as frequently as I once I did, I’ll aim to write at least once weekly. I’m devoting the first entry upon my return to the tips I’ve learned about surgery over the past year. Continue reading

Way Back Wednesday: ’90s Fashions Back in Style

Winona Ryder in Overalls for 1994 Rolling Stone Cover

Winona Ryder in Overalls
for 1994 Rolling Stone Cover

The 1990s are long gone, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at current fashion trends. A number of styles that were de rigueur when Tom Cruise could do no wrong, the Bulls were the NBA champions and MTV actually played music videos have been resurrected in the 21st century. Anyone who was wise enough then to realize that fashion runs cyclically and held on to their ’90s threads is certainly tickled pink at the moment that they don’t have to buy the duds that characterized the decade all over again. Do you have any relics from the ’90s in your closet? Find out with this list on the following pages. Your wardrobe may be more retro than you think.

At What Age Do You Let Yourself Go?

Let Yourself Go

Photo by Amber Rae/

I’m in an awkward stage of life right now. Not the terrible twos or the transitional tweens but the dirty 30s. At this age, it can be challenging to know what to wear. I recently decided to chuck the halter dress with comic book script I bought in my 20s, but I’m hardly ready to do all of my shopping in the women’s section of a department store chain. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Fashion pioneer and actress Chloë Sevigny recently told The Cut that she felt confused about styling herself at age 38.

“I’m kind of in that window where I’m not sure if I can still dress like I used to, if I should be dressing more like a lady. I don’t know,” she said. “When do you let go of your childish ways, as far as fashion is concerned? I’m not sure. I see older women dressing like kids and I’m like, do I look like that? I don’t know.” Continue reading

Way Back Wednesday Roundup: Prince Covers Shania, New Backstreet Boys Album, “Daria” Trailer

ImagePrince Does Shania

I was so excited about this week’s installment of Way Back Wednesday because on Tuesday news broke that Dan Chamberlain had unearthed an old recording of Prince covering Shania Twain’s ’90s classic “You’re Still the One.”  Being Prince and all, the artist naturally changed the spelling of the song to “Ur Still the 1”—a reflection of the text message speak he’s eerily been fond of since before text messaging even existed.

While the Internet remains abuzz about this Prince cover featuring Marva King, it appears the recording has been pulled from the World Wide Web. I’ve visited website after website offering the track up only to get an error message when I click the “play” Continue reading