My Word's

a weekly column by
Marylaine Block

Archive, Volume 2

July, 1996-June 1997

Subject Index


Current Column


Volume 1

(July 1995-June 1996)


Volume 3

(July 1997-June 1998)


Volume 4

(July 1998-June 1999)


Volume 5

(July, 1999-December, 2000)


Volume 6

(January, 2001-present)


Who IS Marylaine Block?


See the rest of my online work at


E-mail marylaine at

  1. Computer Shy -- the role computers play in popular fiction tells us a lot about our fears.

  2. Dixieland Thought -- a good conversation is like Dixieland jazz

  3. Fitter to Print -- what would newspapers be like if real writers, not reporters, covered the various beats?

  4. The Daily Mawgid -- if newspapers don't quite seem to get it, it may be because so many of the reporters are Mawgids

  5. Folkways of the Iowans -- on such summer rites as the annual bike ride against Iowa and the Bix run (and Bix sit)

  6. What Does a Woman Want? -- the way to find out is to read romance novels.

  7. Dogs on the Net -- on how the net allows us to meet mind to mind, without assumptions about each other based on our physical appearance.

  8. Only Humans -- we're more like animals than we think, but here are some ways we are utterly unique.

  9. Conventional Wisdom -- explaining political conventions to my (then) British audience.

  10. Carless and Carfree -- on the joys of living without a car.

  11. History Story -- we forget too often that history is not a collection of dates, but a collection of grand stories.

  12. Son Rise -- on my son

  13. Mean and Stupid -- on our politics.

  14. Dr. Death -- why Dr. Kevorkian to me is both macabre and necessary.

  15. Driven to Distraction -- on driving my son to Boston.

  16. Wild Kingdom -- on the shy but hopeful people who lurk on the net.

  17. The Dilbertizing of America -- three books I read suggest that work has changed for the worse in America.

  18. Unifying Vision -- what were the top 100 moments on TV? And would our answers match TV Guide's?

  19. Afraid of the Net

  20. From Books to Bytes -- how did a nice old lady like me end up on the net?

  21. ReadAlouds -- books so good you need to grab the nearest child so you have an excuse to read them outloud.

  22. Immoral Certainty -- our certainty keeps us from understanding each other, and from learning more.

  23. Baxter in Charge -- on America's foreign policy.

  24. Bar None -- what a world without lawyers might be like.

  25. Merry Christmas

  26. To My Known and Unknown Fans -- trying to figure out how I attract the particular set of fans I know about.

  27. That Was the Year That Was -- my annual review of the last year's reading.

  28. The Enchanted Toy Shop -- the net is not only a source of great information but the greatest toy store adults ever gave themselves.

  29. The Four Seasons -- why I love the midwest and wouldn't settle in the south or west.

  30. The Ghost of Christmas Future -- how Christmas has changed since I was a kid.

  31. Plan Ahead -- we live in a culture that fosters impatience.

  32. New and Improved

  33. The World Inside Your Head -- we don't believe what we see -- we see BECAUSE we believe.

  34. The Cat in the Book -- about the mysterious relationship between cats and booklovers.

  35. Visigoths -- how librarians became the new barbarians

  36. It's Like This -- on metaphor.

  37. Beauty and the...Rest of Us -- on our curiously mixed feelings about beauty.

  38. Survey of Men 101 -- I asked my male readers what they want in a women, and this is what they said.

  39. And Now for Something Completely Inconsequential -- a column about silly e-mail games.

  40. To: Lions / From: Christians -- on librarians and censors.

  41. Patron Saint of Dustbunnies -- on my regrettable housekeeping style.

  42. Without Skin -- a tribute to Anne Lamott.

  43. Let's Assume... -- on our underlying assumptions, so basic to us that we hardly even know they're there until they're challenged.

  44. Mail by the Ton -- on sorting the library's junk mail

  45. Becoming a Book, Part I -- playing the game of Fahrenheit 451; if you had to save a book by memorizing it, what book(s) would you keep alive and why? My answers.

  46. Becoming a Book, Part II -- your answers.