Category Archives: Audiobooks

The Alexandria Papers Newsletter #103


A 12-Minute Meditation to Meet Difficult Emotions With Compassion | Mindful
This guided meditation is a simple practice to help us navigate the ups and downs of everyday life challenges with a kind and open heart.
7 Mindful Movement Practices for Daily Life | Mindful
Top mindful movement experts invite us to come home to the body, get curious about what we find there, and let it nourish us from the inside out.


Suffer from migraines? 6 natural remedies and supplements that could help, from a specialist | CNBC
Migraine, and other headache disorders, are one of the leading causes of disability for women aged 15 to 49 years old in the U.S.
Natural Home Remedies for Headaches and Migraine | Everyday Health
When used along with doctor-prescribed therapies, complementary therapies can have an additive effect in relieving headache and migraine pain.

Trauma and Sexual Abuse

You can heal from sexual trauma – even decades later | Mayo Clinic Press
Sexual trauma is all too common, but there are ways to heal and take back your mental health and future.
Clutter is a Trauma Symptom | The Crappy Childhood Fairy
Clutter can be yet another symptom of trauma, alongside depression, anxiety, isolation and so on, rather than the direct cause of those symptoms.

Mental Health

50 Best Self-Care Ideas for Mental and Physical Wellbeing | Good Housekeeping
Boost your health and ease your stress with any of these easy activities.
How to Take Care of Your Mental Health: 10 Tactics to Try Today | BetterUp
It’s hard to take good care of your mental health. Try these 10 tips to proactively care for your mental health – and strengthen your mental fitness.


What Even Is This?: 8 Books That Blend & Transcend Genre | Book Riot
These unique, compelling books transcend the limitations of genre. If you love the weird and unexpected, you should read them.
Unwind with the very best cozy mysteries of all time | Audible
Whether you’re new to cozies or an avid fan, these mystery listens are sure to thrill and delight.

Cooking and Baking

How to be a good-enough home cook | Vox
You don’t need to be a master chef to feel confident in the kitchen.
Beginner’s Sourdough Bread | The Perfect Loaf
New to baking bread? Start with this easy and comprehensive guide to a beginner’s sourdough bread to make delicious sourdough at home!

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My Books

Holiday (a poem)

Day followed day,
and this and that
Seemed to be happening
As always, but through it all
Already loneliness was seeping.

Anna Ahkmatova

I pour myself another glass of wine, then lounge
on the wicker couch of the sun-porch, my bare feet

propped on an old milking stool, surrounded by texts
on the psychology of dreams. Late this morning

your first wife phoned, from where it is not raining: your
three children huddled around, chirping, while the cat

lapped milk from their cereal bowls. Outside the grey
rain shimmers, chanting the glossary of terms I

have yet to memorize. Thirteen-year-old Laura
eases into the Bentwood across from me, rocks

slowly. Her brothers pirouette onto the porch,
warbling ninth-day-of-rain-it-never-rains-when-we’re-

in-school songs. I reward them with cookies, so they
dance away to the kitchen, crooning rain-songs for

each other. Last night the youngest stole two-thirds of
your gin-and-tonic, inquired of your mother:

Barbara, when you get drunk, do things look all different?

(read more)


As powerfully written, darkly humorous, surprising, and accessible as Szeman’s prose works, these poems let you glimpse into the hearts, lives, and minds of ordinary people — whether they be mythological, biblical, literary, or contemporary — as they struggle to make sense of relationships, family, marriage, divorce, children, spirituality, faith, and the existence of God. As they struggle to comprehend the very things each of us experiences every day.


• Grand Prize Winner, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Isabel & Mary Neff Creative Writing Fellowship
• First Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
• Second Place, Elliston Poetry Prize
Centennial Review Prize for Poetry
• Honorable Mention, Non-Rhyming Poetry,
Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Contest

(Get your copy now)


The Kommandant’s Mistress, (a novel)

Part One: The Kommandant, Chapter One

“Then I saw her. There she stood, in the village store, her hair in a long braid down the center of her back, her skin white in the sunlight, and my hand went to my hip, seeking the weight of my gun. As the girl spoke, I stumbled back against one of the shelves, my fingers tightening at the leather around my waist. While the shopkeeper arranged the food in the bag, the morning sun glinted on the storefront windows, illuminating the girl. The wooden shelves pressed into my shoulders and back. Sweat dampened my forehead and ribs. Another shopper spoke, frowned, pushed aside my arm to reach a jar on the shelf behind me, but I didn’t move. My hand slid down over my hip and leg. No, I’d forgotten that I no longer wore my gun…”


The rumors spread by the Camp’s inmates, other Nazi officers, and the Kommandant’s own family insist that she was his “mistress,” but was she, voluntarily? Told from three different perspectives – that of the formerly idealistic Kommandant, the young Jewish inmate who captivates him, and the ostensibly objective historical biographies of the protagonists – this novel examines one troubling moral question over and over: if your staying alive was the only “good” during the War, if your survival was your sole purpose in this horrific world of the Concentration Camps — whether you were Nazi or Jewish — what, exactly, would you do to survive?  Would you lie, cheat, steal, kill, submit?

Flashing back and forth through the narrators’ memories as they recall their time before, during, and after the War, and leading, inevitably, to their ultimate, shocking confrontation, “Szeman’s uncompromising realism and superb use of stream-of-consciousness technique make [this novel] a chilling study of evil, erotic obsession, and the will to survive” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

New York Times Book Review “Notable Book” and one of its “Top 100 Books of the Year,”  Winner of the University of Rochester’s Kafka Prize for “the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman,” the tales told by the Kommandant, his “mistress,” and their “biographer” will mesmerize and stun you, leaving you wondering, at the conclusion, which, if any, is telling the complete truth about what happened between them.


• New York Times Book Review “Notable Book”
and “Top 100 Books of Year”
• University of Rochester Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize
“the outstanding book of prose fiction by an American woman”
• Publishers Weekly (* review) “Outstanding Merit”
• Talmadge McKinney Award “Excellence in Research”

(originally published by HarperCollins / HarperPerennial NY)

(Get your copy now)

My Other Books

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