"I wrote 63 songs this year. They're all about Jeter." Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls' Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don't forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

3/31: Project Nim
December 3, 2011 · 10 Comments
3/31: <I>Project Nim</I>

Words are a fucking nightmare when it comes to closeness, often. … Words became the enemy. — Stephanie LaFarge
Project Nim tells the frustrating story of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee taken from his mother as an …

The Vine: December 2, 2011
December 2, 2011 · 109 Comments
The Vine: December 2, 2011

Hi Sars — I've enjoyed your site for years and hope to tap into the book knowledge that you and your readers have. I have a 7-year-old son who is a voracious reader. I love …

2/31: If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
December 1, 2011 · 7 Comments
2/31: <I>If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front</I>

The story in question is that of Daniel McGowan, a former ELF agitator (and arsonist, by his own admission) who got pinched by federal agents in 2005. He's not a terribly likely-looking "domestic terrorist," certainly …

1/31: What The Descendants Gets Wrong
December 1, 2011 · 26 Comments
1/31: What <I>The Descendants</I> Gets Wrong

Everything. K, great: on to Film #2!
…Fine, it doesn't get everything wrong. It's not necessarily objectively terrible. The writing does a handful of things I can't stand, though, and starts doing them immediately, so I …

The Vine: November 30, 2011
November 30, 2011 · 100 Comments
The Vine: November 30, 2011

The holiday season is looming and I'm trying to figure out how to deal with a situation before it becomes a Situation. (Could be worse. Could be The Situation…) Brief background: we're thirtysomethings who live …

31 Days, 31 Films
November 29, 2011 · 9 Comments
31 Days, 31 Films

…Because we're stupid, that's why.
Okay, seriously: Couch Baron and I decided each to write up one film for every day in December. For him, it's a way to get a jump on Oscar season; for …

Titicut Follies
November 28, 2011 · 10 Comments
Titicut Follies

The pre-Nixon-era mental hospital is a preoccupying terror of U.S. popular culture to this day. This isn't without basis; madness, and its attendant visions and rants, is a preoccupation of narratives throughout the world and …

The Vine: November 23, 2011
November 23, 2011 · 65 Comments
The Vine: November 23, 2011

I searched the Vine archives but didn't find an answer to this gift etiquette question, so here goes: my in-laws' best friends sent us a large gift for my kiddos (an art easel) that I …

The Vine: November 18, 2011
November 18, 2011 · 23 Comments
The Vine: November 18, 2011

I've tried for years to find a YA book that I read and owned back in the late '80s/early '90s but I can't find anything on the interwebs. So now I turn to you and …

TN Read-Along #13: Inside Scientology
November 17, 2011 · 10 Comments
TN Read-Along #13: <I>Inside Scientology</I>

On this episode of the Tomato Nation Read-Along: Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion, by Janet Reitman. It's available in print and Kindle formats, as well as on audio, which is how …