Category: Articles

Welcome to My Writer’s Sketchpad

Ruminations is where I share works in progress. Please follow the pointers below to learn more about me and the stories you’ll find on these pages. Thank you for visiting. Please return and tell a friend.

Who is Tom Abate and what does he write about?

Eclectic notions arising from my experiences and observations.

Stories and commentary based on research, interviews, and observations.

Satire, fiction, humor, and advice from the Dead Blogger’s Society.

Experiences and events that formed my character and inform my work and beliefs.


October 6, 2022

Book review: Chairman Mao’s Little Red Bed

“Forbidden City: A Novel” explores the intrigue behind China’s Cultural Revolution through the lens of a well-researched historical fiction.

In 1976, San Francisco’s Chinatown erupts in fireworks to celebrate the death of Chairman Mao. In the commotion, a young political refugee living in anonymity recalls how, ten years earlier, she had been one of the teenage virgins selected to entertain the aging veterans of the Long March. This 1934 tactical retreat became the founding myth of the People’s Republic of China. Through the novel’s reverie, in the safety of her thoughts, protagonist Mei Xiang relives the ambition and idealism...
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October 6, 2022

Book review: Nine words to change your outlook about changing the world.

People everywhere have found words to express the intentions that inspire them to act. Make yourself more powerful and satisfied by learning how to use them.

Globalization has expanded the collective wisdom of humankind by pooling words from thousands of languages. Author Lucy Turner has chosen nine of them as the basis for “Wor(l)d: One Woman’s Discovery of the Power of Words,” a 162-page prescription for how to derive joy and purpose from doing your part to make the world better. As a career United Nations civil servant, Turner has worked with people in some of the world’s most troubled regions. How have Haitians endured the...
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Updated date: October 6th, 2022

The Macroeconomics of Pastrami on Rye

Ordering lunch can be a learning experience in Covid time

What better way to celebrate my 67th birthday than by ordering a pastrami on rye at a delicatessen in Berkeley every bit as authentic as the places I grew up with in Brooklyn. My partner joined me. She was happy to mask up and present proof of vaccination at the door. Early detection and surgery had excised a pea-sized tumor in her breast, and she wanted to avoid Covid like the plague. As she was getting certified, I noticed a...
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