All posts tagged reading

“Read to Know” BookFest at Paterson Library

Published March 30, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6964 Isabelle Munoz with sons, Mattias and Benjamin.

Her children couldn’t wait to start reading.

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Saturday I had a very rewarding Paterson Press assignment, interviewing little book lovers!

Here’s the link to my article “Hundreds Show Up for Book Giveaway at Paterson Library”:

Reach Out and Read!

Published January 29, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0225NJ Congressman, Bill Pascrell (photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Today I had an awesome assignment to cover for The Paterson Press!

I got to meet NJ Congressman Bill Pascrell (and shake his hand!) and watch him read to a bunch of children in support of the NJ Division of Reach Out and Read (

I’ll let my article speak for itself (and there are a ton of cute kid photos!):

My first published article of 2013.

I’m going to definitely do a lot more writing this year. I reached out to another online editor and will be covering some local town council and government meetings, which will be some unexplored territory for me as a reporter. I’m having a meeting with the editor tomorrow at 1 p.m.


Dear Abby, RIP

Published January 19, 2013 by Maryanne

Dear Abby

Genius “Dear Abby” sample, swiped from The Frisky

It’s the end of another era as we mourn the death of famous advice columnist “Dear Abby” who died of Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 94 a couple days ago.

Pauline Phillips was the real name of  “Dear Abby” (Abigail Van Buren) who started writing her column in 1956 at the age of 37 and shared the column with her daughter Jeanne Phillips in 2000, but by 2002 Jeanne started writing the column herself.

“Dear Abby” will always hold a great place in my heart. You see, growing up, there was always a Paterson News in our home. And in the apartment downstairs from us, my Aunt Sophie got The Herald News. “Dear Abby” was syndicated, therefore her column was in both.

I always loved to read — a lot! If I read all my children’s books and comic books, I’d go to cereal boxes. One day I decided I was going to challenge myself and read the newspaper. I may have been too young for newspaper reading, but I decided I’d just skip over the words that I didn’t know. Surprisingly, when I got to “Dear Abby” it was an easy read for a kid and I looked forward to reading the paper every day. I went straight for the gusto — “Dear Abby” and the comics section. Grown-ups were impressed that I was reading the newspaper at such a tender age.

Moving forward, I was pretty wise for my years. Always an old soul trapped in a younger person’s body. I think Abby’s wisdom had a lot to do with it. When I grew older I became the go-to person amongst friends; the one people would seek advice from.

Even in later years when I had some struggles with depression, I’d be in therapy and the psychologist would tell me that I should be a therapist! This happened not once, not twice, but THREE times, on THREE separate occasions, with THREE separate psychologists. One even thought I should go to school for psychotherapy! What an honor to be told that by a professional.

I guess reading “Dear Abby” religiously was a form of therapy and I learned so much from her, which is why I reap the benefits now and have an amazing life and know how to roll with the punches.

Now in modern times, when many people lack people skills and manners we could really use a Dear Abby. The world is full of selfish, lazy people who don’t want to work; people who prefer the coldness of texting and emailing rather than picking up the phone or visiting someone (or even worse, people who don’t even answer emails because they can’t be bothered); people who are always in a hurry, honking horns, slamming into each other with their shopping carts; people who are always trying to one-up each other as if life is a competition rather than a beautiful place to be that God blessed us with. It’s just ugly out there! No wonder I just love spending my nights at home with my wonderful husband and our kitties!

But like I said, the end of an era. “Dear Abby” is gone and she took a lot with her.

I thank this wonderful lady that I never had the pleasure of meeting for all her wisdom and pure common sense. I also thank her for, in a way, teaching me to read!

God bless Dear Abby and may she rest in peace.

Here is a fabulous article on her that was published on the CNN website:


The Christmas Pig

Published December 5, 2012 by Maryanne


My all time favorite book (knocking “Letters from the Earth” by Mark Twain out of a long-standing first place in my humble opinion) is THE CHRISTMAS PIG, a fable by Kinky Friedman.

It’s an enchanting tear-jerker that can teach all of us a little something about love and kindness and acceptance of all people.

It’s an off-beat Christian novel that will make you laugh and cry (and cry and cry).

It’s a beautiful tale about the friendship of a young artist named Benjamin and a very special pig named Valerie.

I highly recommend it!

The book has 23 chapters. So every December, I pull the book from my shelf and read one chapter each evening of December, leading up to Christmas Eve.

It’s a keeper and I was able to score an autographed copy. But someday I hope to meet Kinky Friedman and get him to re-autograph it for me!