"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall
Book Launch Party! Come Help Me Celebrate!

May 13th, Wednesday, 7pm: A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland/Montclair
May 16th, Saturday, 3pm: Orinda Books, 276 Village Square, Orinda

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith


"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

Telephoning Those Teenage Babysitters — Rejected Again

An ivory colored touch-tone telephone, c.irca 1980s, with coiled cord and handset. A babysitter phone list is next to it. Photo by Barbara Newhall

One of our 1980s phones. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Note to readers born since the turn of the century: Back in the olden days, before email, before texting, before Facebook and Twitter, Moms looking for a Saturday night babysitter had to set aside a good chunk of time early in the week to conduct the search by telephone — aka land line. Also, just so you know, back in the twentieth century, there used to be this quaint custom whereby teenage boys would call up teenage girls and ask them for a date.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, June 21, 1987

Jon won’t do it.

He will make our bed. He will set the breakfast table. He will empty the cat litter box. No problem.

But, no, he will not call a babysitter for Saturday night. Jon argues that it would not look right for a man on the fast track toward middle age to be making telephone [Read more…]


What If You Threw a Book Launch — And Everybody Came?

A room full of empty chairs at Book Passage bookstore, California, awaits Barbara Falconer Newhall's book launch for "Wrestling with God." Photo by Jon Newhall

A room full of empty chairs greeted me at Book Passage. Cerridwen Fallingstar, who would be reading from “Wrestling with God,” was there with her mother. But would anyone else come? Photo by Jon Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Was anyone going to show up? My book launch at Book Passage in Marin county would be starting in a few minutes, and there were rows and rows of empty chairs, waiting to be filled. [Read more…]


Another Bunch of Bouquets to Art 2015

Floral design by Members of the Hillsborough, California,  Garden Club to complement  Elmer Bischoff's "Yellow Lampshade"

Members of the Hillsborough, California, Garden Club created this insouciant design in response to Elmer Bischoff’s “Yellow Lampshade.” Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Can’t help myself. I found a few more photos taken at last week’s Bouquets to Art show at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. Gotta share this bunch [Read more…]


Bouquets to You . . . At the DeYoung Museum Through Sunday

Floral design at the FAMSA Bouquets to Art exhibition 2015 by Andrea Frenkel of Ukiah, CA. Lily and Mint.  the design complements George DF Brush's 1890 painting "A Celtic Huntress."

Floral design by Andrea Frenkel of Lily and Mint, Ukiah, California, complements George DeForest Brush’s 1890 painting “A Celtic Huntress.” Photo by Barbara Newhall

Round floral arrangement of white carnations by Ricardo Aguilar of VelaFlor,  San Francisco. ceramic sculpture by  Viola Frey, "Man Ob

White — and deep red — carnations capture the texture of a ceramic sculpture by Viola Frey, “Man Observing Series II,” 1984. Floral design by Ricardo Aguilar of VelaFlor, San Francisco. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Just for fun, I’m tossing a few bouquets to you from among the many I spotted at the Bouquets to Art exhibition on Thursday at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Lots of anthuriums and proteas this year. And a gorgeous mystery blossom that I’m hoping you can help identify.

For me, the most enchanting designs are the ones that rely almost entirely on flowers and other vegetation — seed pods, tulip bulbs, cabbages. Andrea Frenkel’s bouquet to the 19th century painting, “A Celtic Huntress,” does this beautifully. The huntress’s hair, [Read more…]


The Best Things in Life . . . Have Been There Since High School

Cindy Weyant plays chess at the National Open in Las Vegas in 2010. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Cindy played chess at the National Open in Las Vegas in 2010. Attending a chess tournament en masse is the Newhall family’s idea of a good time. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Jon looked at me over the telephone receiver. His brother was calling. “Cindy died,” he said. “She died last night. In her sleep.” [Read more…]