Esther Cepeda / Politics

Nothing to Toy With

CHICAGO -- With the exception of a few Lego sets, the kids in my immediate family are past the age of wanting toys for Christmas. Am I grateful.

Toys, and especially dolls, have stirred discontent lately. They seem to have taken on the gender ...

The Wonders of a Good Read

CHICAGO -- A great story can transport you to places you've never been and leave you feeling as though you had lived, breathed and enjoyed their delights.

The novelist Ann Patchett -- who this year took me into the magic clubs of Los Angeles, a ...

How to Really Enjoy the Holidays

CHICAGO -- I've never been drawn into Black Friday. Maybe that's why over the years, I've grown more and more disgusted with stores that have decided to open on Thanksgiving Day.

Such businesses deprive workers of some sorely needed time off with...

Melting Right In

CHICAGO -- For those of you who aren't close observers of the changing face of the U.S. Hispanic population, I beg you: Take a closer look.

For most of the last decade, the image of Hispanics in America has followed well-worn stereotypes: ...

Pass the Ketchup

CHICAGO -- If I could pour ketchup on this column to make it better, I would.

Though it's pooh-poohed by foodies as a condiment only worthy of a child's immature palate, I love ketchup.


Oh, I'm no zealot -- you won't find me ...

Why Some Reject Feminism

CHICAGO -- And now for another episode of "As the Feminism Turns" -- you know, the overwrought soap opera about who is and isn't a feminist, what it means today and whether it has relevance to women of any age.

It's a regular series, hopping from...