Found in Translation – Eleanor Chandler on the London Book Fair
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Found in Translation – Eleanor Chandler on the London Book Fair

At one point in our youth, we admit to being baffled by reading poetry that had been translated into English, yet still rhymed. What phenomenon was this? Was there some supernatural force at hand? Was English just overflowing with synonyms? Or did brilliant foreign poets plan their verse to accommodate the powerful English-language publishing industry? … Continue reading »

Diversionary Readings: “Popcorn is OK. Popcorn is Good.”
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Diversionary Readings: “Popcorn is OK. Popcorn is Good.”

“Before, I wandered as a diversion. Now I wander seriously and sit and read as a diversion.” ― Walker Percy, The Moviegoer An excerpt from “Other People,” by Phillip Maughan, writing for Litro: “We had taken to our red leather seats in the polished auditorium and were waiting for the screen to boot up when … Continue reading »

National Audubon Society Field Guides: From Artist’s Conk to Slimy Gomphidius
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National Audubon Society Field Guides: From Artist’s Conk to Slimy Gomphidius

We highly recommend the National Audubon Society’s Field Guides.  They’re a good size, durable, well-organized, and feature very clear photographs which  – despite the artistry of the line drawings you find in many nature guides – is highly practical, especially when the subject is Mushrooms. (Audubon has 20 field guides currently in print, see here.) … Continue reading »

Übermütig:  Sabine Heinlein’s “The Portrait of the Writer as a Rabbit”
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Übermütig: Sabine Heinlein’s “The Portrait of the Writer as a Rabbit”

We discovered Sabine Heinlein‘s “The Portrait of the Writer as a Rabbit”  in the  2014 Pushcart Prize XXXVIII- Best of the Small Presses. It was originally published in the venerable Iowa Review. Here is an excerpt: “Unlike rabbits, the stereotypical German is stationary, predictable, and consistent. She plans ahead, stays close to home, and doesn’t … Continue reading »

“Avoid Sophistication” and Other Hints on Western Living & Self-Improvement
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“Avoid Sophistication” and Other Hints on Western Living & Self-Improvement

The things you find rummaging about book sales. This little English/Chinese guidebook by Edna Goo, published by Mei Ya Publications in Taipei @1970, was to introduce western customs to women coming to the U.S.   Our particular version has a rather poisonous little inscription, to an unfortunate called “Barbara,” which we can safely assume was not … Continue reading »

“Your Book is So Perfect,” and Other Great Refusals
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“Your Book is So Perfect,” and Other Great Refusals

“Your book is so perfect that I would feel ashamed ever to accept another book after having printed something so exciting, but as I need to continue in my business, I can’t afford to publish yours.” – An [unnamed] Chinese publisher, rejecting the manuscript of an  [unnamed] American author.  January 7, 1946 Milwaukee Journal, from … Continue reading »

Millennial Problems
NONFICTION / READINGS

Millennial Problems

  At the American Prospect, John Lingan review’s Nikil Saval‘s new book, Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, which “claims that 60 percent of Americans still make their money in cubicles, and 93 percent of those are unhappy to do so.” “My first office job started in the summer of 2007. I’d just graduated from college, … Continue reading »

Scientists, Please Stop Inventing Freaky Stuff
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Scientists, Please Stop Inventing Freaky Stuff

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.  Sure, some innovation is harmless but annoying.  Some initiatives begin with excitement but end in tears, like introducing  rabbits to Australia:   writing for Scientific American, Bec Crew explains the resulting Oz Easter Bunny Wars. (Crew is also author of Zombie Tits, Astronaut Fish and … Continue reading »