Featured Bookshop: Sherman’s Opens a Store in Portland, Maine
READINGS / REPARTEE / REVIEW

Featured Bookshop: Sherman’s Opens a Store in Portland, Maine

  Sherman’s, Maine’s oldest bookstore, is part of a happy trend:  an increasing number of independent bookshops are opening.  In this case, Sherman’s expanded to open a fifth store in Portland in April, rounding out its other locations in Bar Harbor, Camden, Freeport, and Boothbay Harbor. Sherman’s is located on Exchange Street, a browsing, dining … Continue reading »

James Howard Kunstler’s Post-Apocalyptic Village: The Witch of Hebron
FICTION / READINGS / REVIEW

James Howard Kunstler’s Post-Apocalyptic Village: The Witch of Hebron

Like Emily Barton’s The Testament of Yves Gundron, another novel that looks at technology and culture – through a decidedly opinionated eye – is James Howard Kunstler’s The Witch of Hebron. The second in a series of post-apocalyptic novels (the first being World Made by Hand), Kunstler’s mythic novel imagines a remote upstate New York … Continue reading »

Modern Researcher Stumbles Into Medieval Village: In Emily Barton’s Wildly Imaginative Novel, Cultures Clash
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Modern Researcher Stumbles Into Medieval Village: In Emily Barton’s Wildly Imaginative Novel, Cultures Clash

Emily Barton’s elegant and innovative novel The Testament of Yves Gundron explores an imagined collision of past and future. The remote island nation of Mandragora is a medieval village untouched by the modern world until yeoman farmer Yves Gundron  invents a rudimentary, but critical technology, and young Cambridge anthropologist Ruth Blum stumbles into the village. … Continue reading »

Imaginative Possessions:  Tusiata Avia, Fiona Farrell, and Other New Zealand Poets in JAAM
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Imaginative Possessions: Tusiata Avia, Fiona Farrell, and Other New Zealand Poets in JAAM

While browsing through the bins at The Paper Nautilus, came across an unfamiliar publication: JAAM, which stands for Just Another Art Movement, an annual journal of writing published in Wellington, NZ. This particular issue – #29, published in 2011 shortly after the devastating earthquakes in New Zealand, includes pieces that reflect the upheavals, and suggest … Continue reading »

Murder, Theft, & Secret Codes: Eleven Unsolved Literary Mysteries
FICTION / NONFICTION / READINGS / REPARTEE

Murder, Theft, & Secret Codes: Eleven Unsolved Literary Mysteries

1. Who Really Wrote “The Night Before Christmas?” Clement Clarke Moore was the first to claim authorship of the classic poem. But the family of Henry Livingston Jr. begs to differ. Poetic forensics, a house fire, and a link to Washington Irving deepen the mystery. Stacy Conradt, writing for Mental Floss, takes on the mystery. … Continue reading »

Twelve Timely Excerpts from Wendell Berry’s 1971 Essay, “Discipline and Hope”
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Twelve Timely Excerpts from Wendell Berry’s 1971 Essay, “Discipline and Hope”

Read the following excerpts, and remember, Wendell Berry wrote this essay, “Discipline and Hope,” in 1971. For perspective, this was a decade before IBM introduced its first personal computer in 1981. 1) Nearly all the old standards, which implied and required rigorous disciplines, have now been replaced by a new standard of efficiency, which requires … Continue reading »

A Tribute to George (Saunders). No Reading 2014′s Best Until You Read 2013′s Best.
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A Tribute to George (Saunders). No Reading 2014′s Best Until You Read 2013′s Best.

We’re well into 2014, but perhaps you still have some of last year’s reading left. Stop and do not pass Go until you catch up with this one. “The best book you’ll read this year,” that 2013 New York Times Magazine assumption in search of rebuttal, introduces George Saunders’ Tenth of Dec.  So….anyhoo, let’s get … Continue reading »

Overinvesting in the Battle of the Book Titans
NONFICTION / READINGS / REPARTEE

Overinvesting in the Battle of the Book Titans

ICYMI, there’s an ongoing battle between Hachette (one of the big publishing groups) and Amazon. Specifically, a heated negotiation about ebook discount rates has been escalating. People on both sides of the battle are weighing in, including David Gaughran, Stephen Colbert, the Author’s Guild, those siding with traditional publishing,  and those defending Amazon as the publisher … Continue reading »