The Gimme: What to Read this Week, May 31
FICTION / NONFICTION / READINGS / REVIEW / What to Read This Week

The Gimme: What to Read this Week, May 31

ICYMI, News to Read: The New York Times reports that beleagured Veteran’s Administration chief Erik Shinseki resigns, and many of the comments provide insight. Also resigning, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and Huffington Post’s Katherine Fung posts some of his epic clashes here. Vigorous gender discussion and commentary continues (#yesallwomen v. #notallmen), precipitated by … Continue reading »

The Strange, Gothic Tale of a Neglected Genius, Romantic Poet Mary Webb
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The Strange, Gothic Tale of a Neglected Genius, Romantic Poet Mary Webb

We tend to buy old books at library and tag sales to rescue them, particularly poetry books by women, suspecting they never had much of an audience. Who knows what hidden brilliance we might find? Of course, the path to discovery is usually well-worn, and someone in Britain will have formed a Literary Society in … Continue reading »

When Civilizations Meet, or Astrobiology: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
READINGS / REPARTEE

When Civilizations Meet, or Astrobiology: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The current Huffington Post cover story is “Astronomers to Congress: We’re Not Alone” Our favorite headline on the topic, however, is Wired’s:  This Alien Hearing Is the Best Thing Congress Has Done in Months. So suppose there is alien life. Let’s just take a moment to consider what happens when populations are introduced to each … Continue reading »

“Old People are a Problem” – How Emyr Humphreys, Sebastian Barry, & Other Authors Write About the Old
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“Old People are a Problem” – How Emyr Humphreys, Sebastian Barry, & Other Authors Write About the Old

Let’s look at some works about old people, by authors who won’t make you snooze off in your chair. In honor of the Hay Festival, the Library of Wales is offering free stories from Volumes I and II of Story, the Library’s anthology of the finest Welsh short fiction, during the month of May. We’re … Continue reading »

The Gimme:  What to Read this Week
GIMLET / READINGS / REVIEW / What to Read This Week

The Gimme: What to Read this Week

ICYMI, News to Read: John Pilger’s punchy article, dissenting from the common narrative about Ukraine, in the Guardian. Timothy Egan, writing for the New York Times Op-Ed,  gets uncharacteristically slammed in comments regarding his defense of Condoleeza Rice, Rutger’s would-be commencement speaker. Ken Auletta, writing for the New Yorker, speculating on why New York Times editor … Continue reading »

A Most Fabulous Collection of Czeck Book Covers
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A Most Fabulous Collection of Czeck Book Covers

Ah, the Smithsonian!  When Henry James Hungerford died without children in 1835, his vast inheritance from his uncle, English scientist James Smithson, was passed on to the United States, “to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men.” We won’t ask why he … Continue reading »

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 »