The Strange, Gothic Tale of a Neglected Genius, Romantic Poet Mary Webb
FICTION / READINGS / REPARTEE / REVIEW / Uncategorized

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 »

Featured Bookshop: the “Fiercely Indie, Truly Local” Owl & Turtle in Camden, Maine
FICTION / REPARTEE / REVIEW

Featured Bookshop: the “Fiercely Indie, Truly Local” Owl & Turtle in Camden, Maine

The Owl & Turtle Bookshop is a pleasure to visit, and we encourage you to drive to beautiful Camden, Maine, and go there as soon as possible. Camden is a bit of a tourist destination, so there’s a nice selection of restaurants, shops, and accommodations, but it’s not crowded: you can find parking if you drive, … 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 »

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 »

Photography & Pollen Counting in Iceland
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Photography & Pollen Counting in Iceland

  Alëx Elliott reports in the Iceland Review that pollen counting is underway in Garðabær, near Reykjavík, and in Akureyri. But you should visit Iceland Review’s beautiful Photo Gallery, by the photographers at Heimur hf, the publishing house behind Iceland Review.  Here’s an interesting ebook, Memoirs of an Icelandic Bookworm.  Author Jona E. Hammer translates Icelandic … Continue reading »

The Two Faces of Google
FICTION / REVIEW

The Two Faces of Google

We’ve read two books, Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and Dave Eggers’ The Circle,  and they do make interesting companions. Clay Jannon, a capable but down-on-his-luck web designer, responds to a HELP WANTED sign in a window: Late Shift Specific Requirements Good Benefits  “I was pretty sure “24-hour bookstore” was a euphemism for something. It … Continue reading »