Featured Bookshop:  Books on the Square, Providence, Rhode Island
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Featured Bookshop: Books on the Square, Providence, Rhode Island

Books on the Square is a fine place to find a gift for your favorite reader (and that might be you, yourself). Located on the east side of Providence, RI, (steps from three different cafes, and the Paper Nautilus Bookshop), this commodious and welcoming shop is also extremely well-organized:  the internal signage will quickly orient … Continue reading »

Featured Bookshop: The Old Professor’s Bookshop in Belfast, Maine. Where you find the answers to “What Is? And What Matters?”
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Featured Bookshop: The Old Professor’s Bookshop in Belfast, Maine. Where you find the answers to “What Is? And What Matters?”

There’s an international organization founded by Richard Booth in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, which promotes “Book Towns.” The idea behind the organization is to promote sustainable rural development and tourism, by recognizing communities like Hay-on-Wye that are known for their literary culture. The group also organizes biannual book festivals. The 2016 Book Town festival will be held … 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 »

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 »

“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 »

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 »