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

“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
READINGS / REPARTEE / Uncategorized

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 »

National Audubon Society Field Guides: From Artist’s Conk to Slimy Gomphidius
NONFICTION / REPARTEE / REVIEW / Uncategorized

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 »