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Category Archives: Literature

A complete set of the Waverley novels, 1876, Edinburgh

⬆︎ Click here for high-resolution version. The books were a birthday gift For my 75th birthday, a friend who now lives near Edinburgh brought me a stunning gift that he had carried in his luggage across the Atlantic. It’s a complete 13-volume set of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, bound in leather, printed in the […]

Two recently published books

Tolkien’s letters Just last week the new edition of Tolkien’s letters was released. There was a previous edition of Tolkien’s letters (1981, a book that I have had for years), but the new edition adds about 150 new letters, bringing the total number of letters to 500. In many ways, I find the letters of […]

A minor repair on a deserving book

The injured book A few days ago, I mentioned here that I am very enthusiastic about a five-part BBC series from 2012, Parade’s End. (The series can be streamed on HBO Max.) The series is visually beautiful, perfectly cast, and brilliantly written, with some of the best dialogue I’ve ever encountered. I don’t yet know […]

All the Light We Cannot See

This Netflix series is just barely over the threshold of watchability. The characters are sweet, but cloying, often to the point of being irritating. The dialogue was some of the worst I’ve encountered in a long time. Most of the scenes are about 30 percent too long. It’s one of those stories that tries to […]

Parade’s End

Benedict Cumberbatch and Adelaide Clemens By accident, in the trashy wilderness of HBO Max, I discovered “Parade’s End,” a lavish five-part series from BBC Two that was broadcast in 2012. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Christopher Tietjens, a character in four novels by Ford Madox Ford published between 1924 and 1928. I’ve watched only the first episode […]

The Name of the Rose

1986 While scouring for watchables, I recently came across the 1986 film version of The Name of the Rose, on Netflix. It’s truly a classic film and always worth watching again. Back in the 1990s, I read Umberto Eco’s novel on which the film is based. The novel, too, is worth reading again, now that […]

A new edition of Tolkien’s letters

A new edition of Tolkien’s letters (from William Morrow in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the U.K.) will be released in the U.S. on November 14, and in the U.K. on November 9. The new edition, in hardback, contains 150 new letters since the previous edition of Tolkien’s letters in 1981, bringing the total number […]

Scapegoats 2, Republicans 0

The political death wish of the Republican Party is mind-boggling. Why do they go on fighting battles that they’ve already lost and that accelerate their slide toward permanent minority status and the contempt of history? — at least, in civilized places as opposed to places such as Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. Banning books, and threatening […]

Oxford India paper

Click here for high resolution version. Once again, unable to find any newer fiction that interested me, I’m reading another Sir Walter Scott. It’s The Fortunes of Nigel, and I believe this will be the eighth or ninth Walter Scott that I’ve read. Though Scott’s works are available at Gutenberg and can be read on […]

John Scalzi

I meant to buy the hardback but accidentally ordered the large print edition. The machine in the background is an IBM Model D typewriter in pretty rough shape. It’s out of its case while I try to determine if it’s restorable. The Collapsing Empire. John Scalzi. Tor, 2017. This is part one of a three-part […]