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Category Archives: Literature

Watership Down

A rabbit friend stopped by this afternoon to inspect the clover and to remind me to remind you that, if you’ve never read Watership Down, then now is a good time to read it. And if you have read Watership Down, then now is a good time to read it again.

London Spy

Ben Whishaw as Danny, and Edward Holcroft as Alex Almost in despair that five perfectly good gigabytes of my monthly satellite data was hours away from expiring, I happened upon “London Spy,” on Netflix. It’s a BBC television drama from 2015 with five episodes. I watched the first two episodes last night. It’s fantastic. I’ve […]

J.B. Priestley

“An Inspector Calls,” BBC, 2015 J.B. Priestley had never particularly been on my literary radar screen. He should have been. I will work on that. Last night, with quite a few gigabytes of satellite data to use up before my account does its monthly reset, I was determined to find something good to stream, which […]

Ken’s third book is out

Ken’s third book is out. You can buy it in bookstores tomorrow (April 10, 2018) or you can order it from Amazon now. I hardly need to say how proud I am of Ken, with his third book published at the age of 34. Here’s a link to the Kirkus review. And here’s a link […]

The murder of the inverted pyramid

Once upon a time, when newspapers were both noble and strong, editors and publishers regarded readers’ time as very valuable. Editors and publishers understood that newspaper readers were trying to absorb as much information as possible in the least amount of time. They knew that most readers would not finish most stories. Readers would read […]

My first library book, rediscovered

I have a clear memory of the first book that I ever checked out of the public library. It was Space Cat, by Ruthven Todd. It’s a short (72 pages) science fiction children’s novel. Whether I was in the second or third grade, I’m not certain. I think the book would have been within my […]

Ursula Le Guin

After the death of Ursula K. Le Guin this week, it was heartwarming to see so many beautiful eulogies and obituaries. Rarely is a fantasy and science fiction writer accorded so much respect in the mainstream. I can add very little, except to say that in addition to her fiction, she was a fine essayist […]

Are we all Buttercup now?

Buttercup A couple of days ago, I finally got around to watching “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.” It was good psychotherapy for trying to psychologically survive this week’s terrifying Republican train wreck in Washington. I have been doing my best to avoid political posts. Partly this is because the mainstream media and the reality-based […]

The troubles of the 4th Century

Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarians. Edward Armitage, 1875. Julian, by Gore Vidal. Vintage International, 1962, 502 pages. On the Gods and the Cosmos, by Sallustius, mid 4th Century. Paganism’s last stand occurred in the 4th Century. Early in the 4th Century, the Roman emperor Constantine established Christianity as the state religion. […]

Umberto Eco

Sean Connery and Christian Slater in “The Name of the Rose” The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco, 1980. English translation 1983. What? I’m reviewing a book that was first published 37 years ago? Oh well. No one ever accused me of being au courant. I have tried several times in the past to read […]