Tag Archives: Books

Bookchat 2018 #2

Barbara Pym – Excellent Women (1952) and A Glass of Blessings (1958). Mid twentieth century British literature boasts many figures who specialized in miniatures. Call it a response to postwar scarcity or an acknowledgment that their American cousins had the aptitude … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

‘Vain are the thousand creeds/That move men’s hearts…’

I was the nerd who read Wuthering Heights in the summer of eighth grade, developing a serious crush on the palsied Linton Heathcliff. Although only a handful of her poems ranks beside that novel, Emily Brontë would insist, I’m sure, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Philip Roth — RIP

His most infamous book paid for the adventures of ensuing decades, but it remains the book most recognized by the general public, and why not? Released during the same period as Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckingridge and John Updike’s Couples, Philip … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bookchat continues!

Weary of working the film and music reviewing salt mines, I turned to books in 2014. Then I got a steady freelance reviewing gig at The Miami Herald. When this ended after nine months, I saw little incentive to cobbling sentences … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Rick Scott and vote suppression

Now that Governor Rick Scott has announced a Senate challenge to William Henry Harrison confidante Bill Nelson, his record as an opponent of voting rights should hand Florida Democrats a victory. The Miami Herald compiled a dandy list of Scott’s … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self-righteousness only The Village could love

“[James] Comey isn’t just the kind of writer who quotes Shakespeare, but the kind who quotes himself quoting Shakespeare,” Carlos Lozada writes in a delicious review of A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership that is by far the most … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Exploring the soft white pouches of Donald Trump

These times are so extraordinary that I agree with Michiko Kakutani — she finds the prose that appears under James Comey’s name rather good. “The soft white pouches under” Trump’s “expressionless blue eyes” isn’t bad; I prefer that she notes … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Best queer fiction

I wonder what readers will conclude when they see The Mysteries of Pittsburgh on a list of my favorite queer fiction and not, say, E.M. Forster’s Maurice. Reading a certain book at the right time can excuse an array of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

‘Mudbound’ trapped by structural conventions

Mudbound might have been a solid NBC Sunday movie back when such things existed, or, better, a cable show several episodes long. At just over two hours Mudbound has the problems common to such productions: a “Meanwhile, back at…” chronology, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Ursula K. Le Guin — RIP

Julie Phillips’ 2016 New Yorker profile of the late Ursula K. Le Guin noted how unseriously sci-fi writers — a female sci-fi writer in her case! — were taken in a literary scene dominated by male aspirants to the canon: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hail fellow well read: The books of 2017

Through hurricanes, conferences, grading, writing, and blogging, I managed to read the following books in 2017, many of which were unfamiliar to me. Some modern classics disappointed me (Such a Long Journey), others impressed me (Salvage the Bones). The best … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Best novels about adolescence

Although I came up with this dozen easily, I know it reeks of conventionality. I do need recommendations. 1. Louise Fitzhugh – Harriet the Spy 2. Ray Bradbury – Something Wicked This Way Comes 3. Madeline L’Engle – A Wrinkle … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments