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At the public library that is my third home — my first home is a basement apartment, and my second…

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On the red wooden chair near my desk, 14 inches high, is a mound of books waiting for review. Three…

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I first discovered Lawrence Ferlinghetti in high school and his book Starting From San Francisco and have read everything he’s…

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“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever…

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Sarah Hall, born in the Lake District of the Cumbria region of northwestern England in 1974, began to take writing…

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Some will understand more fully than others. On a Wednesday you arrive home to find the one you love collapsed…

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Jack Reacher is back. In Past Tense (Delacorte Press, 2018, 382 pages), Lee Child, author of 21 novels about Jack…

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“What we have here is failure to communicate.” So says The Captain, the warden of a prison, in the movie…

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Spring-cleaning. Those two words conjure up images of washing windows, storing away the winter clothes, and carting off odds-and-ends to…

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Mrs. Patrick Campbell, famed Victorian actress, was renowned for her sharp wit. On hearing about a sexual relationship between two…

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So, how many Yiddish authors do you know? If you’re like me your answer would be none. That is until…

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Valentine’s Day is almost here, and I have fallen in love. Again. Three years ago, Nina George entranced me with…

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When someone dies, we look for words to assuage our grief and the grief of others. We deliver eulogies, we…

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I used to teach seminars in composition, history, literature, and Latin to homeschool students. One day a bright young man…

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My online dictionary defines hagiography as “the writing of the lives of the saints, adulatory writing about another person, or…

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Let’s start the new year with some old books. We begin with two suppositions. First, you are a good person…

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So many books, so little time. Many booklovers may have uttered that old saw with a sigh, but in my…

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When I was teaching homeschool students in AP Literature, I would on occasion ask them to write a sonnet. The…

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Fierce. Honest. Libertarian.  Those are just three of the reasons why author and professor Camille Paglia has fascinated me for…

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One of my favorite and most often used aphorisms in this lifetime has been “you can’t make this stuff up.”…

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The writers who lived and practiced their art between the two world wars of the twentieth century continue to exert…

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So there I was on a Wednesday afternoon in October in one of my favorite spots in town: the public…

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Want to know why Donald Trump won the 2016 election in one of the most stunning upsets in American history?…

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In 2015, online blogger Amanda Russo posted a humorous piece “Why Halloween Is Actually A Pretty Weird Holiday.” As Russo…

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Time to move away from novels and histories, and look inside some general gift books. First up is How Psychology…

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So many books, so little time. Many booklovers may have uttered that old saw with a sigh, but in my…

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In the last 75 years, the landscape and the culture of the Appalachian South have undergone enormous change. Take the…

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English farmwife and mother Tina Hopgood writes to Professor P.V. Glob. The professor had long ago dedicated his book, The…

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When I taught homeschool seminars in Latin, history, and literature in Asheville, I would wait for a cold spell in…

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Years ago, my wife and I belonged to a Waynesville book club in which a couple would act as host…

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Two days ago, I finished reading Jon Hassler’s Rookery Blues (Ballantine Books, 1995, 485 pages). Hassler focuses his novel on…

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In that moment, he knew that he was standing in the midst of something that would never be forgotten, something that…

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About 15 years ago, I was listening to a female critic discussing the seasons’ upcoming movies. When the moderator mentioned…

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When we are in school, we consider ourselves fortunate when we find ourselves in the company of inspiring teachers. We…

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In a prologue that will make you cry — bringing hackles of guilt to your eyes — Tommy Orange has…

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Oscar P. Fitzgerald’s American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, 621 pages) is a door-stopper book, a…

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The last 10 days have brought some broad swatches of time for reading. Two novels have traveled from the library,…

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Most of us, of whatever age, by a simple act of memory and willpower can revisit distant summers in our…

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... never acknowledging that the general culture is often stupid or evil and would vote out God in favor of…

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Sometimes a writer so imaginatively recreates a place and a people that the book becomes a time machine, sweeping us…

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Where do I start? What can I say of that young man whose wife had left him and who spent…

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Time to have some fun. And Adultolescence (Keywords Press, 2017, 248 pages) is just the place to go for that…

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Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go! has become as much a fixture of graduations as a bride’s white dress…

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In Elizabethan England, the vast majority of the population drank alcohol rather than unclean water, consuming up to a gallon…

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Spring cleaning. When we hear those words, we think of washing windows and dusting neglected baseboards, de-cluttering closets, going through…

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Do I have one for you! Elaine Neil Orr’s Swimming Between Worlds was recommended to me by Wayne Caldwell and…

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“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill By hell, I mean neither a trivial bad-hair day nor that…

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“History is a field of human intentions, deeds, acts. We need to look a little more closely at this field…

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Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy…

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