Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Some thoughts on poetry ...

... from Bud Bloom: Being Pro-Poetry.

Having received my share of rejections ...

... I know how this feels: The Magical Ship. Not surprisingly, Shameless is taking it quite well.

This brings back memories ...

... On The Way .

Ya gotta love it ...

... Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. (Via Carl's Tiny Brain.)

June starts tomorrow ...

... and Kate Benedict is ready with a poem: The Spell Weaver.

No prize for Handke ...

... details at Nomadics: The ongoing saga of Handke's Heine Prize. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A wonderful discovery ...

... at Books, Words, and Writing: The Dialect Translator .

Here is the opening paragraph of my James Sallis review translated into Elmer Fudd's manner of speaking:

De novews of James Sawwis have been widewy pwaised by aficionados of cwime fiction, uh-hah-hah-hah. It’s easy to see why. Sawwis wwites wean, sinewy pwose, wif a nice twang and whythm, that gwabs youw attention fwom the stawt and howds it fast to the end.

Ready your hankies, please ...

John Baker posts about The Saddest Books. (Via Petrona.)
I know people are going wonder about me for saying it, but I've always found Ethan Frome to be mordantly funny.

Piercing clarity ...

... in this Cyril Connolly quote from Terry Teachout's Almanac.

"... the sadness that falls like dew from pleasure ..." How terribly true.

Terry also reviews a bit of Philadelphia: Coming and going.

Here at long last ...

... is Gresham Riley's review of Morris Berman's Dark Ages America: Beacon blinking out: Dark view of America .

Great American novel poll (cont'd.) ...

... "It's a damn good list" I confess to being a Melville supporter myself.

Happy birthday ...

... Walt Whitman, born this day in 1819. A good way to celebrate - in addition to reading favorites from Leaves of Grass - is to read D.H. Lawrence's essay on Whitman in Studies in Classic American Literature.
Whitman, of course, is always thought of as an irrepressible optimist. But, like all authentic optimists, he came by his outlook the hard way. One of my favorites among his poems is "As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life," which buoyed me up during dark days by virtue of its unblinking look at disappointment:

O baffled, balk'd, bent to the very earth,
Oppress'd with myself that I have dared to open my mouth,
Aware now that amid all that blab whose echoes recoil upon me I have
not once had the least idea who or what I am,
But that before all my arrogant poems the real Me stands yet
untouch'd, untold, altogether unreach'd,
Withdrawn far, mocking me with mock-congratulatory signs and bows,
With peals of distant ironical laughter at every word I have written,
Pointing in silence to these songs, and then to the sand beneath.

I perceive I have not really understood any thing, not a single
object, and that no man ever can,
Nature here in sight of the sea taking advantage of me to dart upon
me and sting me,
Because I have dared to open my mouth to sing at all.

Change at Amazon ...

... piques the interest of The Millions: Amazon Upgrade reinvents online access to books.

The latest issue ...

.. of Junto is up.

And, while you're at it, check out Margin.

Let's start the day ...

... with a little provocation: The Case for Popular Poetry. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mind your words ...

... and grammar and usage and punctuation. Courtesy of Minx: Eats, shoots and leaves with a smile!
And while you're at it, check out Oops - forgot what day it was!

Best American novel sweepstakes ...

... continues to draw much attention: The Balloting So Far. I'm somewhat annoyed by the potshots some have taken at Steinbeck. I suggest they open up any of his books and notice how good a writer he actually was. Let's forget the ideological crap.

And the winners are ...

The 2006 Independent Publishers Book Awards are up: Ippy! (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Best American novel ever ...

... proves a hot topic: No! in thunder. Omitting Steinbeck is a mistake, period.

Second thoughts ...

... at Petrona: The struggle to write.
I'm no big fan of Garrison Keillor, but I think he was more right than not in his piece about whining writers. Come on, agonizing over a phrase a la Flaubert is nothing compared to sand-texturing a wall in a large store (I know because I've done both).
To quote Kenneth Patchen:

The Orange bears with soft friendly eyes
Who played with me when I was ten,
Christ, before I'd left home they'd had
Their paws smashed in the rolls, their backs
Seared by hot slag ...

Writing can be hard work - but it's not the sort that ever killed anybody.

Two neglected poets ...

... are noticed by Sam Jones: This is where my love, somehow, stops.

Some odds and ends ,,,

... at The Elegant Variation: Obiter Dicta - Friday Edition.

Remaining Daggers ...

Sarah Weinman has The rest of the Dagger nominees.

Pondering Dada ...

... at Brandywine Books: Dada Da Duh.

Now hear this ...

... the world's first audio-only novel. (Hat tip again to Maxine.)

Nixon, Lincoln ...

... and Cavafy? I wouldn't have put them together myself, but I can see Patrick Kurp's point in `A Slight Angle to the Universe.' (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I love Cavafy, though I would be hard-pressed to say why exactly, other than to say I like his company.

A tribute ...

... to mystery writer Katherine Shepherd. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Just had a very pleasant chat ...

... with Belinda Subraman of BZoO HomeGrown Radio. Belinda also has quite a website: Belinda Subraman.com. She also does GypsyMag.

Want to read ...

Steve Clackson's Sand Storm? Here's your chance: Sand Storm - Sand Storm - Sand Storm .

The all-time best American novel ...

... and the nominees may be found here: Summer's Here and the Time is Right...

And you always thought ...

... classical scholars were stuffy pedants: Seasonal sex and seafood

And a side order of etymology ...

... would be nice, too: Linguistics goes out to dinner. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

A veteran departs ...

Chicago Sun-Times book editor Henry Kisor is retiring: After 33 years, I'm going back on the shelf . (Hat tip, Roger Miller.)

I never came upon the abbreviation ...

... ESL until I read this: ESL or Not? Matters Not. Nabokov would seem to be another notable ESL writer.

The idiocy continues ...

... with another book-banning effort: Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Children. I think this is a typical list compiled by adults who think these are just the sort of books kids ought to read. I wouldn't have wanted to read many of them when I was in school - or now for that matter - but I'd never think of banning them. Book banners never seem to realize that the best way to turn people off on a book is to put it on a required-reading list - and the best way to draw attention to one is by banning it. (Hat tip again to Maxine.)

Looking at the world ...

... from different statistical perspectives, leads to some interesting re-mapping. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Speaking of Gothic romance ...

... Liz Hoggard finds that Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca is still fresh at 68: Love, paranoia, obsession.

Art and literature ...

Tom Rosenthal looks into Why writers draw inspiration from the visual arts .

The latest dish ...

.. on Charlotte Bronte: Another Young Undergrad in Trouble . (Hat tip again to Maxine.)

Intellectual dishonesty ...

... meets academic pusillanimity. And the chairman of the philosophy department at Colorado University is not pleased: Pasnau on Churchill. (Via InstaPundit.)

A nice pay day ...

John Freeman takes note of The highest paid book review....ever . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The blogroll ...

... as promised, has been much added to. Now I have to start browsing the sites. Only now I have to return to my review book at least for a while. Early to bed for me, because I have to work tomorrow.

Why poets should find actors ...

... to perform their poems. Admittedly, it's hard to get better than Richard Burton reading John Donne.

A chat with an online publisher ...

Charles Ries interveiws Carol Novack, editor/publisher of Mad Hatter's Review.

I plan on adding much to my blogroll before the day is out. But I have also been using the holiday weekend to relax a bit and become reacquainted with my wife.

Carol Novack also has a blog: I am not who I think I am or is it whom?

I would have linked directly ...

... to Gregg Easterbrook's Slate piece on Al Gore's movie, but Glenn Reynolds links to that and to information about Hypocrites and Gulfstreams also.
I second Glenn's comment: "If you don't fly commercial, don't talk to me about greenhouse gases or conservation."

Pete DuPont's Don't Be Very Worried is worth a look as well.

Does the book review ...

... constitute a genre of its own? Brian Doyle ponders The art of the book review . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I think that formal inventiveness is the best response to the pressure to conserve space that has characterized newspaper writing for quite some time now. I also like to think that part of my job is to filter out the mountebanks and charlatans ( though I have read reviews of books that I have reviewed and was convinced that the other reviewer had not lingered too long with the book under review).

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

I found James Sallis's Cripple Creek more than a little annoying: Sheriff's glib nihilism is no mystery .
(For a second opinion, here's David Montgomery's take. Notice we both agree that Sallis is a fine writer.)

Desmond Ryan liked Sebastian Junger's A Death in Belmont: The Boston Strangler and Sebastian Junger .

Carlin Romano, back from BookExpo America, put together a list of books worth - for one reason or another - taking note of: A preview just for you readers .

Jen Miller wasn't entirely thrilled by Curtis Sittenfield's The Man of My Dreams: Second novel by 'Prep' author annoys.

But Rita Giordano was completely thrilled by William Haywood Henderson's Augusta Locke: The independent life of Augusta Locke.

Katie Haegele recommends the horse stories in Susan Starr Richards's The Hanging in the Foaling Barn: Young Adult Reader Sensitive stories about horses and the people around them .

Gresham Riley's review of Morris Berman's Dark Ages America for some reason didn't get posted online. As soon as that oversight is corrected, I will post a link to it.

Here are a few other reviews that ran duting the week:

George Stow was unimpressed by Norman Cantor's Alexander: Alexander suffers treatment of another biographer .

Allen Barra liked David Maraniss's Clemente a lot: The fascination with Roberto Clemente rightly continues .

And John Freeman admires David Remnick's Reporting: New Yorker editor's insights on leaders and has-beens .

Finally, though it has nothing to do with books, Ed Sozanski's commentary on the Rocky statue is probably the funniest think in the paper: Art Yo, Diana! Rocky's turn.

Don't be put off ...

... by the title of this post: The Suicide Squad. It 's really quite wonderful.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

That's it for blogging ...

... for a while anyway. See you later.

The future of bookstores ...

... or maybe their past: Mom and Pop's and Books and Stuff ...

About that trailer ...

... for Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. Jeff McDonald has a link to it: Coming to a Theatre Near You ...

Entrancement alert ...

Maxine and her family were much taken with Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Paternity case ..

John Derbyshire wonders: Jules Verne: Father of Science Fiction?

Commerce vs. tradition ...

Bill Kauffman looks at The Old-Fashioned Three-Day Weekend . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Had it been up to me I would have legislated a four-day Thanksgiving weekend and left the rest alone. But I can see why more than just businesses would like the long weekends.

John Freeman's review ...

... of Peter Carey's Theft, which ran in The Inquirer last week, so intrigued Debbie that she went to see Carey read at the library that night. Here is John's interview with Carey: Peter Carey: Art and lies - and money.

There once was a blogger named ...

... well, you fill in the rest. To inspire you, here's a little something Dave Lull sent along about limericks.

Friday, May 26, 2006

De mortuis nil nisi bonum ...

Prolific egg thief dies in 40ft fall from tree

Today's poem ...

... is Sophie Tolstoy by Jessica Schneider.

I stumbled upon ...

... And you expected what?! No more complaints from me about too big a workload.

Sarah Weinman ...

... has lots of interest at Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind. Just keep scrolling.

David Montgomery ...

... has seen the trailer for World Trade Center.

Take a look at these ...

... pictures of Stonehenge and Bath from Anna's Adventures Abroad.

How about ...

... some prose poems. Bud Parr links to Sentence.

More on blogging and fiction ...

... from Lynn Viehl: Story-to-Blog II and Story-to-Blog III .

Interior drama ...

Jenny D. links to Aeschylus in the mind's eye .

More jazz ...

... at About Last Night: Monsters, Inc.

The things you can find ...

... on the Internet. For interest, this discussion of Bob Dylan, Zionist.

Another romantic myth ...

... bites the dust.
I had not known that Mao Tse-Tung was "the greatest drug-addiction therapist in history." Seems millions of Chinese addicts gave up opium after Mao's "credible offer to shoot them if they did not."
Read Theodore Dalrymple's Poppycock.

Weighing the critic ...

... and finding him wanting: Dr. Leavis, I Presume?

A question of identity ...

Shameless ponders anonymity: Who Is That Masked Man? I should confess that my real name is Lamont Cranston.

Sci Fi alert ...

... from Glenn Reynolds.

Three cheers for individuality ...

... Valentine Ackland was a lesbian, a communist, and at one time a Catholic, but above all she was a poet, whose work was overshadowed by controversy, writes Frances Bingham: Labours of Love . (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Getting at the heart ...

... and the heartbreak: An Exchange Between Two Great Poets. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A poetry poll ...

... is up at Salt Publishing. Scroll down. It's on the left. (Hat tip, B. Tsao.)

None of the categories work for me, unfortunately. Actually, categorism doesn't work for me, because it runs counter to my existentialist (as opposed to essentialist) training and predisposition.

Words, words, words ..

... they are fascinating. Amy Nelson-Mile has several pertinent posts:
The English-American Dictionary, Staying On Top of Slang, and Warriors In the Battle Against Jargon.

You may also, if you can pass the physical, want to determine Which Classic Female Literary Character you are.

In search of ...

... poems about jazz: Off Minor at Anecdotal Evidence. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.) A particularly good point:

Oddly, few poets seemed to have understood the significance of the discipline and intelligence it takes to create this music. Rather, they seize the notion of improvisation, romanticize it and turn jazz musicians into a species of idiot savant. There is little worthwhile improvisation without a disciplined and encyclopedic knowledge of the music, the instrument and the vast songbook of American (and other) music. The apparent telepathy we see and hear among jazz musicians as they perform is rooted in hard work and dedication, not “natural rhythm.”

Which may be why Rachmaninoff was such a fan of Art Tatum.

Maybe because, as a very small child, I heard (and can remember hearing) the King Cole Trio on the radio, I have always preferred my jazz cool.

Check out ...

... David Thayer. Note references to Mandi Rice-Davies (I remember her as Mandy - former copyeditor alert) and J. Profumo. Even if you weren't around for the original, you may remember the 1989 film recap (with Ian McKellen).

I just discovered ...

... Word Pangs. Note Bestseller Minds . I think this is true of a certain kind of best-seller, the sort best-described as cotton candy for the mind. But best-sellers tend to be a mixed bag at all times. Here is the list of best-sellers between 1910 and 1919. Ellen Glasgow, Booth Tarkington and H.G. Wells all made it. Notice that in 1917 and 1918 the poems of Alan Seeger made the list. Does anyone remember Alan Seeger? I do because his most famous poem was in all my grade-school poetry text books. T.S. Eliot also remembered him: Biography of Alan Seeger.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

To be truly informed ...

... about Russia, it is necessary to read Robert Conquest: Russia on the couch. Someone else worth reading, whom Conquest mentions, is Nikolai Berdyaev.

Nice ...

... just scroll down to Signing a Watercolor, 3am.

It's so je ne c'est quoi ...

... There he goes again. (Via InstaPundit.)

Good news ...

... Absolute Write’s Back!

Fiction online ...

... gets Maxine's attention: Novel forms of novel.

Suggestions anyone ...

... for Cathy's English assignment?

Something else I missed ...

... Minx's anniversary: Two months and counting. Stick around, Minx. The real fun starts next year.

No permalinks ...

... at The Bibliothecary, so just scroll down. Check out the flash program of Philly's murals.

Another take ...

... on online poetry from Daisy Fried: Poetry on the Web. (Via Poetry Hut.)

Today's poem ...

... is Geoffrey Hill's On Seeing the Wind at Hope Mansell .

A modest prize ...

... is offered by Skint Writer: short story competition.

Something I missed ...

The other day was Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday. I agree with Glenn about The White Company. There's also the Lost World. Thanks to Dave Lull for jogging my memory with this link to Discovering Sherlock Holmes.

Another poetry site ...

The Compost Heap. Hedgie also blogs at The Jackdaw's Nest. Note the post on Marin Sorescu's poetry.

Moon rising ...

Carl Bryant suggests looking at the Winter 2006 issue of the Crescent Moon Journal.

Interstellar hitchhiker alert ...

Today is Towel Day. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

In defense of civilization ...

Patrick Kurp considers Zbigniew Herbert: `A Partisan of Goodness and Beauty'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Patrick's post boasts this felicitous phrase: "I seem to leave them everywhere, like hairs from a balding man’s head." Love it.

Publishers and litblogs ...

The Millions has a Book Expo Dispatch: Targeting Litblogs. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

More crushing of dissent ...

... and this time it looks serious. Making Light reports that Absolute Write is gone. And Miss Snark is not pleased (God bless her). In fact, Miss Snark is Damn Mad . (Hat tip, Bonnie Calhoun.)

Another reason ...

... for the French to hate America: We make better wine: New World wins again in a vintage rematch. Mon Dieu!

A whiter shade of pale ...

... has become the fashion when it comes to villains. Sarah Weinman links to my colleague Tirdad Derakhshani's piece about killer albinos: A Da Vinci Code story that's actually kind of amusing. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Odds & ends ...

This weekend I plan on taking a closer look at all the onlin epoetry sites I have been told of and will also add more to the blogroll. I then plan to post links to items I find interesting - which is what this blog is about: sharing with others things I find interesting that have to do, in the widest sense, with the world of books.
For instance, I learn from the Times of London that tomorrow is Sir Ian McKellen's birthday. I first encountered McKellen when PBS broadcast his one-man show Acting in Shakespeare. That must have been in the 1970s. How long ago that seems (especially since I can remember the night quite vividly - I rarely revisit the past, but I can conjure it very well when I choose to). I have been a fan ever since. The Times also notes that Sir Ian has a website and that he blogs. I just visited the Ian McKellen Official Home Page and see that there are video clips, one of which is taken from Acting in Shakespeare. I also see that in March of next year he will be playing King Lear at Stratford. I think I will at least look into the possibility of attending that.
But for now, to bed.

Here's the NBCC's ...

... Daily Round-up. Also check out Critics Mingling With Authors .

A defense of Updike ...

... at What's New in Updikiana , where Christopher Hitchens's Atlantic Monthly review is discussed (you have to scroll down a bit). Terrorist is reviewed in The Inquirer Sunday. I didn't know there was a site devoted to Updikiana. (Hat tip again to Dave Lull.)

This happiness business ...

... may be getting out of hand: Happiness & Public Policy. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The future of bookstores (cont'd.) ...

Maxine Clarke sends along The Best Sellers.

Speaking of Christopher Hitchens ...

... Dave Lull sends along Daniel Green's Legislating:Christopher Hitchensas Literary Critic.

More on Google ...

... and free markets: Why Google Will Eventually Stumble. (Via InstaPundit.)

Ouch!

Christopher Hitchens thinks ill of John Updike's Terrorist: Hitchens Eviscerates Updike. (Hat tip to my colleague Lance Parry.)

The measure of poetry ...

... is taken at Rhymes Without Reason: Liberation and Limitations . Don't confine yourself to the permalink. Check out the whole blog.
A personal observation: I think the form of the poem should derive from the matter being shaped. Which is why I sometimes write in strict form and sometimes not. The law, as Jesus observed, was made for man, not man for the law.

"Happiness is for pigs ..."

... that's what my Jesuit mentor used to say. Now it seems to be the subject of major scientific inquiry. See Favored by the Gods. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Naturally, the new Calvinism declares that, with regard to happiness, as with regard to everything else, we are genetically predestined.
For what it's worth, experience has led me to conclude that happiness is not something that happens to you, but something that you can work at and achieve. Meaning, after all, as Abraham Maslow noted, is intentional.

Our latest poetry site ...

... is Jared Carter Poetry.

A second opinion ..

... regarding Yasmina Khadra's The Attack. I meant to post this earlier, but got distracted. I raved over Khadra's book myself, and am not persuaded to change my opinion. But my opinion is my opinion, and reviewing is not a science.

The future of bookstores ...

... or, Do Bookstores Have a Future? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I rarely stop into bookstores myself. Would I, if I didn't have a roomful of the latest books just a few feet from where I sit? Maybe. Though I would be more likely to visit Joseph Fox Books than Borders or B&N. I like the cozy atmosphere more. The fact is, though, when I need a book, I usually just buy it online. On the other hand, I'm always up for browsing in a good second-hand bookstore.

More on the Picolata Review ...

... from Lisa Coutant: Picolata Review - Accepting Submissions.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Blogging and fiction ...

... Lynn Viehl has posted one of her stories: Story-to-Blog I .

The incomparable Minx ...

... links to a poem: Swoon.

Maxine also weighs in ...

... on a couple of popular thrillers - and finds them wanting: Lukewarm verdicts.

Adaptation ...

... of novels into films, that is, is looked at by Maxine: From Page to Screen. This should get people thinking.

Also, April's IBPC winners ...

... have been posted: Winning Poems for April 2006 . As Rus Bowden meantion ed in an email, "On the Day Buk Checked Out," "answers some of the questions about how good online poetry can be." Indeed.

Another poetry site ...

... Eratio. Lots of interesting things here.

Poetry and video ...

... at Poetryvlog.

The healing power ...

... of poetry online: Dickinson and Rilke Are the Companions of a Mother in Adversity . (Hat tip to my colleague John Brumfield.)

A few years ago ...

.. I introduced the poet Geoffrey Hill for a reading at the 92d Street Y in Manhattan. Hill was a peculiar combination of the dour and the droll. Afterwards, while we were sitting together in the green room, I told him that while reading up for the introduction I discovered that he and I had something personal in common. "What's that?" he asked. And I told him that we were both sons of policemen. He suddenly became an altogether different person. We swapped stories and he looked up with a twinkle in his eye and said, "It really is a brotherhood, isn't it?" And so it is. And Hill is also maybe the best poet in the language. He does seem difficult upon first encounter. But, as he told the audience that night: "Just read the poems through, don't bother with the allusions, I often don't remmeber them myself."
Dave Lull sends along a web guide to Geoffrey Hill.

Terry Teachout issues ...

... a Fair warning. Much obliged, Terry.

Calling all writers ...

Bud Parr reports that The Picolata Review is accepting submissions.

My distinguished colleague ...

... Carlin Romano put together a very interesting story from his visit to BEA: Conservative books in a liberal market. This is why Carlin is among the best in the business.

Glenn Reynolds links to reports of political bias at Google and some worthwile commentary as well. Suppressing opposing viewpoints only suggests that your own is too weak to engage them.

Over at BookBlog ...

... Daisy is compiling a list of Best books ever , by which she means one's own favorite books of all time. Weigh in.

Off to a late start ...

... because the first order of the day was to finish the book I'm reviewing. A glance at Anecdotal Evidence indicates it's all worth reading. I already linked to the Roth review, so just scroll down.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A second opinion ...

... by Patrick Kurp on Philip Roth's Everyman: Why me? Why not? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A eureka moment ...

... for David Thayer as he discovers The Brass Cupcake by John D. MacDonald.

Louise Doughty's ...

... novel-writing course has reached Phase 2.

There seems to be some buzz ...

... going about Mary Cheney's book. GayPatriot explains Why Gay Activists Must Read Mary Cheney’s Book

And Dr. Helen and her husband have a Podcast with Mary Cheney .

Want to read something really impressive?

Try Clive James on The primacy of A. D. Hope. This is an example of what you can do when you have the space - and the necessary erudition and style. First-rate work.

Anonymous tip ...

... links us to Blue Tattoo. There sure is some interesting stuff out there.

Talking with Bruce Bawer ...

... about While Europe Slept. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

And here's another link ...

... from Luc Simonic: My Pseudonym & His Poe Hymns (follow the links for more).

Well, is it?

Skint Writer wonders: Is it worth blogging fiction?

More on the BEA ...

... from Jen Miller: Not Exactly United States of Ficiton at BEA.

Lull to Clarke to Wilson ...

Maxine posts a Dave Lull links update. (Maxine is probably wonderinmg what the title of this post means. And so: Tinker to Evers to Chance explained.)

Here's a list we can all argue over ...

... well, to some extent. Some are indisputable: The Worst Movies of All Time . Interesting that John Wayne's The Conqueror, with the Duke playing Genghiz Khan, didn't make the cut.

More links to poetry ...

Cosmoetica

Cloudy Day Art

WordFlair

Another look ...

... several actually, at John Carey's What's Wrong With the Arts?: Charleston sways and swings . Hat tip again to Dave Lull.)

Was it Robert Frost ...

... who said that poetry is what is lost in translation? Poetry is almost certainly the hardest thing to translate - and yet poetry in translation can have immense influence. Note how Poe by way of Baudelaire influenced not just French poetry but all of modern poetry. All of which is by way of introduction to Did Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound get it wrong? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The future of books (cont'd.) ...

... gets a look from Lynne Scanlon: Scan-Happy Google Creates Online “Universal Library,” Publishers Get Sidelined, and Books Turn into Loss Leaders for Authors.

The limits of reason ...

... that's what Roger Scruton thinks John Stuart Mill never grasped. He'd not alone: Thoroughly Modern Mill .

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A pair of roses ...



... will signal my farewell for tonight. I want to finish reading James Sallis's Cripple Creek.

Now back to BookExpo America ...

... where John Freeman tells What I heard about BEA.... But did he run into Carlin Romano?

Here's David Montgomery's take.

Thanks, everyone ...

... for the kind words, the links - and all the help. I have added several links to the blog roll and will be adding more (as I just explained in an email, Blogger takes so long to republish, I thought I'd until tomorrow to add any more). In the meantime, he are some that will be added then:

QuickMuse
Ken Gordon, the editor and publisher of QuickMuse, explained in an email that it "is a web-based poetry jam session' where the likes of Robert Pinksy, Paul Mudoon, Marge Piercy and Thylais Moss "riff away on a randomly picked subject. It's an experiment to see if first thoughts are really the best ones. QuickMuse brings readers closer to the moment of composition than they've ever been before."
He alerts me that "Our next virtual agon will be on Tuesday, May 30, at 9:30 p.m. (EST). Tune in and watch Robert Pinsky and Julianna Baggott, co-author, with Steve Almond, of the just-released novel, Which Brings Me to You, kick out the poetic jams." I promise to remind everybody.

Michelle Tercha alerts me to Writer's Cramp.

Amy Small-McKinney sends along a link to The Pedestal and her interview with Bruce Smith. She also suggested looking at The Cortland Review.

And Lois Wickstrom sends along a link to the Poems of Michel Galiana.

Just moments ago, I got an email from Jim Bennett, who sends along a link to The Poetry Kit.

All of these - and probably more - will be added to the blogroll tomorrow.

Blogging will be light ...

... until tonight. Debbie and I are off for the day.

But enough about me ...

... here are The Inquirer's Sunday reviews:

Edward Turzanski definitely recommends Mark Bowden's Guests of the Ayatollah: Crisis that foreshadowed the 'war on terror'

Judith Musser is underwhelmed by Philip Roth's unrepentent Everyman: In Roth's latest, old man faces lonely end of his life

Carlin Romano is underwhelmed, too, by John Carey's What Good Are the Arts?: A curmudgeonly critic takes aim at art theory

Paula Marantz Cohen, on the other hand, rather likes Louis Auchincloss's The Young Apollo and Other Stories: A world of old-money WASPs.

Likewise, David Montogomery thinks very highly of Lee Child's The Hard Way: Lee Child's latest keeps character, plot fresh

Sandy Bauers gives a listen to Camilla Gibb's A Sweetness in the Belly: Exotic, strange tale of a perpetual outsider is read well

Saturday, May 20, 2006

About online poetry ...

Here at last is my piece on online poetry: Online poetry: A thriving community.
Below are links to all of the relevant posts from which I drew for the article. This is kind of an experiment.What you have below is the raw material I used to write the piece. The piece is my take on that material. Had someone else written the piece, it would have been different. Maybe not wildly different, but different. At any rate, I think this will enable us all to get at the truth of the subject better than by simply having my piece by itself and nothing more. You can comment online at http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/14622444.htm. So go to!

Of course, you can also comment here, too.

OK, folks ...

Online poetry update ...

Online poetry link No. 1 ...

Online poetry link No. 2 ...

Online poetry update ...

Online poetry link No. 3 ...

Poetry online (cont'd) ...

Progress report on online poetry ...

And here's another poem ...

We've found yet more ...

Another online poetry link ...

Why stop now?

Deadline extension ...

Online poetry update ...

I have added ...

... some more links to blogroll, as promised. And I'm still looking.

A festival is taking place ...

... today and tomorrow in Philadelphia's Italian Market, which is where I live. At the end of our street a bandstand has been set where one wannabe group after another has been rending the air with mostly unoriginal, but unquestionably loud, sounds. Interestingly, many years ago, fellow named Ernest Evans worked in the market as a chicken plucker. Later on, as Chubby Checker, he gave the world the Twist. (There have been lots of notables from South Philly, of course - Al Martino, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, etc.. etc.) None of those I have heard today sounded to me as if they will end up giving the world anything in particular.
Given all the Mexicans who have moved into the neighborhood, it's too bad nobody put together a mariachi band. I like mariachi music. Which leads me to link to this piece by Richard Rodriguez that Dave Lull sent along: America's impure genius.
I'm not sure I entirely agree with what Rodriguez says. But I think this is definitely true:
The immigrant experience in the United States is profoundly different from that in Europe. For example, Arabs and North Africans in France confront a completed country and culture every day in the subway, on television, in a bakery or on the radio. France, like the rest of Europe, has a long-formed and finished culture that does not need them.
In the United States, we have a long tradition of immigrants being the very ones who forge the American identity. There was no identity here when the first immigrants arrived — except that of the Indian faces, which are now coming back. In this country, the immigrant, at least theoretically or mythically, has a possibility of adding to the country.
No immigrants, no Italian Market, for sure.

Update: In connection with this, this post by Roger Simon is worth pondering: Who's the racist?

Be afraid ...

... be very afraid. NSA transcripts of Glenn Reynolds phone calls have apparently leaked.

"Homo sum ...

... humani nihil a me alienum puto." Verilion wonders About a boy, or boys . Interesting.

Blogging the BEA

... I poassed on attending BookExpo America this year. But Edward Champion is blogging there. David Montgomery and Miss Snark are there, but have not blogged about it. Ron and Sarah are, though, and Sarah has something on the Tanenhaus/Champion encounter: Canadian Markets and No Brownie Love. As I find more bloggers at the event, I will link to them. For now, I must go do some shopping.

Update: The NBCC's Critical Mass blog promises to report on the BEA: Daily Roundup.

I wonder why ...

... Michael Novak, in Hate at the Movies, did not think to attribute C.S. Lewis.

Novak says that "if Jesus is only a man, he is no great moral teacher. He is on the contrary a fraud, a pretender, a horrible spendthrift with his own life and the lives of his apostles—all twelve of whom met a martyrdom like his, some of them crucified, all of them most brutally killed without the utterance of a single recantation. If He was not the Son of God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, he was either a mountebank or a lunatic, and deserves our contempt, not our praise. His every moral teaching would be vitiated by its radical emptiness and fraudulence."

Which bears more than a passing resemblance to something Lewis wrote, that "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us."

Longshot wins ...

... short story prize. Britain's National Short Story competition,worth 15,000 pounds, has been won by James Lasdun: Anxious Man wins world's richest short story prize . (Via Light Reading.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Well why not ...

... vote for your favorite Greek god? Ancient Greeks

Monstrously fascinating ...

... that was John Osborne. When his mother died, he wrote that "a year in which my mother died can't be all bad." No hypocrite at least, he didn't go to her funeral. John Heilpern biography gets review in the Guardian: Stage-boor Johnny. There are also a couple extracts. He made others miserable, and certainly wasn't remotely happy himself.

If only because ...

... its lead echoes a point I made in a recent post about the DVC, I can't help linking to Anthony Quinn's review of the film: More dog's dinner than Last Supper .

Before he wrote crime novels...

... Elmore Leonard wrote westerns. He's in London to promote a collection of his range tales: An old gunslinger rides back into town.

Another blog discovery ...

... by Broad Street Irregular Maxine Clarke: The Evil Editor and Face-Lift XXVII.

It may not look it ...

... but I have been blogging. Sort of. And with a lot of help from my colleague Nadya Tan, who set up the subcategories in my blogroll. This is all in preparation for Sunday, when my article on online poetry appears. The article will link to this blog, but will also have a comments option attached. There will be a post here Sunday linking to all the previous posts on the topic of online poetry. It is from those that I put together the story. Yes, it is a story entirely reported via blog. And you, dear readers, will have the material I used available for perusal, so that you can judge for yourselves whether I got it right or wrong or (most likely) something in between.
In the meantime, I'll be adding to the blogroll. If I missed someone, let me know. If I have miscategorized, let me know.
This is only the start of a work in progress.

Gilbert Sorrentino (1929-2006)

Gilbert Sorrentino Dead at 77

Start me up ...

Craig Seligman - and several others - take a look at The First Novel. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Gee, lighten up Sam ...

Golden Rule Jones links to Edward Champion's tete-a-tete with Sam Tanenhaus: I don’t have to acknowledge the brownies. The refusal to acknowledge the brownies is unforgivable. Sam sure does sound a tad defensive.

Celebrity creep ...

... continues to afflict civilization. See Is it ever ... at the Literary Saloon. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.) The fascination with celebrities fascinates me - a little. People think they're interested in, say, Julia Roberts. But what they know of Julia Roberts is an image seen on the screen or on the covers of magazines or in newspapers. Julia Roberts is someone who is telegenic in a peculiar way and a person who makes her living delivering lines written by someone else. She may, for all I know, be wonderfully intelligent and insightful. But I have seen no evidence to that effect. And that is certainly not how she became a celebrity. This attachment people have to images reminds one of nothing so much as the goings on (or lack of same) Plato's cave.

A little dose of reality ...

... from Debi Alper: State of the Industry. (Thanks to Maxine, both for the link and for introducing me to this blog.)

A little dose of reality ...

... from Debi Alper: State of the Industry. (Thanks to Maxine, both for the link and for introducing me to this blog.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Went to see...

... Peter Carey read tonight from his new novel Theft. He was quite engaging, read well, and had some very interesting things to say. One was something that Richard Burgin had said to me at lunch last summer - that people often have a hard time believing that fiction writers make things up. They always seem to think that the novelist or story writer has based his characters and incidents on real people, places, events. In connection with this, he said one the things he likes about writing fiction is the opportunity it provides of getting away from himself. He certainly made one want to read his book.

Update: Here is John Freeman review of Theft, which ran in yesterday's Inquirer: Failed artist discovers a different route back to success. My wife read this review and phoned me at the office to say she was going to see Carey read at the library and to meet her there with a copy of the book. Which is how I came to be there and why Debbie now has an autographed copy of the novel.

Take a look ...

.. at another Shameless painting: Father and Son.

Time out for books ...

The Literary Saloon links to information about a Book fair in Iraq.

The best American fiction ...

... of the past quarter-century. That's what Mapletree wants to know about. Here's what the GOB has to say: The Alternative Miss World . I have to admit that I largely agree.

The perils of punditry ...

... as demonstrated by Thomas Friedman: The Pundit Is Flat. I don't know why this should surprise anyone.

Forget global warming ...

... what about Galactic catastrophe? If you want to be apocalyptic, you may as well go all the way. (Hat tip, Bill Peschel.)

Odd man in ...

This year's Caine prize for African Writing features only one male author: 'African Booker' shortlist crosses continent.

Life after losing ...

... his suit against Dan Brown seems reasonably pleasant for Michael Baigent: A test of faith . Astoundingly, he and Richard Leigh have filed an appeal.

Say it ain't so ...

... Nobody uses public libraries. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Virginia Woolf and the art of blogging ...

Patrick Kurp sees blogging as the perfect vehicle for Woolf's - and Dr. Johnson's - "common reader": `Hasty, Inaccurate, and Superficial'
Woolf's "Common Reader" essays are my favorites among her writing.l I consider myself a common reader and it is other such common readers that I try to think of in my role as a book review editor. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Clare Boylan (1948-2006)

Clare Boylan also has died: Irish author who achieved wide acclaim with Emma Brown, the completion of a two-chapter fragment by Charlotte Brontë. (Thanks once more to Rus Bowden.)

Peter Viereck (1916- 2006)

Pulitizer Prize-winning poet and historian Peter Viereck has died. Here is an obit. (Thanks to Rus Bowden for the alert.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I didn't believe ...

... it would be possible for the movie of The Da Vinci Code to be worse than the book. I said so right here. Boy was I ever wrong! The screening I just attended will rank forever among the most tedious two-and-a-half hours I have ever endured. The book at least moved at a mercifully brisk clip. The movie is slow, talky, and long. The colleague I attended it with, asked afterward how she felt, replied, "Older." Me too.

Update: Here is Inquirer film critic Steve Rea's review of the film: Da Vinci wouldn't want his name on this 'Code' . I sort of wish Steven hadn't let on about the Dewey Decimal System, but I think even Dave Lull will concede that it was bound to come out sooner or later.

What, me copy?

Further discussion of Mark Steyn and Geoff Pullam: A tale of two copiers.

A long way around ...

This, about Philadelphia, comes to me by way of Maxine, who, the last time I checked, was back at King's Cross: GoodisCon 2007 .

Settle down ...

... and make yourself to home - unless it's those evil suburbs: How Sprawl Got a Bad Name.

When asked, most Americans declare themselves to be against sprawl, just as they say they are against pollution or the destruction of historic buildings. But the very development that one individual targets as sprawl is often another familyÍs much-loved community. Very few people believe that they themselves live in sprawl, or contribute to sprawl. Sprawl is where other people live, particularly people with less good taste. Much anti-sprawl activism is based on a desire to reform these other people's lives.

A desire to reform other people's lives fuels much activism. It is the new Puritanism. And the new Puritans, just like the old ones, are deeply worried that someone, somewhere may be having a good time (as Mencken put it).

This piece is just one addressing the Attack of the Snobs.

Geoffrey Chaucer challenges ...

... Dan Brown: The Cipher of Leonardo . Good opening gambit, getting the artist's name right! (Via the incomparable Minx.)

Army of Davids (cont'd) ...

Maxine escaped from King's Cross yesterday to attend a Social media forum.

She only got as far as the Edgware Road, though, which immediately brought to mind this passage from Eliot's "The Dry Salvages":

To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
And always will be, some of them especially
When there is distress of nations and perplexity
Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road.

What be the hot topics ...

... of the day? Lynn Viehl draws up a list: Topicals.

At last - and none too soon ...

... someone who thinks The Da Vinci Code is a masterpiece! Screwtape On 'The DaVinci Code'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This is a very good adaptation of C.S. Lewis. One passage leaped out at me: "...the lucky reader is to be let in on it all, and for the mere price of purchasing this book! He'll learn the "real" story behind the "official" story..." This is true of so many books. And whenever such a book comes into my office, I call 'Strike One.'

I try to avoid partisan squabbles here...

... but this really is pretty funny,and Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

And that, folks ...

... will be it for tonight. Tomorrow night, by the way, I attend a screening of .... The Da Vinci Code! I gather it has met with something less than enthusiasm at Cannes.

Bill Peschel is back ...

... and he's got news about Paperback blogging and links to Tim Blair's interview with Keith Richards’ brain.

I am listening ...

... to the strange, sad hijinks of Erik Satie's Parade. Tomorrow, May 17, is Satie's birthday. He was was born in Honfleur, France, in 1866. I have always loved the remark he made to Debussy upon hearing a performance of "From Dawn to Noon on the Sea," the first movement of Debussy's La Mer. "I liked the part best around a quarter to 10."

An eye for evil ...

That's what Lars Walker says Andrew Klavan has: Grand Klavan.

The happiness business ...

Frank Furedi wonders: Politicians, economists, teachers… why are they so desperate to make us happy? Great minds think alike. I saw this yesterday at Arts & Letters Daily wand was going to link to, but never got around to it. Then Dave Lull sent it along.
While I was reading it, I was reminded again of something I have long thought concerning dystopias - like Orwell's or Huxley's. They are always premised on the assumption that the control they are warning against will be imposed. Whereas it has proved quite easy to get people to willingly don chains of one sort or another. Orwell should have spent some time in the U.S. and observed how slick advertising would have run circles around humorless Big Brother.

Catching up ...

Earlier today, Dave Lull sent me this link to the Language Log: Is Mark Steyn guilty of plagiarism?

I enjoy Mark Steyn a lot. But his assistant's assertion - "Steyn did nothing wrong" - bothers me. Not legally. At least according to the letter of the law. But there is also the spirit of the law. I don't know why people have this problem with attribution. I love citing my sources. As many as I can. It makes me look like I've really done my homework.

Dave also sends along this: Cutting in line: what would Of Nazareth do?

Gee, look at this ...

... and she's only 15: Lady Macbeth. I agree with the comment.

Why editors can be useful ...

AuthorHouse has lost a libel suit and has been ordered to pay up. Miss Snark has the story and seems in rather a good mood: Oh yes yes yes...

Going once, twice ...

... sold! Sarah Weinman looks at publishing via eBay: Write your thriller with the highest bidder. Hat tip, Maxine.)

A curious threesome ...

... or is it a ninesome? Amy Nelson-Mile posts Three Questions With Three Answers Each . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Spinoza vs. Judaism ..

Baruch Spinoza inspired Rebecca Goldstein. So why is she out to betray him? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hard not to sympathize with a guy who just wants to think his own thoughts in peace.

Monday, May 15, 2006

It is finished ...

... at least the working draft is. Who knows what my editor will say?
I refer, of course, to my piece about online poetry. Sad to say, I had to cut and cut, and many of your wonderful comments had to go. But I intend to acknowledge everyone by name come Sunday. And I also plan to gather all of the posts into a single post, so people can read in one place what everyone had to say. Most of the words in the piece are not mine. Mine simply connect the quotes into a narrative that, I hope, coheres. Moreover, this is only the beginning.

Update: I should have mentioned that the blogroll has been much expanded because of the piece. If I missed anything, let me know.

Lots of interesting stuff today ...

... at About Last Night. Just keep scrolling. (Dave Lull sent me a link to the "Group grope" post, but a lot of the rest caught my attention, too.)

Unacknowledged borrowing alert ...

There seem to be "some striking similarities" between a Mark Steyn piece on The Da Vinci Code and a couple of posts on the Language Log (at least one of which we linked to). Sure looks that way. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

If you want fiction ...

... at the New York Times, read the A-section. Or Paul Krugman. Just kidding. But some object to the lack of it in the book review: No(n) fiction coverage at the NYTBR . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006)

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz has died. Provincetown, Mass., remembers: P'town loses its poet . (I'll link to obits as more are posted.) Thanks to Rus Bowden for letting me know.

Update: This is better than any obit: Stanley Kunitz at 100. Click on the link to hear him read "The Long Boat." Wow.

Update: The L.A. Times obit and the Wasington Post obit. (Thanks to Rus Bowden for sending them along.)

Blogging will be light ...

... because I am hunkering down, trying to finish my piece about online poetry. The only thing I am certain of is that the topic is far too vast to be dealt with at all comprehensively in a mere newspaper article. So I'm going to write a fairly personal account of what I've discoverred since I posted word of my intentions last month. Then we'll figure out a way of bringing as much of the online poetry world to the attention readers via ... the Internet, of course!

Doubt ...

... especially self-doubt, seems never to have troubled John Kenneth Galbraith. I think Glenn Reynolds is on the money when he says that "Galbraith, like Oliver Wendell Holmes, has benefitted excessively from having an excellent prose style."

The way of faith ...

... is often mistakenly assumed to be the road to complacency. Not for W.H. Auden, as Wilfred McClay makes plain in this excellent review of Arthur Kirsch's Auden and Christianity: Grappling with God: The faith of a famous poet.

... he was convinced that all ratiocinations and speculations about God's nature were arrogant assumptions and empty human pretensions, merely learned ways of "taking His name in vain." Instead, he believed the worthiest Christians were those who remained perpetually humble and perpetually uneasy in their outlook, their minds stretched taut between the contrary poles of belief and skepticism.
"Our faith," he insisted, must be "well balanced by our doubt," for a Christian "is never something one is, only something one can pray to become."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just found this, too ...

... Observation. Scroll down. There are more I didn't at first notice.

Another poetry site ...

... November Sky Poetry. I rather like Dying Wishes . Good photos too.

While working on my article ...

... about online poetry, I have more than once heard mention of Arlene Ang. Here are five of her poems.

Weeks 18 and 19 ...

... of Louise Doughty's novel-writing column: An idea is not a novel and Character development.

How does our garden grow ?




Pretty well, so far. The foxglove is starting to bloom and so are the roses, including the lavender one that has such an intoxicating fragrance.

Law & Order ...

... David Thayer reports: Book Scanning Robot Apprehended. Throw the book at him!

Happy Mother's Day!

What is it about dictators ...

... certain ones anyway, that appeals to intellectuals, certain ones anyway? Ian Baruma: Thank you, my foolish friends in the West .

Jeez, how did I miss this?

Rus Bowden's Poetry & Poets in Rags now has a blog. Will add it to the blogroll ASAP. You should too.

Historical comparisons ...

... as I have said here before, are frequently dubious and usually apocalyptic: "America is exactly like the late Roman Empire and soon we will be entering a new Dark Age." (Comparisons are made between the blogospher and the Reformation, but I think Glenn Reynolds is nearer the mark in thinking of 18th-century London's coffee and chocolate shops.)
That said, Victor Davis Hanson has a point in this alternative history: In the Eye of the Beholder. (Hat tip, Lars Walker at Brandywine Books.)
I was talking the other day with my colleague Marc Schogol, whose son just returned from Iraq (he was a reporter with Stars and Stripes. Marc and I thought it interesting that one hears so little in the media about how large a number of the armed forces in Iraq opt for second and third tours of duty. These are people experiencing the war more directly than any of us and they voting - in the ost meaningful way - to stick with it. Isn't that worth looking into?
Just a thought.

Shameless pauses ...

... for a poem about Dublin: The Siren of Absence. Some of my own forebears were among those "sons and daughters" who departed "on heavily-laden ships."

What's in a name?

Minx ponders - and solicits suggestions: Nom. I like Minx myself.

I second this ...

Martyn Goff has retired as the the administrator of the Man Booker prize. At his retirement party he said which book shouldn't have been a winner - and which should have been. And I fully agree. It's all in Mark Sanderson's Literary Life column. (Via The Elegant Variation.)

I wonder ...

Suppose a day comes when it's no longer possible to protect copyright. Meanimg there won't there won't be any money - or at least a lot less in most cases - in writing. Will as many people still want to write and publish? These thoughts came to me while reading through this piece that Dave Lull sent along: Scan This Book!

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

The Elegant Variation's Mark Sarvas makes his Inquirer debut today with a fine review of Sheila Heti's Ticknor: Portrait of a bitter biographer, heart aswirl in envy of subject

My Editor's Choice this week is William Nicholson's The Trial of True Love: Is true love possible? Novelist learns firsthand

Susan Balee reviews Lisa Tucker's Once Upon a Day: A melodramatic look at lives broken, mended. Susan also chats with Lisa: Author Interview. Susan's is a model of good reviewing. Lisa's earlier novel, The Song Reader, is evidently more to Susan's taste than Once Upon a Day is. But Susan tells enough about the new novel in just the right way to make this reader at least think I might like it.

Katie Haegele likes Catherine Murdock Gilbert's Dairy Queen: Funny, frank adventures of a Wisconsin farm girl

Roger Miller is impressed with Cynthia Carr's ironically titled Our Town: Author moved to Marion, Ind., to dig up a 1930 racial horror buried deep in town's psyche

Inquirer book critic Carlin Romano reviews A.C. Grayling's Among the Dead Cities and puts some questions to Grayling as well: WWII 'area bombing' comes under philosophical attack

Those are today's reviews, but we had some other interesting ones thatran during the week:

Mark Yost likes Tom Cotter's The Cobra in the Barn: Down the back roads, in pursuit of the forgotten classic car

John Rossi admires Leigh Montville's take on Babe Ruth: Biography focuses on the phenomenon that was the Babe

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sic transit gloria mundi ...

The Times of London has printed an extract from Franz-Olivier Giesbert's biography of French President Jacques Chirac: Portrait of Chirac as a great glutton who has lost his appetite for the fight.

Online poetry update ...

I have a lot of reading and thinking to do, so blogging will be light for the remainder of the day. But here's a question: Anybody have any numbers worth citing with regard to online poetry?

Playing catch-up ...

... that's what Maxine's been doing: Fairy tales and realities.

Real estate ...

Lynn Viehl on building Mansions.

R.S. Thomas vs. Henry James ...

A Misunderstanding is discussed at Anecdotal Evidence.

Shakespearean largesse ...

Amy Nelson-Mile links to gifts For Shakespeare Fans . Just remember that "rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. "