Monthly Archives: September, 2011

Banned On the Run

We’re right in the middle of Banned Books Week, which lasts from September 24 through October 1 this year. And whether you think devoting an entire seven days to books that have been banned—or, more commonly, challenged—is just hype, or disingenuous, or a good excuse for a party, it’s still something worth thinking about. Those […]

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Kindle Fire? Really?

Amazon is scheduled to roll out its new tablet tomorrow, tentatively called the Kindle Fire, and CNET will be live blogging it. Rumors abound… first it it was said they’d be including a year’s worth of membership to Amazon Prime with the reported $249 purchase price, but that was recanted. (And why would you want […]

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Strata: Laurie Hertzel

Books and journalism, journalism and books—these things are deeply intertwined in Laurie Hertzel’s life. In her award-winning memoir, News To Me, she tells the tale of how she grew up as a journalist during the age when reporters clacked away on typewriters, and eventually became books editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where she remains […]

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Crafty Crafts in Edinburgh

I’m all for guerrilla art of just about any sort—I’ll even admit to missing the old painted subway cars, although not the nasty interiors or the regular muggings. But any kind of sneaky aesthetic irregulars, out to make a point or just make you look, are champs as far as I’m concerned. And if the […]

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Pocket Review: Among the Wonderful by Stacy Carlson

Among the Wonderful Stacy Carlson Steerforth Press, 2011 In the 16th century the phenomenon known as the Wunderkammer—“wonder cabinet,” or Cabinet of Curiosities—underwent a shift that reflected the changes occurring in much of the Western world, rippling outward from the adoption of the printing press and schisms within the church. These collections of natural specimens […]

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Young Fresh Fellows

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2011 “genius grant” $500,000 Fellowships, and as always, I’m gladdened by the diversity of talents represented. This year gives us, among others, a silversmith, a jazz percussionist, and an elder rights lawyer. Literature and the humanities are also well represented—no novelists […]

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War of the Words’ September Madness!

I haven’t given the demographics of Like Fire readers a lot of thought, although maybe now as we enter our third year I ought to start. For instance, I imagine there are a good number of etymologically inclined souls who, every once in a while, like to browse the dictionary just for the fun of […]

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Happy Second Birthday, Like Fire!

Seems hard to believe, but today Like Fire turns two. Feel free to trot out whatever “terrible two” maxims suit you—this fall finds me in grad school, looking for work, and fully committed to keeping this blog as lively and thoughtful as it’s always been (assuming you think it’s lively and thoughtful in the first […]

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Stamp of Approval

How much longer until we start seeing “Save the Post Office” messages and petitions? I’m guessing within the year—there’s already a website by that name, devoted to “closures, consolidations, and suspensions.” When I was a kid we were constantly encouraged, both in and out of school, to find pen pals, and I can still remember […]

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Amazon’s Rent-a-Text

Tell you what, nothing in the world screams “death of print” like a good Amazon rumor. This week, apparently, it’s all about the company’s negotiations with publishers over a possible Netflix-like deal for Amazon Prime subscribers, who are already paying $79 a year for free second-day delivery. The new service would also let them rent […]

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