Monthly Archives: December, 2011

There! Bless You Now! Old Year, Good-Bye!

The Passing of the Year by Robert W. Service My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,              My den is all a cosy glow; And snug before the fire I sit,              And wait to feel the old year go. I dedicate to solemn […]

Share

Holiday Wishes

Happy holidays from our friends at GalleyCat! And from all of us at Like Fire to all of you, dear readers. Peace on earth, at the very least.

Share

Snow It Goes

A great find from GalleyCat: this year’s holiday card from the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Vonnegut’s phrase, “So it goes”—also the title of a sharp new biography of the writer by Charles Shields, which I’ll report back on soon—had darker connotations in Slaughterhouse-Five. Here, though, it gently lends a little of his cockeyed fatalism to […]

Share

The Shortest Day

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about books that—for want of a better term—changed my reading DNA as a child and adolescent. Russell Hoban’s recent death brought me back to The Mouse and His Child and what it taught me about tragedy in a narrative and how to deal with it. And Charles Shields’ new […]

Share

Gifts of Gab

Getting a little close to the wire, is it? All right, then, let’s dispense with all this advice on cheap gifts and get right to the free stuff. Over at the Boston Globe, Erin McKean has a list of stealthy holiday gifts for the “verbally inclined” who may not have much to spend—am I being […]

Share

Four Very Fine Dead Guys

Almost exactly a year ago here, I wrote a little tribute post to my father, noting: “It’s not just the end of the calendar year that has me introspective about these things. As the days get shorter and colder it gets harder for the folks who have been hanging on to keep doing so, and […]

Share

Books and Booze on Big Night

It’s Big Night out there, folks—if someone’s having a holiday party, there’s a good 90% chance it’s tonight. Great fun taking the train out to wherever you’re going in the evening, seeing everyone all dressed up and eager; much less so coming back after midnight, when one fears for one’s shoes. In case you have […]

Share

It Was the Best of Books, It Was the Worst of Books

It’s that time of the month, when everyone is totting up their best/favorite/most meaningful reads of 2011, because… well, that’s what you do in December. Me, I use the always-reliable appearance of Best Books of the Year features as a prompt to buy rock salt, but that’s only because everyone else has done such a […]

Share

Even Like Fire Cats Hate Reading, Sometimes

Fall semester is over, and we now return you to our regularly scheduled blog posts. But first, please take note that Like Fire resident kitty Francis is currently on the front page of Cats Hate Reading, a new Tumblr collection of cats who have… issues with the printed word: “Who knows why? Whether it’s jealousy […]

Share

Sven Birkerts on Writer’s Block

Sven Birkerts has an interesting piece up at the Los Angeles Review of Books on writer’s block—or, as he makes the finer distinction, writer’s expressive frustration. He writes very nicely about the writing process, about what it is there that’s wonderful and validating, and I have no beef with that at all. But I find […]

Share
Subscribe