Category Archives: Noteworthy

Yes, D.E.A.R.—Drop Everything And Read Day

You didn’t actually have plans for the weekend, did you? Saturday is the birthday of Beverly Cleary, author of Henry Huggins, Ribsy, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and the Ramona the Pest books, among many, many others. And yes, she’s still with us—going strong at 97, and an honest-to-goodness national treasure, if you ask me. […]

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Pocket Review: This Is Not an Accident by April Wilder

This Is Not an Accident April Wilder Viking, 2014 I’ve been reading short stories for a long, long time. I love them, even—sometimes especially—when they truck in the familiar, the comforting, the well-worn. Those are what I think of as blankie stories, and they have their lovely aspects. But there’s always the little voice in […]

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We Go to the Gallery: Penguin Is Not Amused

Just when you’ve figured out how to talk to your children about divorce, and sex, and terrorism, along comes conceptual art to throw off your average. I’ve never met a kid who didn’t get abstract expressionism on some level, and they all love Richard Serra (other than the not yelling really loud while running around […]

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Books on Tape… and 45, and Flip Phone

One of the things you’ll hear a lot about in any self-respecting MLS or Media Studies program is digital forensics—a good term, a little bit geeky and a little bit CSI. The idea, of course, is preservation. Archival collections are no longer just about flat fibrous printed stuff, but all the material used to carry […]

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Special Collections and Monkeys

You’ve got to give it to Buzzfeed—they do the lowest common denominator like nobody else. Even when they’re unpacking the quality stuff, you still have to pay attention to figure out which level of brow they’re aiming at. I know, I’m saying that like it’s a bad thing. It’s not—it’s what they do—but the sheer […]

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Visual Editions: Great Looking Stories Within Reach

Design within reach is a great concept. But the definition of “reach” isn’t exactly a fixed quality; even on our best days, most of us aren’t LeBron James. So it’s good for everyone when nice things are priced nicely—you don’t expect to be able to buy a new sofa with change gleaned from the cushions […]

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Open Letters Monthly, March 2014

We all know to beware the Ides of March. But at this point, I’m thinking it’s appropriate to beware the whole damn month. Two days ago it was frigid, with a blasting wind; today it’s sunny and in the 50s. Next week, supposedly, we get snow. I do not care for such fickleness. One of […]

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The Iron Will of Hesh Kestin, at Bloom

Just over three years ago, I reviewed what would prove to be one of my favorite books read in 2011. Hesh Kestin’s The Iron Will of Shoeshine Cats, aside from having one of the best titles of the decade, was a seriously fun hard-boiled noir coming of age tale set in 1963, featuring the Jewish […]

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Good Chemistry at The Story Prize

Wednesday night’s Story Prize event was, as always, entertaining and edifying. There’s something about the chemistry of getting three very disparate short story writers together to read their work and talk about it—the distillery that goes into short fiction makes for some good, concentrated conversation among its practitioners, and three is a reasonable number for […]

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A Little Jousting at the Tournament of Books

The Tournament of Books is off and running with a rousing opener, complete with intrigue, insults, and innuendo—who could ask for more? Each year the ToB opens with a pre-Tournament playoff round, a kind of throat-clearing to get readers in the groove, let them dust off their commenting IDs, and prepare everyone to sling a […]

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