Yes, I like The Shire

In his New York Times column last Sunday, Ross Douthat remarked The teenage nerd enters conservatism through either Atlas Shrugged or Lord of the Rings, and between Tolkienists like myself and the Randians a great gulf is often fixed. There someone goes mentioning Atlas Shrugged again as if it were pervasive. Haven’t read it. Did […]

Science Fiction was never entirely about The Future

I’ve been reading stories from the November/December 2017 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine that I picked up at Barnes & Noble before Christmas. They seem so immediate. The first I read, “I Met a Traveler in an Antique Land,” by Connie Willis, was a pleasant tale of a new media guru encountering an archive […]

What I Bought Today

It makes perfect sense, buying this. Now, this time of year when, more than any other time of year, it’s the time to buy things. It was weird buying this, though, a thing about buying things. There are other things I could have bought, I suppose. Shiny things, perhaps. Heavy things. And things I could […]

First World Problems

Despite all evidence to the contrary, it is possible to use adverbs on road signs. This month’s additional practice is to not like anything on the Internet. To aid that practice, I’ve removed Facebook and Twitter from my mobile device. Apple’s iOS 11 then helpfully removed the ability to share things to those sites from […]

Library Hazards

Began work on organizing my collection of fiction today, and am very irritated. One of the cats — I know which one — has taken it upon himself to urinate on the bottom shelves, thus limiting storage capacity, increasing the tipping hazard, and reducing the likelihood he’ll die a natural death. This is a tremendous […]

My Sons Build Better Box Forts

My love and I put together the IKEA Billy bookcases for my library last Thursday. They had been occupying the hall, and my books boxes, due to certain logistical issues. Now the books are unpacked and shelved, but awaiting organization. I’ve sorted out the non-fiction and poetry, but I’m not happy with the result. I’m a […]

Dear Diary

I’m reading George Orwell’s diary and Samuel Pepys’s diary one day at a time in Google Reader, as the entries are published. The two diaries are a study in contrasts. Pepys’s is detailed, run-on, and full of name-dropping, politics, and plague. Orwell’s is about gardening and the weather, spiced with observations of Morocco. Lately though […]

Of the Character of one Mr. Brownlow

From There’s Pippins And Cheese To Come, by Charles S. Brooks (Yale University Press, 1917) By some slim chance, reader, you may be the kind of person who, on a visit to a strange city, makes for a bookshop. … But the habit of reading at the open stalls was not only with the poor. […]