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Entries Tagged as 'Books'

’21 Books You Don’t Have to Read’

May 20th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Books

Many of us have strong opinions on X percent of the books we read, perhaps evenly divided between “loved” and “hated”. Several of those in the latter category will tend to come from English classes in high school or college. Assigned reading for our greater edification. Books considered classics, though we may often wonder why. […]

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Trump, Kim, ‘Dotard’ — and JRR Tolkien

September 22nd, 2017 · 1 Comment · Books, Journalism

The exchange of insults between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un heated up this week, with the Korean dictator/president for life puzzling many in America by threatening: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.” I don’t know how Kim’s insults are translated into English, whether it is a bot or […]

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Fine Way to Go Out: Kings Killed in Battle

February 28th, 2017 · No Comments · Books

Reading Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time. Loving it still; almost depressed that I an nearing the end. And finding new appreciation for J.R.R. Tolkien’s plotting and narrative skills. Books 3 through 6 are marvels of elastic storytelling, with the author shifting among as many as four plot lines. Three of the plot […]

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‘I Hate the Internet’ … and I Hate the Book

November 5th, 2016 · No Comments · Books

It sounded promising. I Hate the Internet, by a little-known author, Jarett Kobek. Self-published, self-publicized. Got a bit of traction when a photo of Bret Easton Ellis circulated showing him reading the book in bed. The New York Times did a review, which was mostly complimentary. I checked Amazon, and the price was $7. I […]

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Natural Disasters: France Seems Nearly Immune

February 27th, 2016 · 1 Comment · Books, France

Today was the rainiest day I have encountered in France and while cooped up in the rental home I read the whole of Kurt Larson‘s 1999 book Isaac’s Storm. That is the book that launched Larson on his career of “popular narrative nonfiction”, as the New York Times described it. Or to explain a little, […]

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When Famous Authors Are Forgotten

December 10th, 2015 · No Comments · Austria, Books, Newspapers

Stefan Zweig. Know him? I thought not. Neither did I, until I expressed my interest in the history of Europe before the First World War while in the earshot of our friend Mary, who has an enormous library in her home in Paris. She later sent me the names of five authors, including Zweig, with […]

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English Literature: Pray, Sign Me Up

May 4th, 2015 · No Comments · Books

I was re-reading some fiction and chuckling as I turned pages, with an occasional frisson of emotion and an appreciation for the use of the language … when it struck me. I much prefer English authors to American authors. Which I find odd to say, as an American … but also undeniable. And this preference […]

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When the Discussion Turned Ugly

May 1st, 2015 · No Comments · Baseball, Books, Sports Journalism, The National

Some sports fans might be amused at the topics that come up on a sports desk while producing a newspaper. Arguments, declarations, declamations … it’s like being in a sports bar 365 days a year. And today’s topic? The ugliest athletes. Any sport.

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Middle-earth Holidays

March 27th, 2015 · No Comments · Books

I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was 12 years old. That was quite some time ago. Before J.R.R. Tolkien‘s trilogy was consumed by every teen on the planet. (Actually, I bought it almost by accident. No one I knew had read it or recommended it. I saw it in the neighborhood […]

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Zero ‘Shades of Grey’ in the UAE

February 16th, 2015 · No Comments · Books, The National, UAE

Fifty Shades of Grey, a bad book and now a bad movie, will not be coming to the UAE. Not unless the movie’s distributors make 35 minutes of cuts from its 125 minutes of running time. The movie is not banned from the UAE. UAE authorities are happy to have it appear here — as […]

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