Category: readingPage 1 of 5

Bryant & May: Peculiar London

A most peculiar book about a most peculiar town

Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the New Millennium

An old book review, recently unearthed.

Eliot Weinberger, literary renegade

On an overcast evening last November, I met the American essayist and translator Eliot Weinberger at a gentrified West Village coffee shop. Having got there early, I was…

Beyond Shakespeare at The Critical Flame

Thanks to Daniel Pritchard and the Critical Flame for publishing my short opinion piece on Shakespeare and globalism. I wrote the piece in conjunction with my participation in…

New York Public Library provides hi-res images for free use

It’s encouraging to see libraries and museums beginning to make public domain images freely available, increasingly providing high-resolution scans or photos for downloading. Historically, they have guarded images of objects in their collections as a private source of income. Count the New York Public Library among the honorable elite who have made their pd images available to be shared.

The pot in the garden

Shakespeare’s garden, that is (click image for link to BBC video).    

Coming soon to an HR department near you?

IBM has developed a program called the “The IBM Watson Personality Insights Service” that “uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the…

What is water?

Cool video made from David Foster Wallace commencement address.

Tom Kristensen

Maybonne returned recently from a trip to Europe, which included a swing through northern Germany and Denmark. While there she took a few pictures of Christensen-related books and…

Kansas City Public Library

Nice. I’m guessing not many patrons have difficulty finding the library.   (via  

Happy birthday, Jorge Luis Borges

Feliz cien duodécimo, estimado señor autor!

Monkeys and squirrels in trees

This image is by the great Mughal painter Abul Hasan (I devote a few pages to him in the book I’m currently working on). Usually called “Squirrels in…

The Naipaul Test

V. S. Naipaul continues to provoke and offend. In a talk at the Royal Geographic Society he said: I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or…

Randomized Editing

I have a month to polish up the book I’m currently working on, and I’m experimenting with a randomized editing process. Most writers spend a lot of time…

Marilyn Monroe Reading Ulysses

This photo of Marilyn reading Ulysses was taken on Long Island by Eve Arnold in 1954. Marylin was smart, and she liked to read. Here she seems to be…

HarperCollins vs the South Sioux City, Nebraska, Public Library

This interesting standoff between Rupert Murdock’s big publishing conglomerate and a little public library could be a bellwether for future digital book disputes. The SSC Library is boycotting…

Rant: The sorry state of bibliographic records

These days I’m using Zotero to keep track of my references (and what a pain it was transferring references from BibMe, which doesn’t support the standard BibTex format)….

Print vs iPad

According to a study by the Nielsen Norman Group (whatever that is), people read the same Hemingway stories faster in print than on the iPad. Besides supposedly revealing…

No. Why do you ask?

Folks online are getting too damn helpful.

Reading up on health care

At the Christian Science Monitor Marjorie Kehe offers a few suggestions for reading up on health care. Her list of five and a half books includes the following:…

New new Shakespeare portraits

More fun with computer morphing. What did Shakespeare look like? It’s possible one of these computer morphs might provide a clue. The image on the left morphs the…

A new portrait of William Shakespeare

What did Shakespeare look like? I will come to how I created the above image in a moment. First we need to review the existing portraits that are…

World book news: 13 rules for writers

Today I initiate what I am hoping will become a more or less weekly feature here at — a report on book news from newspapers and journals…

Publish and perish

Having completed my scriptorium and tabularium and got my books somewhat organized, I found myself with a bunch of duplicates and some other books I no longer needed….