Monthly Archives: January 2021

A Winter’s Tale

I’m reading Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. To keep all the characters and events straight, it helps me to get a summary. Here are two short videos I found.

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Posted by on January 30, 2021 in fiction


Education Report

The 1776 Commission Report

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Posted by on January 21, 2021 in history, non-fiction


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Chicago’s Sweet History

I expected more from Chicago’s Sweet Candy History.

Written by Leslie Goddard, Chicago’s Sweet Candy History consists of lots of historic pictures with facts about candy companies and confectioners under each. I wish there’d been more exposition, more text. It provides a good overview in snippets, but I wanted more details about the facts.

I was also surprised that there was no mention of the Brach Candy heriess’ disappearance and murder. Helen Brach lived not far from me and in the 1980s her disappearance was big news. She’d gone to the Mayo Clinic and stopped at a shop but never was seen from again. Thirteen years later police learned that she was murdered by a horse trader. If that story is missing, what else is?

I’m glad I didn’t buy this book. It’s a good collection of pictures with some information, but if I had been able to see this at the library, I doubt I’d even check it out.

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Posted by on January 17, 2021 in history


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Good Morning Zoom

Is this a parody or a clever gimmick intended for children? I wanted more satire. This disappointed. There are a lot of riffs on the Good Night Moon book, which is something of a literary lullaby. Good Morning Zoom tries to explain the Lockdown culture. I think something else could do that better.

I saw this beside the cash register at my local book store. It’s intended as an impulse buy. Try to resist as I did.

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Posted by on January 14, 2021 in book review, humor


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A graphic history of the first atomic bomb, Trinity shows the history of development of The Bomb from the Curie’s experimentation with  radioactivity to the Manhattan Project to the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s a concise book with lots of science, math and history. I was surprised that it would offer so much detail on the scientists’ work and personal history.

I enjoyed this quick, educational read. It’s good for ages 12 and up.

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Posted by on January 11, 2021 in book review


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“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language 
And next year’s words await another voice.”

T. S. Eliot

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Posted by on January 3, 2021 in quotation



The Booksellers

A thumbs up for this charming documentary.

No Fixed Plans

My friend Kevin recommended the documentary The Booksellers, which introduces people to to quirky world of selling rare books. Taking place in New York City, the film interviews booksellers, young and mainly old some of whom have been in the family business for generations. Viewers learn about rare books which are bought for their characteristics as an object rather than as something to read.

You’ll see the booksellers in their habitats whether it’s a tiny apartment filled from floor to ceiling with old books or a warehouse with 300,000 books.

The subjects interviewed love their work, even though it’s at a precarious stage. As one man said, they’re part gold digger, part salesman. That pithy quote actually makes it sound easier than I think it is. They have to find that rare gem and then the right buyer, whether it’s a library, museum or collector.

Collectors were also featured. The…

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Posted by on January 3, 2021 in fiction


Poem of the Week

Snow flakes

By Emily Dickinson

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town –
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down –
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig –
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!

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Posted by on January 1, 2021 in American Lit, poetry