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Category Archives: fiction

Poem of the Week

For St. Paddy’s Day some Irish poetry

No Fixed Plans

March

By Patrick Kavanaugh

There’s a wind blowing
Cold through the corridors,
A ghost-wind,
The flapping of defeated wings,
A hell-fantasy
From meadows damned
To eternal April

And listening, listening
To the wind
I hear
The throat-rattle of dying men,
From whose ears oozes
Foamy blood,
Throttled in a brothel.

I see brightly
In the wind vacancies
Saint Thomas Aquinas
And
Poetry blossoms
Excitingly
As the first flower of truth.

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Posted by on March 17, 2021 in fiction

 

On Dr Seuss’ Controversy

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2021 in fiction

 

On “Growthful” & Rubin Report

Is “growthful” a word?

In the video above, Eric Metaxas kids Rabbi Wolpe about his use of the “word” growthful. In the spirit of kidding, I’ll add that “growthful” isn’t a word, dear sir.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2021 in fiction

 

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

 

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

Autumn

By Francis Ledwidge

Now leafy winds are blowing cold,
And South by West the sun goes down,
A quiet huddles up the fold
In sheltered corners of the brown.

Like scattered fire the wild fruit strews
The ground beneath the blowing tree,
And there the busy squirrel hews
His deep and secret granary.

And when the night comes starry clear,
The lonely quail complains beside
The glistening waters on the mere
Where widowed Beauties yet abide.

And I, too, make my own complaint
Upon a reed I plucked in June,
And love to hear it echoed faint
Upon another heart in tune. 

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2020 in fiction

 

Their Eyes Were Watching God

My latest read for my latest book club.

No Fixed Plans

I read Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God for a new book club I was invited to join.

Story: Sixteen year old Janie dreams of a bright future as she’s smooching with a Johnny Taylor, but she’s thwarted when her grandmother arranges marriage with a successful farmer who’s a much older man. Grandma prioritizes financial security and  turns away from Janie when she visits pleading for help out of an unhappy marriage. Granny thinks Janie’s ungrateful and impractical.

Janie remains stuck living with a husband who just wanted a maid till sweet talking Jody comes to town. When she gets a chance, Janie runs off with Jody to Eatonville, a Florida town where all the townspeople are African American. Charismatic and visionary, Jody convinces the people that they need a store, a street lamp and a mayor. Once he’s mayor he develops the town till it becomes…

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Posted by on November 14, 2020 in fiction

 

Guilty Reader Tag

1. Have You Ever Re-Gifted A Book You’ve Been Given?

Yes, but rarely. I haven’t wrapped it up and presented it as a book for an occasion, but I’ve given books I haven’t gotten to and decided I probably wouldn’t to someone who might like it more.

2. Have You Ever Said You’ve Read A Book When You Haven’t?

I think I did in school once or twice for a book report. I do recall reading part of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and expounding on it on a test. I got a great grade for that response.

3. Have You Ever Borrowed A Book And Not Returned It?

A friend lent me a book and I got part way through it and tried to return it but she said to keep it.

4. Have You Ever Read A Series Out Of Order?

I read The Ladies’ Paradise by Zola before I knew it was part of a “series” called the Rougon-Macquart series. Many people suggest not reading Rougon-Macquart books in the order of publication, but rather in this order. It’s not a straight up chronological series.

Now I’m reminded to resume reading Zola.

5. Have You Ever Spoiled A Book For Someone?

No one’s said I did.

6. Have You Ever Dog-eared A Book?

Yesterday, I wanted to mark some pages in Paul Johnson’s Heroes.

7. Have You Ever Told Someone You Don’t Own A Book When You Do?

No. I can’t see why I would.

Not for fiction, perhaps for school, I’ve had a book which only some chapters were assigned.

9. Have You Ever Bad Mouthed A Book You Actually Liked?

That never would occur to me. I’m not sure what the upside would be.

I think my biggest guilt as a reader is that I don’t make time to read as much as I’d like.

Are you a guilty reader? Do you feel any other reading guilt? Let me know in the comments!

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2020 in fiction

 

Poem of the Week

Poem of the Week
 
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Posted by on September 23, 2020 in fiction

 

High Tea and Afternoon Tea in the Age of Austen

Inquiring readers, I once enjoyed afternoon tea in Fortnum and Mason’s in London. It was an exquisite, elaborate, and unforgettable experience. It …

High Tea and Afternoon Tea in the Age of Austen
 
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Posted by on September 23, 2020 in fiction