What is the Wind in “The Wind in the Willows?”

Growing up, one of the first bands I really got into was Pink Floyd. I  remember borrowing a copy of the Floyd’s first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, from a friend (a cassette version). He handed it over with the warning that I may not like it: “It’s not like anything else.” Piper truly is sui … Continue reading

Tracking Down Gunter Grass

The Tin Drum is a novel I’ve seen on bookstore shelves for years. Books with especially hefty spines are easy to spot, and The Tin Drum, at more than 600 pages, takes up a good bit of shelf real estate. (Quick aside, I’ve always thought the spine of the book should be shown when you consider … Continue reading

Atlas Slogged – A report on reading an almost unreadable book

Richard Dawkins, the puckish and quotable standard bearer of the new atheism, once called the God portrayed in the Old Testament “the most unpleasant character in all fiction.” Of the OT God’s legion of fans, Dawkins then added, “I suspect they… haven’t read the Old Testament or they’re not the kind of people I would … Continue reading

Nine Classics to Read in the Winter

Why is it we only get reading lists during the summer? With its short days and achingly cold nights, winter seems the far better season to pick over neglected bookshelves. But I don’t like to read just any book in the winter. Breezy romances set in SoCal climes? Ech. (Well, for me that kind of … Continue reading

Babbitt Shrugged: How Sinclair Lewis Skewers Ayn Rand

Who’s afraid of Ayn Rand? The philosopher queen-cum-fantasy novelist has been exhaustively name checked of late. Her most famous novel, Atlas Shrugged, has sold several millions copies since the election of a certain un-Randian president in 2008. Two parts of a planned Atlas Shrugged trilogy have been released in the last  two years, though the free market was not … Continue reading