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

The Man Who Invented America

In a previous post, I argued that nobody reads Ralph Waldo Emerson anymore. I stand by that, sort of. As a literary milepost, Emerson has largely been overshadowed by his followers. He is The Hobbit rather than The Lord of the Rings. Disneyland instead of Disney World. Emerson fails to stand alongside giants like Herman Melville, Henry … Continue reading

Book 1.1 If on a winter’s night a traveler

You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. Relax. Concentrate.     This is a blog about books, about reading them and understanding the writers who write them. I remember a line that Stephen King (who makes it into this blog’s canon by a whisker) wrote … Continue reading