Essays – Addresses – Lectures

Blog Literature

2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

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Fun and Games Linked Items Literature Reviews

Book Characters Turning Over a New Leaf

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Task 2: Japanese Culture Day was first held in 1948, to commemorate the announcement of the country’s post-war constitution on November 3, 1946, which was to make a new start for Japan.  Which book did you read this year where someone was searching for or starting […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Dorothy L. Sayers: The Lost Tools of Learning

24 Festive Tasks: Door 12 – World Philosophy Day, Book: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.).   My pick for this holiday was Dorothy L. Sayers’s 1947 Oxford lecture The Lost Tools of […]

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Books Shipped Long Distance

24 Festive Tasks: Door 16 – St. Lucia’s Day, Task 4: The historic (3d century AD) St. Lucia was Italian; yet, like those of many other saints (including, e.g., St. Andrew and St. Nicholas), the most important celebrations of her holiday don’t occur in her place of origin but somewhere else in the world. List […]

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Plato: Timaeus & Critias

24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 – World Philosphy Day, Book: Read a book about philosophy or a philosopher, or a how-to book about changing your life in a significant way or suggesting a particular lifestyle (Hygge, Marie Kobo, etc.   Plato’s cosmology and theory of the human body, and the story of Atlantis; courtesy of […]

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An “Out of My Reach” Book Wishlist to St. Nick

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Write a book wish list to St. Nick / Santa Claus for books that you’ve been eyeing but can’t justify the expense of purchasing.  (E.g., art books? Collector’s editions? Boxed sets?)   Dear Saint Nick, it would be really nice if one […]

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Books With Antonyms in Their Titles

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Task 4: The South Korean flag features images of ying / yang (the blue and red circle in the center) and four sets of three black lines each representing heaven, sun, moon and earth and, in turn, the virtues humanity, justice, intelligence and courtesy.  Compile a […]

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The Dalai Lama: The Power of Compassion

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 10 – World Peace Day Words of Wisdom The Dalai Lama speaks about the Four Noble Truths, maximizing your inner strength, dealing with anger and death, the power of compassion, the challenges facing humanity today (including globalization, warfare, environmental protection, overpopulation), and the great world religions’ core tenets […]

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Literature Reviews

Rina Swentzell / Luci Tapahonso / Tony Chavarria (eds.): Here, Now, and Always – Voices of the First Peoples of the Southwest

“We are the people.” “I am here. I am here, now. I have been here, always.” Edmund J. Ladd (Zuñi). In 1989, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, NM, began to put together a project designed to present Native American culture, traditions, and contemporary life from an Indian point of view: […]

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Literature Reviews

Eudora Welty: One Writer’s Beginnings

Glimpses Into a Unique Writer’s Mind “Listening,” “Learning to See” and “Finding a Voice,” Eudora Welty entitled the three chapters of her autobiography “One Writer’s Beginnings.” And while these may be steps that most writers will undergo at some point, Welty’s compact memoir is notable both because it allows a rare glimpse into the celebrated […]

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Literature Reviews

Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays, & Memoir (Library of America)

Creations of a unique voice “Listening,” “Learning to See” and “Finding a Voice,” Eudora Welty entitled the three chapters of her autobiography “One Writer’s Beginnings,” the concluding entry in this collection, one of the two Library of America compilations dedicated to her work. And while these may be steps that most writers will undergo at […]

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Literature Reviews

Henry David Thoreau: Collected Essays and Poems (Library of America)

A treasure Henry David Thoreau, born in Concord, Massachusetts, on July 12, 1817, was one of the co-founders and most influential representatives of the philosophical school known as “Transcendentalism.” (Others include fellow Concord residents Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bronson Alcott, reformist teacher and father of Louisa May Alcott.) Thoreau’s life centered around his home town; […]

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Literature Reviews

Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works (Library of America)

A literary voice silenced way too early. Flannery O’Connor did not even live to see her 40th birthday; she died, in 1964, of lupus, the same inflammatory disease which had killed her father when she was a mere teenager and which all too soon began to cripple her as well. A graduate of the Iowa […]

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