Don’t do drugs, kids. But do give it up for whoever thought of the perfect double entendre title and cover for Norman Ohler’s Blitzed: Drug Use in the Third Reich. This topic is definitely not something I’ve heard about in the history books, as they say, so perhaps it’s fitting that Ohler is not a historian… Read more Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich
Lots of great bits in this Atlas Obscura story about the Manhattan Project‘s librarian. J. Robert Oppenheimer selected Charlotte Serber, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, statistician, and freelance journalist to organize and lead the scientific library at Los Alamos not because of her library experience (she had none), but because “he wanted someone who would be willing to… Read more The Bomb Librarian
It’s fitting that my very first typecast is a review of “Uncommon Type: Some Stories”, a book of typewriter-inspired short stories by Tom Hanks (out October 2017).
We stayed at a beach community in Michigan for the Fourth of July extended weekend and went to the chapel service they had on Sunday. One of the pastors began with a quote from Erma Bombeck: You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns,… Read more Rhythm Sand Booms
I went to the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago two weeks ago. Got to meet up with old colleagues, collect some sweet pens, and hear some interesting speakers, including the godfather of Hamilton, Ron Chernow. But most enriching were the sessions I attended. Here are some notes from the ones that enlightened me the most. The… Read more Norman Doors & More: Notes on ALA 2017
I don’t remember where I got the idea, but recently I’ve started memorizing poems and posting recordings of me reciting them on Instagram. They’ve been mostly short thus far, 10 to 15 lines. But I aim to take on longer ones as I get more under my belt and feel more adventurous. Part of this… Read more Folks, I’m Telling You
I can’t believe it. I think I may have just found a Republican U.S. senator I’d actually vote for. I’m as surprised as anyone that I read, let alone greatly enjoyed, Ben Sasse’s The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance by Ben Sasse, Republican (but, phew, #NeverTrump) senator from Nebraska.… Read more The Vanishing American Adult
Remember in 2008 when Dick Cheney, when confronted with polls showing two-thirds of Americans opposed the Iraq War quagmire, responded with So? I thought about that when I read this part of the Washington Post‘s story on Obama’s struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault: In early September, Johnson, Comey, and Monaco arrived on Capitol Hill in a… Read more So?
I recently began reading The Iliad for the first time. Having that in mind when I saw Wonder Woman was helpful in my appreciation of both works. The way Ares interacts with humanity in Patty Jenkins’s excellent film—first subtly, then catastrophically—mirrors that of the gods of The Iliad, who bounce in and out of the affairs of men, sometimes… Read more Wonder Woman
Josh Larsen posted my response to his middling-to-negative review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in his Why I’m Wrong feature. I wanted to post it here as well, along with follow-up thoughts about how the movie reminded me of his great new book Movies Are Prayers. My defense of GOTG2 What I won’t defend: the… Read more Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2