Let me exhort you

“Let me exhort you, people: close Twitter and read a book. Take delight in something well-made, well-made because the author loved her task and sought to bring her best intellectual resources to bear on her work. Take delight in words crafted to increase the world’s store of intelligence, to share what the author knows and… Read more Let me exhort you

The Book Thieves

As I read Anders Rydell’s The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance, I kept thinking of Sean Connery’s line from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: All this book burning by the Nazis entailed looting a continent’s worth of libraries and archives, specifically to root out so-called… Read more The Book Thieves

Technically First

This happens to me all the time: I hear about a book (or movie or album, but usually book) and find it at my library, then I read it and see mention of another book or figure, sending me off into that direction, where I find another book to read. And so on. I’ll call… Read more Technically First

Reader In Chief

As a reader, librarian, and citizen, I’m going to miss this “reader in chief,” as John McMurtrie of the San Francisco Chronicle calls him: As is amply manifest in his writing, Obama is someone who has done a lot of thinking about his place in the world, his upbringing, his uniquely American story. And, as president, he… Read more Reader In Chief

Gentleman Boss

“His political experience had been restricted almost exclusively to one state, and his knowledge of national and international affairs was limited to what any reasonably curious New Yorker might cull from local newspapers.” “His nomination had been entirely unexpected, and was commonly interpreted as a device for placating the most opprobrious forces within the GOP.”… Read more Gentleman Boss

A Frozen Hell

Finland alone, in danger of death—superb, sublime Finland—shows what free men can do. —Winston Churchill And Trotter, the author of the superb book A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40, shows what fine historians can do. Not sure how I found this book, but after visiting Finland last summer I wanted to learn more about… Read more A Frozen Hell

So Far Advanced

Here’s a funny bit in an otherwise unfunny but fascinating book called A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940. After Finland refused Stalin’s ultimatum, Russia initiated war and installed a puppet Finnish government that signed the “treaty” Stalin had wanted: Never change, Finland.