The day before the coronavirus prompted the library to close at my retirement center, like everyone else, I rushed to the stacks to gather as much reading material as I could carry. My neighbors, being more nimble than I, had left the shelves almost bare by the time I arrived. All tha
The month of May marks a new beginning for Just Read it and for me. Just Read it is the 10 minute YouTube video program Susan Stoner and I have co-hosted over the last 4 years. During each show, a Portland, Oregon author joined us to discuss a book from the New York Times B
Appropriate to the season, a friend gave me a gift certificate to Powell’s bookstore. Overjoyed, I hurried off to use it before it got lost in the midst of my move to the retirement center. Choosing a book wasn’t hard. I keep a list on my refrigerator door.
A reader wrote to say she had some questions about Alice Munro’s short story, “Wenlock Edge,” and wondered if I had any insights. Curious, I read the story then searched for reviewer’s remarks on the web. I found few. One commentator did point out that the tr
Events around the globe don’t seem to be pointing to a bright future. Besides polluting the environment, we seem bent on killing each other. Perhaps that’s why the number of articles about how to stay happy seems to be multiplying faster than rabbits in old Mr. McGregor’s
When Stephen Hawking’s book, A Brief History of Time came out several years ago, someone hid money at the back of one copy to see if anyone got to the end of this complex work on cosmology. The book hit the best seller list and remained there for 4 years, but no on
I’ve never read a book by John Updike, mainly because he was never required in college and I identified him with “the boys,” who included Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, and touching upon Ernest Hemmingway and Norman Mailer, writers whom I have read but whose world view I don’t much
“…only a lucky writer can write a classic, and it’s only a rare classic that can be perennially relevant.” So writes Lauren Groff in her essay, “The Lost Yearling” (Harper’s, Jan. 2014, pgs. 89-94), a eulogy of sorts, for the fading Pulitzer prize book, The Yearling, wri
Sometimes, in the late afternoons, a woman comes down from the second floor of the retirement center to sit in our small café. She always orders a glass of white wine. With the chilled liquid in front of her, she gazes into the tall trees that sway outside the picture windows.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s, The Buried Giant (Random House, 2015) is a tale signifying something, but the critics aren’t sure what. Jon Ronson of the New York Times (Click) calls it a fantasy or a story akin to allegory. Tim Holland of The Guardian attempts to cover all the basis, lin