In Memoriam

February 20, 2012

Remembering Anthony Shadid in Beirut 3


The wind was blowing as morning broke over Beirut. In the kitchen, I poured a glass of milk for our daughter. Firing up the iPhone, there it was: New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid had died on assignment in Syria. He was 43 years old.

January 13, 2012

A Weed in My Flower Garden: Remembering George Whitman of Shakespeare and Company 2


A friend was coming from Atlantic City. We needed another bed! Ignoring the line of waiting customers, George ordered me to climb out onto the dilapidated roof to retrieve a piece of rotting plywood, skewered with nails. I obliged, of course. Later, he brought me gluey pancakes, which I clandestinely flushed down the toilet.

December 16, 2011

Remembering Hitch 4


It took a particularly potent kind of charisma to allow a person to engage in such concentrated namedropping, urinating all the while, and still manage to come across as utterly charming. Hitchens had that kind of charisma.

December 16, 2011

We’ll Miss Hitch 0


Vanity Fair remembers Christopher Hitchens, a favorite of ours who was always fun to root for, and who, as you’ve no doubt heard by now, died last night. Andrew Sullivan remembers an email exchange from happier times. Hitchens’ ebook from this year, The Enemy, is in our Hall of Fame, and we reviewed his memoir, […]

September 14, 2011

Good-bye to e-Book Pioneer Michael Hart (and Thanks for Those 36,000+ Freebies) 3


It was Michael Stern Hart of Project Gutenberg who popularized the Net as a book library. He died with more than 36,000 free Gutenberg books on the Web, in 60 languages, as his legacy.

April 9, 2011

Sidney Lumet Dies at 86 0


Sidney Lumet, director of 12 Angry Men, Serpico, and many other classic films, has died at 86.

February 7, 2011

Brian Jacques, R.I.P. 1


Brian Jacques, whose Redwall series beginning with Redwall and Mossflower figured prominently in my life as a young reader, has died.

October 13, 2010

Carla Cohen, You Will Be Missed 1


The secret of the store’s success has been that the owners loved books and weren’t afraid to have opinions or share them with their customers.  And the customers responded to that passion.

July 20, 2010

Conversations with Harvey Pekar 0


I started reading Harvey Pekar’s comic book series American Splendor in high school, when I was anxious about my future and frustrated by my present. Little did I know then, Pekar would soon become a friend and a confidant of sorts.

April 19, 2010

Emilie 20


My magnificent agent died a few days ago. Her name was Emilie Jacobson, but her colleagues called her Emmy. She found me in a slush pile.