Recent Articles

March 14, 2005

Review: Balkan Ghosts by Robert D. Kaplan 1

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I picked up Balkan Ghosts because I was interested in the subject matter, and I hadn’t read anything by Robert D. Kaplan before this. It’s interesting that this book was published in the “Vintage Departures” series because it might not have occurred to me that this book is a travelogue, even though Kaplan does spend […]

March 10, 2005

Iowa Dispatch (Part 4) 0

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The auditions are over, according to my friends in Iowa, now that Ben Marcus – aka the “Dark Horse” – has made his visit to campus to try out for the Director job. During the workshop students noted his nervousness, which they saw as a good sign, that perhaps he’s more invested in getting this […]

March 8, 2005

Iowa Dispatches, Part 3 0

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I heard from folks in Iowa about the visit by Jim Shepard for his “audition” for the Director spot. Shepard’s sense of humor apparently sat well with students who appreciated the levity injected into the mock workshop that Shepard conducted. The mock workshop wasn’t all funny stuff, though, and students were impressed with the thoroughness […]

March 7, 2005

Staying Sane: A Year in Reading (Part 10) 0

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A couple of weeks passed and I had the urge to read another novel, so using a trip to Chicago as the good chance it was, I picked up J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. Again, I was amazed at the ease with which Salinger grasps the reader’s attention and pulls him into the dialogues of […]

March 4, 2005

Spring Break 0

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You may have noticed that I haven’t posted for a few days. I’m busy finishing up my work for the quarter, and I still have some more to go. But when I’m finished, I promise to share my spring break – via this blog – with all of you. See you then!

March 1, 2005

Hardcover, Softcover… iPod Shuffle? 0

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Yesterday, Scott posted the good news that six Bay Area libraries are making audiobooks available as downloads that readers can listen to on their digital devices. At least one other library appears to be jumping on the digital download bandwagon, but this one is providing the mp3 player as part of the deal. The South […]

March 1, 2005

Chicago reads a Western 0

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Mayor Daley announced the latest “One Book, One City” selection for Chicago today. I don’t know if anyone pays much attention to these recommendations now that the OBOC craze has faded a bit, but the book is worth reading. The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark is a somewhat forgotten classic from 1940, a […]

February 28, 2005

Iowa Dispatches, Part 2 0

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I heard from my friends in Iowa about the latest in the search for the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Director On Feb. 24, Lan Samantha Chang was in Iowa for her “audition” for the Director position. During the mock-workshop portion of the presentation, Chang showed off her analytical skills rather than her personality, as previous finalist […]

February 28, 2005

Rick Atkinson and Battle Memoirs 0

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Rick Atkinson, sometime reporter for the Washington Post and author of several books, most recently An Army at Dawn and In the Company of Soldiers, stopped by school today and gave a brief talk to a gathering of students and faculty. Atkinson describes himself as a narrative non-fiction writer and “recovering journalist,” and he divided […]

February 28, 2005

Staying Sane: A Year in Reading (Part 9) 0

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I was in search of something light after Libra and turned to Henry Miller’s Under the Roofs of Paris. Miller wrote this piece for spare money after his return from Paris by submitting 5-10 pages at a time. He got paid $1 for each page and submitted them to a Mr. xxxx who ran a […]