Up in the air

Only Dick Francis could combine horses and air travel in such a fascinating way The most amazing thing about Rat Race, a 1970 mystery written by Dick Francis, is that it isn't the only horse-racing mystery that Francis set in the world of aviation. Flying Finish, published four years earlier, delved into the world of…

You could look it up

Kory Stamper Shares Her Love For Language in the Delightful 'Word by Word' Every last syllable of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (Pantheon Books, 2017) is utterly delightful. You should seek it out and read it immediately. The End. OK, that's not much of a review. Let's try again. Kory Stamper is a lexicographer…

Currently Reading, 8 July 2019

Something Old, Something New I start this post-holiday week with three books on the go: Rat Race by Dick Francis (originally published 1971 but I'm reading a brand-new ebook edition just published by Canelo) is a re-read for me. We've got a little group read going on over at LibraryThing where we will read one…

Literary links

"Bronze Link" by Michael Coghlan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 It's a hot summer holiday weekend, and for me that usually means curling up in an air-conditioned safe space with a book. Maybe you prefer to turn the pages while lounging poolside or at a cabin by the lake. Wherever you're going to be…

Big things come in small packages

a family tragedy of the american west Montana 1948 (Milkweek, 2007) is a story of sibling rivalry, the malleability of the criminal justice system when it's applied to people of color, the internal struggles that we all experience when it feels like the only way to do the right thing is by doing the wrong…

Will no one rid me of this troublesome brother-in-law?

Christopher Buckley serves up slapstick political intrigue in 'The Judge Hunter' Samuel Pepys has a problem. The incessant diarist of the 17th century has successfully negotiated himself into a position of minor power in the Restoration government of King Charles II after having inconveniently supported Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads in the overthrow of Charles…

Exploring the science of grief

'Lost and wanted' is a modern ghost story How are we supposed to feel when we learn of the death of a friend who had slowly drifted out of our day-to-day life? As Nell Freudenberger shows in her latest novel (Alfred A. Knopf, 2019), it's complicated. Helen Clapp and Charlotte "Charlie" Boyce were as close…

Battle of the book covers

U.S. versus U.K. — who ya got? Illustration created by Electric Literature Are your Mondays filled with too much thinking? Ease into your work week by gazing upon some beautiful and striking book covers. The fine folks over at Electric Literature pitted the U.S. and U.K. cover versions of some new books to see which…