The Swerve

I have thought and argued, for some time now, that we are the same people that we always were – i.e., that aside from various technical innovations, were we to meet someone from ancient times we would have more in common as human beings than we might think. After all, if we got into a time machine and went back only 100 back-to-back 60-year life spans, we would find ourselves in 4,000 something B.C. Only three of those sets us down in 1836. Read more about The Swerve



I don’t believe there are many ways in which European-Americans can even begin to comprehend the African-American experience as it has played out in this country for the past 400+ years, but one of those few ways is to read fiction by African-American writers. Fiction puts you as inside that experience as folks like me are ever liable to get, and my go-to writer for my smidgeon of understanding is Toni Morrison. Read more about Sula



Some time ago, while reading a history of the Wars of the Roses, I saw that Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville, died in 1492. By this time, Henry VII was on the throne, and he will soon be succeeded by his son, Henry VIII. The Wars of the Roses, which had occupied much of England’s 15th century, were over. Elizabeth Woodville, I thought, was the last medieval. Read more about 1492



I am not the first one to connect Nicola Griffith’s to Hilary Mantel’s , but I did make the connection independently. Both books give me hope that there is a new appreciation for what I’ve come to call “immersive fiction.” Fiction that doesn’t necessarily hinge on a plot or an all-consuming conflict. Read more about Hild


Reading List, October, 2015

The good news is that it’s all different from last year’s.

Published in 1971, this can be a hard book to find. I found a used copy in very good condition through Amazon, and I'm liking it very much. The "Express" of the title is the Mombasa-Nairobi railroad built in the early 20th century, infamous for attacks from the Lions of Tsavo, who feasted on a variety of African railway workers and even a few white guys. Read more about Reading List, October, 2015