Myths Transformed

What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket. Over the past 24 hours I’ve read Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad and Karthika Nair’s Until the Lions. Both are short, sharp reworkings of ancient literature that grapple with the violence of war and the subjugation of women. Both are also on sale in theContinue reading “Myths Transformed”

Reading list, 2021

I read 91 books in 2021. An asterisk means I was rereading something. January 1. Garth Greenwell, Cleanness 2. Thomas Rid, Active Measures: The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare 3. James Swallow, Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil 4. Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other 5. Jonathan Metzl, Dying of Whiteness 6. John Gaskin,Continue reading “Reading list, 2021”

Book Notes: A Ladder to the Sky

I’m a compulsive buyer of bargain-priced e-books; if I did nothing else with my free time I might possibly be able to keep up with my purchases, but since I also watch TV and play video games I’ve more or less had to accept that collecting books and reading them are fundamentally unrelated habits. PartContinue reading “Book Notes: A Ladder to the Sky”

Book Notes: Elaine Stritch and J. R. R. Tolkien

Today I finished reading Alexandra Jacobs’ biography of Elaine Stritch and Christopher Tolkien’s edition of his father’s writings on the Gondolin story. The Stritch biography is casual, eminently readable, and fairly superficial. Jacobs never spends more than a couple paragraphs on any subject involving psychological depth: alcoholism, sexuality, the precise roots of Stritch’s showy, sometimesContinue reading “Book Notes: Elaine Stritch and J. R. R. Tolkien”