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21 july 2015

If there's one thing that everybody knows about the extinction of the dinosaurs, it's that a huge asteroid hit the Earth 66 million years ago, and asteroid winter ensued, freezing the terrible lizards out.     read more


20 july 2015

The late Jakob Arjouni was a prodigy on the German detective-fiction scene. His first novel, Happy Birthday, Türke! appeared when he was just 21. Arjouni was a quick learner. By osmosis or application – both, probably – he internalized the conventions of the private-eye novel at a very early age.     read more


13 july 2015

Mark Golden's Children and Childhood in Classical Athens is now available in a revised second edition – well, full disclosure: I didn't know the first edition (1990) and I'm no specialist in classical studies. I do love to read and teach Greek literature in translation, and I need all the help I can get in understanding it. And Golden's book is very much geared toward the general reader with some background and interest in his field. He argues from evidence and with methodologies that are central and current in that field, but his imagined audience is wider: people of varied knowledge who would like to know what growing up was like during a storied period of Western civilization.     read more


5 july 2015

Reaktion Books kicked off their Botanical series (yet one more for me to keep up with!) by publishing Kasia Boddy's Geranium a couple of years ago. What I didn't know about geraniums filled far more than Boddy's brief volume, but it's helped me catch up a bit.     read more

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