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30 august 2014

When I was a kid in the 1960s in Chicago, a major treat was going to see the dolphins at Brookfield Zoo. What I didn't realize at the age of six was that the dolphins had only been there a few years; the dolphin exhibit at Brookfield is a little younger than I am. What I certainly didn't realize is that there had been no dolphin exhibits anywhere till a scant 20 years before I was born. Dolphin shows are one of those things that were brand-new just in time to seem to me like they'd been around forever.     read more

25 august 2014

Holes was the book that got me interested in the Newbery Medal – or rather, got me re-interested.     read more

23 august 2014

I've noted here before that Haruki Murakami is at his best when his dramatic situations and plot complications are asymmetric, as in Sputnik Sweetheart. That's one reason I didn't like the curiously balanced 1Q84 quite so much. I'm happy to report that he's back to imbalance in his newly translated novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki.     read more

19 august 2014

First off, let me say that I'd have had more use for Alexandra Horowitz's Inside of a Dog if it had been about cats. I've lived with dogs and been very fond of them, but for the past few years it's been mostly me and my cat Whisper Wilson, and I have no idea what he's thinking at times.     read more