home     authors     titles     dates     links     about     "Read at whim!" – Randall Jarrell

25 august 2016

I have a memory of seeing a bald eagle, when I was ten or eleven, in New Jersey. This is unlikely to be a true memory, even if accurate. It would have been 1970 or so, at which point bald eagle populations were greatly reduced and their range restricted. Still, it's possible: southern New Jersey is marshy, with lots of water features that are hospitable to these fish-eating birds, and bald eagles nest today further up the Delaware River. Stranger things have happened – in New Jersey, far stranger things have happened.     read more

18 august 2016

The Gods of Guilt has a good story idea, and some appealing characters and interactions among them, but the plot mechanism bogs down, and the whole contraption shuts up with a bang and a clatter at the end in an unsatisfying way.     read more

15 august 2016

I've never owned a guinea pig, but after reading Dorothy Yamamoto's book on them, I want one. Though she says you should always keep at least two, for company. Guinea pigs don't breed as fast as rabbits or rats, but they do breed apace, so my pair should be a same-sex couple, but they may be difficult to sex so I should factor in the increase-and-multiply possibility. At this point my guinea-pig dreams are becoming kind of complicated and I reckon I should abandon them.     read more

6 august 2016

Phineas Gage is one of the most famous patients in medical history, a man who survived the loss of much of his brain. But one of John Fleischman's themes, in his 2002 book about Gage for young readers, is that Phineas' organism survived. What made him Phineas arguably did not.     read more