Category Archive for 'Books'

The Critical Mass

How I spend my idle time As an unemployed American, I am frequently asked by my concerned fellow citizens, “So, what are you doing these days?” In response, I’ve been compiling a “To Do” list, just to keep the conversation going. I haven’t crossed off a whole lot yet. But I think some of this […]

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The Critical Mass

Fire and Fury and karma The early bird gets the worm, they claim. And not getting to the bookstore quick enough meant I didn’t get a copy of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Yes, I’m, disappointed. Because it looks like author Michael Wolff got the snake. I’ve got the book on order, […]

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The Critical Mass

My frightening reading list I’ve been reading a lot of books the last few months. As Burgess Meredith said in that classic episode of The Twilight Zone, “I have all the time in the world.” And as the lights went out on 2017, and we stumbled into the new year, the holiday party literary discussions […]

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The Critical Mass

The Christians of Wrath My Friend Bill and My Friend Connie were at the house last week when we got to talking about the epidemic of revelations showing men in powerful positions sexually harassing and assaulting women. And what’s behind these religious leaders who were throwing their support behind the accused child sex predator, Roy […]

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The Critical Mass

Book of the Future Month Club My Friend Sue belongs to a book club. They meet over hors d’ouvres and white wine and discuss that month’s book. Hillary Mantell’s Wolf Hall, that’s one I remember Sue’s group having dissected. A weighty novel about Oliver Cromwell. Plenty of heads roll in that one. Book clubs. They’re […]

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The Critical Mass

Joanna Scott’s new novel shows its metal Master typist that I am, in the midst of a series of email exchanges with Joanna Scott a few months ago I misspelled “fiction” as “faction.” A typo that, in a literature context, lends new meaning to an otherwise serviceable word. In subsequent emails, we’ve adopted this new […]

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The Critical Mass

Taking Highway 61 Oops. I skipped out of The Critical Mass neighborhood for a while. Been spending too much time writing. And reading. Reading, as in On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom, Dennis McNally’s recent book tracing the effect that roots music has had on American culture. It’s very worthy […]

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The Critical Mass

Don’t kill the mockingbird This morning’s walk with the dog coincided with garbage pick-up day. Today’s garbage trucks have a huge claw that seizes the big green bin, raises it high in the air, turns it upside down over the yawning, undoubtedly disgusted pit on the back of the truck, shakes it, and sets down […]

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The Critical Mass

When library fines go wild This morning’s mail brought a surprise, a letter from a collection agency. The aggrieved party that it was representing: The Rochester Public Library. The lawyers claimed that I owed my favorite public institution $57.80 in fines. WHAT? Had I forgotten to return the Gutenberg Bible? I looked at my account […]

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The Critical Mass

1,000 That’s right. As best I can figure, sometime last month Chasing the Wind: The Humble, Epic Century of a Sailor, passed 1,000 in sales since it was published last May. That, for an independently published book, is pretty good. I was at a writer’s convention in January of 2012, and remember one of the […]

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