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  1. Will Poole's Island

    Classic tales can–and should–be told and retold. Will Poole's Island, by Tim Weed, feels like one of those stories: comfortable, like something you've owned forever, yet fresh, because you're seeing it with new eyes, against a new backdrop. This short, elegantly written book is a coming-of-age adventure about…


  2. The Devil Comes to Fargo

    How the deliciously dark FX mini-series combines elements of The Master and Margarita, Doctor Faustus, and Twin Peaks This week, Fargo finally gave us confirmation that Lorne Malvo is, in fact, the Devil. Not that it was necessary. In the first episode, Billy Bob Thornton's grinning, Vulcan-banged assassin waltzed into…

    on books, television

  3. The Ides of April

    I was born on the 102nd anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Exactly fifty-five years after the Titanic sank. A day feared and dreaded by Americans. Tax Day. April 15. The Ides of April. Lincoln and the passengers on the Titanic actually had their fates sealed on the 14th - the…


  4. Five great uses of landscapes in literature

    Sometimes in stories landscapes aren't just for scenery. Take The Hobbit. Tolkien sometimes personifies landscapes, using them to signal turns in the plot. Old castles wear evil looks; Gandalf disappears. Stormy mountains become rock-hurling giants; Bilbo's journeying band gets taken by goblins. Living landscapes serving as signposts to plot: fantastic…

    on books

  5. Remembering One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Today, on Oscars day, let's remember that the movie is almost never as good as the book. But a great movie can whet our appetites for an even better book, and inspire us to read. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the winner of best picture, director, actor, actress, and…

    on books, movies, Oscars


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