What I’m Reading Now: April 17, 2018

Second Reading: Notable and Neglected Books Revisited by Jonathan Yardley (Europa Editions, 2011, 351 pp.) Jonathan Yardley served for almost a third of a century as one of the great book reviewers at the Washington Post. The other of course was and still is Michael Dirda. They are two of the foremost literary critics ofContinue Reading »

What I’m Reading Now: April 10, 2018

Vincent Starrett, Born in a Bookshop: Chapters from the Chicago Renascence (University of Oklahoma Press, 1965, 325 pp.) “When we are collecting books, we are collecting happiness.” So said Vincent Starrett, the author of this memoir. I agree. I love books about books—that is, authors who write about their love of books, their collections ofContinue Reading »

What I’m Reading Now: April 3, 2018

Van Wyck Brooks, The World of Washington Irving (E.P. Dutton, 1944, 387 pp.) Van Wyck Brooks is an author whose work was enormously popular in the mid-20th century. How popular? Walk into any used bookstore and you’ll trip over his books. Time magazine, whose cover he graced in 1944, called him “the nation’s most distinguishedContinue Reading »

What I’m Reading Now: March 27, 2018

Charles Dickens, by Jane Smiley. Penguin Lives Series (Penguin, 2002, pp. 212) One of the great joys of my life that I look forward to with keen pleasure is continuing to read everything that Charles Dickens wrote. I was introduced to him about ten years ago, the way that anyone should properly be: through GreatContinue Reading »

What I’m Reading Now: March 20, 2018

Catch-22, by Joseph Heller (Simon & Schuster, 1961; 50th Anniversary Edition, 2011, 544 pp.) Two legendary book editors spanned the length of the 20th century: Maxwell Perkins at Scribner’s (1910-1947) and Robert Gottlieb at Simon and Schuster and Knopf (1955-present). A. Scott Berg’s award-winning Max Perkins: Editor of Genius (1978) led me to some ofContinue Reading »