Through the eyes of a child

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One of the reasons Ender’s Game is my favorite book is because you see how the adults are manipulating Ender, the main character who is six when the novel begins, and how he reacts to the new world they force upon him. Ender is smart. He adapts quickly and understands most of the manipulation going … Continue reading

Reclaiming that innocent and hopeful place

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The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. — Christopher Nolan I saw The Dark Knight Rises approximately 24 hours after the tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado. I didn’t think twice when I purchased … Continue reading

(Re)Inventing the past

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While in Denver for a summer wedding, I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), a smallish, spare, but amazing space in the city’s downtown. Though contemporary art is thought of by many as bizarre, lacking in subtlety, garish or shocking for the sake of being garish and shocking, the contemporary … Continue reading

Will the real Patrick Ashby please stand up?

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In the opening pages of Josephine Tey’s classic mystery novel Brat Farrar (1950), a young man decides to commit a crime. The crime is impersonation and the motive is money, of course. The young man, the eponymous Brat (a derivation of “Bart”), looks almost exactly like Patrick Ashby, who had disappeared, believed a suicide, eight … Continue reading

The musical layers of Layer Cake

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Hundred of years ago I heard a song. Not just any old song, but a swirling, catchy song with a ringing guitar and great singing. I tried and tried and tried to find the song but my searches were coming up empty. Pre- or early internet days were still occasionally difficult to find music in, … Continue reading

Law and order on trial

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The morality of comic book characters never used to be up for debate. If you were a superhero, you wore a bright costume, helped kids rescue kittens and shook hands with the police when you dropped off the criminals you apprehended, sometimes without even having to land a punch. If you were a supervillain, you … Continue reading

Giving romance a go

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Last summer I read a few books by the romance writer Candace Camp from her Matchmaker series. The series revolves around Lady Francesca Haughston, a widow who sets up young women in good marriages in 19th century London. I read three of the books: The Marriage Wager, The Bridal Quest, and The Wedding Challenge. Yes, … Continue reading

The existential crisis, or, Hungry like the wolf

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Sometimes to even live is an act of courage. — Seneca The survival instinct is an interesting one. In the most extreme of circumstances — that is, in its purest form — it is without logic. It is animal. Survive to survive, and for no other reason. In Joe Carnahan’s The Grey, seven men are … Continue reading

Suzy’s binoculars and Wes Anderson’s camera

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In Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, “emotionally disturbed” 12-year-olds Suzy and Sam run away from their depressing and angst-ridden 1965-era lives to be with each other out in the open air of a New England island.  Their plan doesn’t have much of a future, but the brevity of their escape makes it all the … Continue reading

Reread quest

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The book you reread is different from the book you read the time before. You change. Your reading strategies change. The book expands to fill more of your life. I’ve been writing about books I love, that I reread because I love both the experience of reading them and the experience of having read them … Continue reading