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Lower Fairfield County's online book club

Once upon a midnight dreary

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Image via Wikipedia Edgar Allan Poe – spinner of spine-tinglers and tales of hearts that won’t stay still – immediately springs to mind when Halloween approaches. Few other horror stories in literature have quite the bone-chilling, heart-stopping quality of Poe’s, peopled with devious killers and strange, haunting manifestations of guilt. I’ve never quite been able to […] [Read More]

Book spotting

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I was wandering through the Ferguson Library the other day, with no determined purpose, when I spotted one of the usual book displays on the first floor and noticed that the arrangement of the books seemed a little…familiar. “This Side of Paradise” next to “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit”? “A Connecticut Yankee in […] [Read More]

‘Dramatizing the act of reading’

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When I first read “The Great Gatsby”, it was summer — the best time of year, I think, to become acquainted with Gatsby’s decadent stretch of Long Island. Lying on the beach, I flipped through sun-soaked pages of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s languid prose, wishing I could dust off my sandy feet and step straight into […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The Kafka papers

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“One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.” — Franz Kafka, “The Metamorphosis” Imagine, for a moment, a canon of Western literature without “The Metamorphosis.” Without Gregor Samsa’s bizarre plight as an insect, without the novels “The Castle”, “The Trial”, “Amerika”…without even the […] [Read More]
Categories: General

A new version of events

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The sinking of the Titanic in April, 1912 is such a well-known piece of history, that the spiral of events into disaster seems familiar and thoroughly picked over. However, a new book “Good as Gold”, written by the granddaughter of the ship’s Second Officer brings new facts to the surface about the human errors and […] [Read More]
Categories: General

In case you missed it…

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The New York Times had a great fall book preview today. Here’s a peek: There are novels by Ken Follett, Michael Cunningham, Nicole Krauss and Tom Clancy; cookbooks by Ina Garten and Jamie Oliver; humor books by both Amy Sedaris and David Sedaris; a collection of poems, notes and letters written by Marilyn Monroe; and […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Franzenfrenzy

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Jonathan Franzen’s new novel “Freedom” has already been scooped up by President Obama for his late-summer reading, lauded expansively by the New York Times, and projected to easily hit the best-seller list when it goes on sale tomorrow. Franzen himself has become the first author in a decade to grace the cover of Time magazine […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Meeting David Mitchell

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Well, I braved boiling temperatures, chugged endless water bottles and crowded into a near-bursting bookshop in a sweat-drenched t-shirt to see David Mitchell Sunday afternoon, the culmination of a literary pilgrimage that took me to a baking stretch of 10th Avenue in Manhattan. Mitchell, British novelist and author of “Cloud Atlas”, chose the independent bookstore […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Happy Bloomsday

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June 16, 1904 — The day that James Joyce’s hero Leopold Bloom made his way around Dublin in “Ulysses” is celebrated across the world, often with pints of Guinness, (“thick giblet soup”?) and readings from the book. Stamford celebrated the literary holiday in Joycean fashion this past Sunday, and in New York, there’s a host […] [Read More]
Categories: classics, General

Rome in July

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Also from The New Yorker: The Book Bench blog has chosen Tom Rachman’s “The Imperfectionists” as their July book club selection. I’m very excited by this — I’m currently 3/4 of the way through Rachman’s debut novel, which I’ve all but inhaled in the past few days. It’s one of those books that acts on […] [Read More]
Categories: General