Category Archives: Books & Reading

Books & Reading

Robert Bly, Poet Who Gave Rise to a Men’s Movement, Dies at 94 – The New York Times

His most famous, and most controversial, work was “Iron John,” which made the case that American men had grown soft and feminized. It made him a cultural phenomenon

By Robert D. McFadden, Nov. 22, 2021

Robert Bly in 1975. He was a prolific poet, essayist and translator and had been a galvanizing force in the antiwar movement of the Vietnam era. Credit…Gerard Malanga

Robert Bly, the Minnesota poet, author and translator who articulated the solitude of landscapes, galvanized protests against the Vietnam War and started a controversial men’s movement with a best seller that called for a restoration of primal male audacity, died on Sunday at his home in Minneapolis.

He was 94. The death was confirmed by his wife, Ruth Bly. From the sheer volume of his output — more than 50 books of poetry, translations of European and Latin American writers, and nonfiction commentaries on literature, gender roles and social ills, as well as poetry magazines he edited for decades — one might imagine a recluse holed up in a North Woods cabin.

And Mr. Bly did live for many years in a small town in Minnesota, immersing himself in the poetry of silent fields and snowy woodlands.

Source: Robert Bly, Poet Who Gave Rise to a Men’s Movement, Dies at 94 – The New York Times

Nancy Pearl, ‘America’s Librarian,’ knows why people need libraries – CSMonitor.com

Nancy Pearl, possibly America’s best-known librarian and recommender of books, shares her thoughts on choosing what to read, and when to stop reading.

By Rebekah Denn, Correspondent, November 16, 2021

Susan Doupe, Courtesy of Nancy Pearl

It’s not every librarian who has an action figure modeled after her. But Nancy Pearl, who was honored at the National Book Awards on Nov. 17, comes to her superhero status by her encyclopedic knowledge of books and powerfully engaging recommendations in almost every form of media.

In 1998, Ms. Pearl launched a program at the Seattle Public Library called “If All Seattle Read the Same Book,” which led to the worldwide group-reading phenomenon known as One Book, One City.

In 2009, Ms. Pearl’s ability to connect readers with the right book gained a wide following when she published “Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason,” which became a surprise hit.

More recent work includes “Book Lust” sequels, a novel, and a collection of author interviews. Known as “America’s Librarian,” Ms. Pearl received the 2021 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community for her work in expanding audiences for reading. Past recipients include poet Maya Angelou and NPR’s “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross.

Source: Nancy Pearl, ‘America’s Librarian,’ knows why people need libraries – CSMonitor.com

A Slice of American Life from the FSA/OWI Photograph Collection | Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos | Library of Congress

November 18, 2021 by Kristi Finefield

Moreno Valley, Colfax County, New Mexico. Mary Mutz making an apple pie on the Mutz ranch. Photo by John Collier, Jr., 1943 Feb. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d26282

Thanksgiving in America is pie’s time to shine, as one or more of these delightful desserts often provide the sweet finish to Thanksgiving feasts across the country.

Depending on where you live or your family hails from, the pies could contain pecan, sweet potato, pumpkin, apple, or a wide variety of other delicious fillings.

The Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) collection includes photo stories in which the photographer captures a simple task of daily life, sometimes taking a series of photographs of the steps it takes to complete it.

Two photo series I found illustrate the everyday task of making a pie, offering visual insight into life in the 1930s and 1940s, and a chance to observe if anything has changed in the intervening decades. As I plot my pie plan for next week, I’ll share these two stories of pie making from the FSA/OWI collection below.

Mary Mutz of Moreno Valley, California puts together an apple pie through five photos, from filling the pie crust, adding the top crust, trimming and crimping it, sprinkling sugar on top and baking the pie. The negatives aren’t always numbered in order so it’s important to look closely when putting together the sequence, as seen below…

Source: A Slice of American Life from the FSA/OWI Photograph Collection | Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos

18 best gifts for book lovers to enjoy this Christmas – Shopping | NY Post

By Camryn La Sala November 17, 2021 3:51pm Updated

Shutterstock…

While it might seem obvious what the best present would be for a book lover, we encourage you to be a bit more creative than the obvious.

Sure, it would be easy to run to your local bookstore and grab a trending novel — but let’s be real, they’ve probably already read it.

Besides, the holidays are the perfect time to go the extra mile and think outside of the box.

Source: 18 best gifts for book lovers to enjoy this Christmas

27 Of The Best Books to Give as Gifts in 2021 | Book Riot

Leah Rachel von Essen, Nov 9, 2021

From article…

You may have heard that if you want to give books for the holidays, you should order them immediately. Or even, honestly, yesterday.

Point is, thanks to the supply chain, booksellers are slammed, so you have a great excuse to start ordering the best books to give as gifts in 2021 early (AKA right now, as soon as you finish reading my list).

A lot of these bookish gifting lists focus on the big bestsellers of the year, the buzzy seem-to-be-everywhere books. And that’s a great strategy, for many people.

But the thing is, if you’re here, you’re trying to give a book to a reader. And that’s a problem, because as any friend-of-a-bookworm knows, it’s impossible to buy us something to read, because you’re never sure what we have or haven’t read. And there is a high likelihood that we’ve already read, or ruled out, those buzzy books.

Source: 27 Of The Best Books to Give as Gifts in 2021 | Book Riot

CONTRARY BRIN: Dune the movie: Lynch vs Villeneuve vs Frank Herbert… and us.

By Contrary Brin, Wednesday, November 03, 2021

From article…

Dune the movie: Lynch vs Villeneuve vs Frank Herbert… and us.

All right, off-the-cuff let me say that, of course, the latest adaptation of Dune by Denis Villeneuve is magnificent. It is spectacularly good and supremely enjoyable, on a par with the best of Spielberg, or Zemeckis, or Cameron.

The admirable qualities are apparent to all. Still, even while enjoying great movies, there remains a part of me who keeps taking notes.

Furthermore, general approval doesn’t forbid my making a few specific comments, including comparisons to earlier versions. And so, for those of you who enjoy nitpickery – and promise you won’t let it spoil for you a great flick – buckle up and let’s get to it: SPOILERS

Source: CONTRARY BRIN: Dune the movie: Lynch vs Villeneuve vs Frank Herbert… and us.