Join the Club

“Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads have contributed to a culture in which everyone reads–and tells their friends about–the same handful of books a year. …

As a result, publishers are competing for debut literary talent with the same kind of frenzied auction bidding once reserved for promising debut thrillers or romance novels. …

The need to secure one of the few must-read books of the year has given rise to an elite new club: the million-dollar literary debut.”

–Jennifer Maloney  (‘Betting Big On Literary Newcomers,’ The Wall Street Journal, Arena, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015)


Never Gets Old

“You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond.”

— Francis Pharcellus Church

History’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.

Merry Christmas


What’s a Field?

Russian village

“Once we learn that a field is ‘an ancient noun connoting human effort,’ every time we encounter the word we can ask ourselves what the effort involved is–thus a coalfield becomes about the miners’ sweat, not the coal.”

Tristan Gooley on What Is Landscape? by John R. Stilgoe

The Wall Street Journal, Sat/Sun, Dec. 12–13, 2015, BOOKS OF THE YEAR

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