Story Tags

 life's engines

Wonderful "Wee Beasties"

The teeny, teeming world of microbes

Yes, this winter's flu season has been the worst in many years. And, okay, an outbreak of norovirus caused concern at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

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Book Cart, Drink Cart

Spiked Titles with a Twist

Yes, it’s true: the craft cocktail revolution is over and won and people can have complex and balanced stiff drinks wherever they find themselves.  And yet, this continuing, decade-long interest in fancy drinks speaks to the intersection of history, locavorism, performance art, craftsmanship, and science.

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Let us Now Praise Famous Dogs

Good Dogs in History

Pupper love is having a moment, with blogs and social media capitalizing on the abiding affection between humans and their noble companions.

city of light city of poison

Sepia-toned Scandal

Infamy is Timeless

Are the news cycles causing intrigue fatigue? It may be a little (cold) comfort to know that constant tumult is not unique to our time. In fact, the outrageous and the shocking have always peppered human history. Plus, reading disreputable stories about long-dead people can be more palatable than continually processing the 24-hour news cycle. Some titles for those with an interest in the bad old days.

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Curiouser and Curiouser

Nonfiction Oddities

There's a particular subset of books that won't fit into a more cohesive Read Feed list but are delightful enough to deserve a feature. These niche titles are good to keep in mind for the hard-to-shop-for bibliophile.

I'm Your Biggest Fan

Names! Names! Names!

Hollywood memoirs that dish

In her memoir Year of YesShonda Rhimes describes the night she sat in President Obama’s box during the Kennedy Center Honors:  “The whole evening feels a bit enchanted.  No matter how cynical the Beltway thinks it is or how world-weary politicians may seem, D.C.

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"The Secret Lore of Ocean"

Seafarers, Sea Creatures, and Sea Stories

“But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean . . . .  for ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.”  --  H.P. Lovecraft, "The White Ship"

Yes Yes Y'all

Throwbacks from Way Back

Pop Culture Oral Histories

Pop culture history is all the flotsam that fills your brain, the commercial jingles you can’t shake after 20 years.  If someone's been exposed to the music, tv, and films of the times, they permeate memories to the point where moments in that history have visceral, personal meaning.  

Grace Jones

Busting Backstage

Musical memoirs from a female perspective

Good rock memoirs take you on tour and convey the band’s operatic highs and the Spinal Tap lows. It’s too bad that even the good ones written by men can neglect or demean the women in their lives. These women in and around the music business have written fascinating memoirs about making art and controversy in a sphere often monopolized by male voices. Look for famous cameo appearances in all of them.

Planting in a Post-Wild World

Planting Spring Preview

Books for Twiddling Green Thumbs

Seed catalogs come in the dead of winter for a reason. After a couple months of freezing temperatures and dormant brown plant skeletons everywhere, a feeling of general disconnection from the natural world develops.