Friday, April 24, 2020

Blogpost elsewhere

this blog is more or less defunct so I can't imagine anybody is paying a lot of attention here.  But just in case, you can find a blogpost from me on the Footprints blog today.

I have a piece on the first Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus, and his books at the Footprints blog.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Roundup-- fun books end of 2017

Matthew Carr, The Devils of Cardona--  not bad historical murder mystery

Robin Paige, Death at Glamis Castle
Robin Paige, Death at Darmoor
Robin Paige, Death in Hyde Park   -- I like this series--quick reads; fun

Chanan Tigay, The Lost Book of Moses  -- been meaning to read this since I found out about the Sutro collection-- worth the read

Niall Kishtainy, A Little History of Economics  -- meh

Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel -- super meh

Anthony Horowitz, Magpie Murders   -- book within the book is better than the book

Rex Stout, Murder by the Book   --  ok for the beach

Joseph Heller, Picture This  -- kept waiting for the plot to appear 


Friday, November 03, 2017

September-October 2017 fun reading

Calvin Trillin, Quite Enough of This.
Robyn Paige, Death at Blenheim Palace
Robyn Paige, Death at Bishop's Keep
Jacqueline Winspear, A Dangerous Place
Jacqueline Winspear, An Incomplete Revenge
Lots of quasi-work; quasi-fun reading--mainly recent monographs on Israeli and Palestinian history and some memoirs of Palestinians and Israelis. 

Some other blogging by me today

I don't blog here much anymore.  But if you are looking at this AND you happen to be interested in the history of Hebrew books, take a look at this blogpost:  https://edblogs.columbia.edu/footprints/2017/11/03/announcing-the-year-of-incunabula-at-footprints/

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Last bit of fun reading for August, 2017

Veronica Stallwood, Oxford Mourning
Veronica Stallwood, Oxford Exit
Jacqueline Winspear, Birds of a Feather
Jacqueline Winspear, In this Grave Hour

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Reading, more or less, August 2016-July 2017, non-mystery division

Lisa Leff, The Archive Thief.
Roni Miron, מלאך ההיסטוריה
Andrew Sean Greer, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
Italo Calvino, Hermit in Paris
Najla Said, Looking for Palestine
Margaret Drabble, The Pure Gold Baby
Laney Salisbury, Provenance
James Kwak, Economism
Jonathan wilson, A Palestine Affair
Holger Hoock, Scars of Independence
Jean d'Ormesson, The Glory of the Empire
Joe Queenan, One for the Books
Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words
Adam Gidwitz, The Inquisitor's Tale
Ruth von Bernuth, How the Wise Men Got to Chelm
Niall Kishtainy, A Little History of Economics
Saul Friedlander, When Memory COmes
Kingsley Amis, The Green Man
Stewart O'Nan, City of Secrets
Jack Weatherford, Genghis Kahn and the Quest for God
Ari Shavit, My Promised Land
Gershom Gotenberg, The Unmaking of Israel
James Glecik, The Information
Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
Christopher Buckley, The Relic Master
Kingsley Amis, The Alteration
Amitav Ghosh, The Glass Palace
Joan DeJean, How Paris became Paris
Connie Willis, Fire Watch
Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson
Connie Willis, The Doomsday Book
Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog
Connie Willis, All Clear
Connie Willis, Blackout
Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle



Reading January-July 2016, more or less

uly 2016
Gish Amit, Ex-Libris
Maoz Kahana, From the Noda BeYehuda to the Chatam Sofer
Mitchell Duneir, Ghetto
Nicola Upson, London Rain
Michael Innes, Picture of Guilt
Michael Innes, Appleby's Answer
June 2016
Michael Innes, A Night of Errors
Michael Innes, The Ampersand Papers
Lawrence J. Epstein, The Dream of Zion: The Story of the First Zionist Congress
E.G. Rodford, The Bursar's Wife
Nicola Upson, The Death of Lucy Kyte
Liora R. Halperin, Babel in Zion: Jews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948
May 2016
James Runcie, Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse, Mycroft Holmes
James Runcie, Sidney Chambers and the Problem of Evil
James Runcie, Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night
Gavin Scott, The Age of Treachery
April 2016
Jeffrey T. Shnapp and Matthew Battles, The Library Beyond the Book
Herbert Tarr, So Help Me God
Herbert Tarr, Heaven Help Us
Herbert Tarr, The Conversion of Chaplain Cohen
James Runcie, Sidney Chambers and the Shadows of Death
March 2016
P.J. Brackston, Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints
J. Kenneth Galbraith, A Tenured Professor
Moulie Vidas, Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud
Adam S. Ferziger, Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism
February 2016
Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, The Golden Age Shtetl: A New History of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe
Massimo Montanari, Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table
Saba Mahmood, Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report
Daniel Boyarin: A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora
Benjamin Schreier, The Impossible Jew: Identity and the Reconstruction of Jewish American Literary History
Henning Mankell, The Troubled Man
Martin Goodman et al, Toleration Within Judaism
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity
Jacque Le Goff, Must We Divide History into Periods
Ram Ben-Shalom, Medieval Jews and the Christian Past
Owen Fitzstephen, Hammett Unwritten
Marc B. Shapiro, Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites its History
Barry Forshaw, ed. Detective
John Walton, The Legendary Detective: The Private Eye in Fact and Fiction
James Lovegrove, The Thinking Engine
Kerry Greenwood, Raisins and Almonds
January 2016
Isadore Haiblum, Murder in Gotham
Henning Mankell, An Event in Autumn
Deborah Levy-Bertherat, The Travels of Daniel Ascher
Naomi Ragen, Devil in Jerusalem
Michael B. Oren, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide
Deborah Harkness, The Book of Life
Deborah Harkness, Shadow of Night
Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches
Charles Finch, The Last Enchantments
Sasha Abramsky, The House of 20,000 Books
Sigal Samuel, The Mystics of Mile End
Sarah Caudwell, The Sybll in Her Grave
Sarah Caudwell, The Sirens Sing of Murder
Sarah Caudwell, The Shortest Way to Hades
Sarah Caudwell, Thus Was Adonis Murdered

Reading, mysteries, more or less-August 2016-July 2017

Veronica Stallwood, Death and the Oxford Box
Jacqueline WInspear, Leaving Everything Most Loved
Jacqueline Winspear, Journey to Munich
Jacqueline Winspear, Messenger of Truth
T. Frank Muir, Eye for an Eye,
T. Frank Muir, Life for a Life,
T. Frank Muir, Tooth for a Tooth
T. Frank Muir, Hand for a Hand
Kerry Greenwood, Death at Victoria Dock
Kerry Greenwood, Death before Wicket
Kerry Greenwood, Murder and Mednelssohn
Susan Elia McNeal, The Queen's Accomplice
Jacqueline Winspear, Among the Mad
Jackqueline Winspear, Elegy for Eddie
Jacqueline Winspear, A Lesson in Secrets
Jacqueline Winspear, The Mapping of Love and Death
Jacqueline Winspear, Pardonable Lies
Ellis Peters, Monk's Hood
Jocelyn Davey (Chaim Raphael), Murder in Paradise
Jocelyn Davey (Chaim Raphael), The Naked Villainy
Jocelyn Davey (Chaim Raphael), A Treasury Alarm
Jocelyn Davey (Chaim Raphael), A Capital Offense
Alexander McCall Smith, Friends, Lovers, Chocolate
Alexander McCall Smith, The Sunday Philosophy Club
Henning Mankell, One Step Behind
Sue Grafton, ed. Writing Mysteries
Henning Mankell, Firewall
Laurie R. Kind, The Marriage of Mary Russell
Roger Herst, Rabbi Gabrielle Commits a Felony
Roger Herst, Rabbi Gabrielle Ignites a Tempest
Susan Elia Macneal, The Queen's Accomplice
Roger Herst, Rabbi Gabrielle's Defiance
Roger Herst, A Kiss for Rabbi Gabrielle
Roger Herst, Rabbi Gabrielle's Scandal
Susan Elia MacNeal, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidente
Susan Elia MacNeal, The Prime Minister's Secretary
Jed Rubenfeld, The Death Instinct
Susan Elia Macneal, His Magesty's Hope
Susan Elia MacNeal, Princess Elizabeth's Spy
Benjamin Black, Even the Dead
Frank Tallis, Death and the Maiden
Frank Tallis, Vienna Twilight
Susan Elia Macneal, Mr. Churchill's Secretary
Con Lehane, Murder at the 42nd Street Library
Nicola Upson, Angel with Two Faces
Nicola Upson, Two for Sorrow
Henning Mankell, Sidetracked
Frank Tallis, Fatal Lies
Andrea Camelleri, The Shape of Water





Monday, February 22, 2016

People and things that annoy me (in no particular order)

Let me stress again the "no particular order" part. And I am well aware that many of these are first-world problems and annoyances of a privileged person. But I am in a bad mood and feel like venting. And what else is the Internet for? Okay, here goes:

1) People who do not wait to make left turns in the middle of the intersection but hang back making it impossible for anybody to go around them. But the people who go through yellow lights when there is opposite traffic waiting to make left turns are just as bad, maybe worse.

2) People who are planning not to vote if Bernie Sanders doesn't get the Democratic nomination. Hillary Clinton may not be your dream candidate folks, but anyone she appoints to the Supreme Court is going to be better than anyone the Republican candidate(s) would appoint. And there are many other examples where her being President would be a better outcome for America and the world than any of the Republicans.

3) Ralph Nader. For all the good he has done, I still can't forgive him for spreading the idea among some progressives that there isn't much difference between the two major parties in the US. See above. (Also does he know he borrowed the "not a dime's worth of difference" meme from George Wallace?)

4) Pedestrians who wave drivers who are stopping for them to go through the intersection.

5) Students who sit in a dark room until the instructor comes in.

6) People who use Saline Street as a short cut to Brown's Hill Road. This is very specific to my neighborhood in Pittsburgh. But you know who you are. You are not objectively stupid or immoral like the people in #2. but you do annoy me.

7) The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for three reasons: a) The new "insider guide" is stupid fluff. If you think this is going to save the print newspaper, think again. b) The editorial obsession with the state-owned liquuor stores. c) Putting the comics and the crossword puzzle in different places: they shuld always go in the Magazine. This started when David Shribman became editor. He came from the Boston Globe. And I hated this in the Boston Globe when I lived in Boston. Draw your own conclusions.

8) Islamophobic Jews. Islamophobia in general is bad, of course, but I am particularly annoyed by my fellow Jews who have fallen prey to ignorant nonsense. Call me a tribalist.

9) People who approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a zero-sum game. Is it so hard to try to understand context and feel empathy and concern for Israelis and Palestinians?

10) Cotton candy and petting zoos. No reason. Totally irrational. They are linked in that my kids like both of them and know that I hate both of them. Note: I don't find the people who like these annoying (well, not most of the time).

11) Giant Eagle: why are some of the products my family likes in the Greenfield store and not the Squirrel Hill store AND other products my family likes in Squirrel Hill but not Greenfield?

12) Republicans who talk about how lots of Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act and lots of Republicans supported it. This is annoying and pernicious. It is only relevant today in that it shows how much the parties have changed in the last 50 years. There used to be liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. The former species is nearly extinct and the latter has become very rare. (Just realized that in a way George Wallace was not so far off in 1968 when there were liberal and conservative branches of both parties and Nixon and Humphrey would both be considered centrists these days. But Nader was very wrong in 2000.)

13) Myself, I guess. What kind of person is annoyed by Ralph Nader and not George Wallace?



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

(some of) What I read in 2012

September 2012
Joseph Gaer and Ben Siegel, The Puritan Heritage: America's Roots in the Bible
Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
David S. Reynolds, Faith in Fiction: The Emergence of Religious Literature in America
August 2012
Ayelet Waldman, The Big Nap
Barbara E. Mann, Space and Place in Jewish Studies
Jay Michaelson, Everything is God: The Path of NonDual Judaism
Amanda Cross, No Word from Winifred
Francesca Trivellato, The Kindness of Strangers
CP Snow, Last Things
CP Snow, The Sleep of Reason
Yoel Finkelman, Strictly Kosher Reading
Jonathan Riley-Smith, What Were the Crusades
Ann Blair, Too Much To Know
Elizabeth Kostova, The Historian
Ellis Peters, One Corpse Too Many
July 2012
Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire
Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind
June 2012
Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetary
Barbara Burstin, Steel City Jews
Elaine Showalter, Faculty Towers: The Academic Novel and Its Discontents
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It
May 2012
Lisa Jardine, The Awful End of Prince William the Silent
Sara Paretsky, Bitter Medicine
Will Eisner, Dropsie Avenue: The Neighborhood
Will Eisner, Fagin the Jew
Sara Paretsky, Breakdown
Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism
April 2012
Zachary Schiffman, The Birth of the Past
Sara Paretsky, Body Work
Jean Smith, A Masculine Ending
March 2012
Hazard Adams, Academic Tribes
Nicola Upson, An Expert in Murder
Edward Goldberg, Jews and Magic in Medici Florence
P.D. James, Death Comes ot Pemberly
January 2012
Sharon Kahn, Fax Me a Bagel
David Weiss Halivni, The Book and the Sword
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Jane Langton, Steeplechase
Donna Leon, Drawing Conclusions