Nothing good gets away: Advice from John Steinbeck on Love

John Steinbeck adored his two sons, Thom, the eldest, and John (better known by his nickname, “Catbird”).  After a tumultuous divorce with his second wife, Gwyn, the mother of the boys, and a long and usually loving marriage but also difficult relationship with his first wife, Carol, Steinbeck had found true love with his third…

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Do You Live in America’s Least, or Most, Literate Cities?

The late, great comedian Bill Hicks tells one of my favorite stories about reading.  Following one of his late night gigs, he stops at a Waffle House to eat.  Alone, he pulls out a book. A waitress comes up to him,  tray balanced expertly on her fingertips, peers over his shoulder and asks, “What are…

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Shakespeare? It’s in the DNA

Are you old enough to remember when floppy disks were actually floppy? Or maybe when disks were 3″ wide? (Yes, kids, that’s what that little icon to “save” your work to your hard drives and flash drives represents, a hard little disk that held approximately two Word files or a half a dozen pictures (but not at…

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Bookless Libraries? They’re Coming

Just this week, I was watching an episode of Downton Abbey and one of the scenes was set in the library. Beautiful leather-bound volumes filled the vast room from floor to ceiling and covered every wall. Lord Grantham took no notice of them at all, as he stood, brandy in hand, waiting for his valet to fetch…

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Shakespeare in His Time: New Audio Guides for Authentic Pronunciation

Might the actors who comprised Lord Chamberlain’s Men have sounded more like Americans from the East Coast? That is the conclusion that Sir Trevor Nunn, former director of the Royal Shakespeare Theater, has come to, after working closely with the actor Kevin Spacey. However, the renowned Shakespeare scholar John Barton, contends that the speech was likely…

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