Category Archives: Books

War of the Worlds

I have been intrigued by the H.G. Wells iconic science fiction novel  War of the Worlds since I first read the book as a 10 year-old. The terrifying tale was first serialized in nine issues of Pearson’s Magazine (1897/98) with … Continue reading

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“The adverb is not your friend.”

Stephen King’s 20 Rules For Writers 1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the … Continue reading

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If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear

TIL that Mary Shelley actually wrote her groundbreaking novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus while she was living in Bath, England. I also discovered that the new Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, opened in Bath last week. The multimedia museum … Continue reading

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trembling with the same cicada sound

Here in the Northeastern U.S. we are experiencing the emergence of a brood of 17-year cicadas. Sitting in my garden listening to the noisy insects, I was reminded of this very short piece by the late American poet W.S. Merwin: … Continue reading

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For a cat every day is caturday


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where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people

While recently helping a friend plan a trip to Berlin, I encouraged him to visit the brilliant memorial at Bebelplatz in the Mitte District. On May 10, 1933, in the Bebelplatz in central Berlin, members of the Nazi Student Union … Continue reading

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Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity

An excerpt from If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino Translated by William Weaver So, then, you noticed in a newspaper that If on a winter’s night a traveler had appeared, the new book by Italo Calvino, who hadn’t published … Continue reading

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one person out of 8,000,000

“Personal Poem” by Frank O’Hara Now when I walk around at lunchtime I have only two charms in my pocket an old Roman coin Mike Kanemitsu gave me and a bolt-head that broke off a packing case when I was … Continue reading

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And the Moon Be Still as Bright

Regular visitors to TBTP may recall my many posts about the novels and short stories by the great American writer Ray Bradbury. One of the first sci-fi gems of his that I remember reading as a young child is the … Continue reading

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Primary Source

It’s now possible to read one of the oldest books of English literature in the world  online.The Exeter Book is a 1oth century anthology of poetry in Old English and one of  only four manuscript books containing virtually all the English … Continue reading

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