10/19/14 6:00am
10/19/2014 6:00 AM

There aren’t many books you can buy in three different weights — the 100-pound version, the 30-pounder or the three-pound bantam weight — but the Oxford English Dictionary would be one. The 10-volume set requires a sturdy bookcase; the two-volume (four photographically reduced pages to a page complete with magnifying glass) is handier; and the entire immense work, on several CDs, would slip right into a knapsack.  (more…)

09/21/14 5:00am
09/21/2014 5:00 AM

FNL

Baseball season is coming to a close and football is now upon us. I’ve done columns about baseball books — the classics, like Malamud’s “The Natural,” Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Wait Till Next Year,” “Summer of ’49” (David Halberstam), “Bang the Drum Slowly” (Mark Harris). There are lots to choose from, but football books? Not all that many, although …  (more…)

07/21/14 7:00am
07/21/2014 7:00 AM
Credit: Ashley Pinciaro

Credit: Ashley Pinciaro

I recently found two columns about books, the first amusing, the other a little troubling. The troubling one was about “trigger warnings,” notes of caution affixed to college reading lists or courses. The premise is that people who have been subjected to certain traumatic experiences should get a formal heads-up that a given book contains themes, chapters, paragraphs — perhaps only words — that revolve around one or more of life’s more unspeakable events. Such writing might cause upsetment, or worse, in someone who’s gone through such terrors.  (more…)

04/20/14 6:30am
04/20/2014 6:30 AM

books

It was a dark and stormy night. I dragged myself home from an endless stakeout, popped a Dos Equis and sprawled on the couch. Watched a documentary on “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” two historic bank robbers who didn’t look much like Paul Newman and Robert Redford. They were hunted down by Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, whose motto was “We Never Sleep” and whose posters contained a simple drawing of a staring human eye. The film’s narrator said, “This is where the term ‘private eye’ came from.”  (more…)