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Andrew Solomon’s Timely, Timeless Book: Embattled Families and the Work of Love

“I am glad I had kids and glad I had the kids I did,” says Sue Klebold, the mother of Columbine killer Dylan Klebold, “because the love for them — even…

On Flaubert’s Birthday, Brubeck Makes the Stars Shout, Flaubert Makes Them Weep

The word is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out melodies for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will move the stars. —Gustave…

A Holiday’s Holiday: The Beatles’ Magical But Embattled Tour Is Reborn in Blu-Ray

If you think of “holiday” as an enhanced departure from routine, the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour (Apple Blu-Ray DVD) qualifies as the ultimate holiday movie, in spite of what happened…

At Play With C.K. Williams: A Shape-Shifter Breaks for the Goal

For the long hard slog through the eight years of the Bush presidency, it helped to have Paul Krugman’s Op Ed columns in the New York Times, and Frank Rich’s…

Investing in “Breaking Bad” — A Matter of Life and Death

I believe in Walter White, his family and his friends. They aren’t just objects of interest and curiosity and occasional sympathy …. I actually care deeply about whether they live…

Shelter from the Storm: Shakespeare, Mary Shelley’s Creature, and A Song from Sandy

“The season [June 1816] was cold and rainy, and in the evenings we crowded around a blazing wood fire and occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts,” writes…

“John Keats Still Writes Poetry”: The Birthday Poet and Princeton’s Prodigious Encyclopedia

A Poet is the most unpoetical of any thing in existence …. —John Keats in letter, Oct 27, 1818 Finally I’ve found an occasion worthy of a column on The…

Breaking Blue, Breaking Red: Springsteen, Obama, and the Christie Paradox

“No one is beyond the reach of Bruce!” —Governor Chris Christie The day after the second debate I’m at the library to return the DVD of Season 3 of Breaking…

Cardinals, Cats, and Rally Squirrels: Learning to Like La Russa

Game 4 of the 2011 National League Division Series was do or die for St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony La Russa. None of his players knew it, but La Russa…

The Living World of Books — Life and Love in the Margins

…in 1946 in the Village, our feelings about books … went beyond love. It was as if we didn’t know where we ended and books began. Books were our weather,…