on Goldengrove, a novel by Francine Prose (Harper Collins)

Surveys show that men account for only 20 percent of the fiction market in North America and Britain. “The research is still in its early stages, but some studies have found that women have more sensitive mirror neurons than men,” reported Eric Weiner on NPR.

on Mute Objects of Expression by Francis Ponge, tr. by Lee Fahnestock (Archipelago Books)

The first official act of the German occupiers of France in 1940 was to move French time up by an hour to synchronize with Berlin time. My grandfather once described to me the sinister dark mornings of that first winter. The familiar warped by the unopposed unfamiliar, the ordinary made bizarre, the sense of feeling at home blown away.

on The Body Toxic: How the Hazardous Chemistry of Everyday Things Threatens Our Health, by Nena Baker (North Point Press)

On August 15, the New York Times ran an AP wire story reporting that the FDA has reaffirmed its contention that “the trace amounts of bisphenol A that leach out of food containers were not a threat to infants or adults.” Had I not just completed my reading of Nena Baker’s new book, the broad

on The Collected Lyric Poems of Luís de Camões, tr. by Landeg White (Princeton University Press)

In “Scorn Not the Sonnet,” William Wordsworth honored the great practitioners of the form: “with this key / Shakespeare unlocked his heart; the melody / Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch’s wound; / a thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound; / with it Camöens soothed an exile’s grief …” Then he added Dante, Spenser and Milton.

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