Today in Literary History – February 14, 1930 – cult novelist Hary Mathews is born

Harry Mathews, the American-born novelist who spent most of his long life living in France, was born in New York on February 14, 1930. Mathews never really reached great popular success but has always had an avid cult following. Mathews came from a wealthy family who disagreed with his literary and artistic ambitions. Relations with …

Welcome to February – Today, a hopeful poem by Jane Kenyon and a painting by Vincent van Gogh

February: Thinking of Flowers By Jane Kenyon Now wind torments the field, turning the white surface back on itself, back and back on itself, like an animal licking a wound. Nothing but white--the air, the light; only one brown milkweed pod bobbing in the gully, smallest brown boat on the immense tide. A single green …

Thought of the Day

"Language, in fact, is very far from logical. Its development is determined, not by neat and obvious rules, but by a polyhedron of disparate and often sharply conflicting forces—the influence of the schoolma’am, imitation (often involving misunderstanding), the lazy desire for simplicity and ease, and sheer wantonness and imbecility." —H.L. Mencken

Diana Athill – December 21, 1917 – January 23, 2019 – editor, novelist and memoirist

Diana Athill, the editor, novelist and memoirist died this week at the age of 101. Here is a blog entry from Bookwom Norm on her 100th birthday on December 21, 2017.   Diana Athill, the literary editor, memoirist and novelist is celebrating her 100th birthday today. She was born on December 21, 1917, during the …

Today in Literary History – December 28, 1932 – Argentine novelist Manuel Puig is born

The Argentinian novelist and screenwriter Manuel Puig was born on December 28, 1932. Since his remote hometown had no high school Puig was sent to Buenos Aires at the age of 14 to study. In his childhood Puig had fallen in love with American movies and in the big city he became enthralled with European cinema. …

Book Review – MA’AM DARLING: 99 GLIMPSES OF PRINCESS MARGARET by CRAIG BROWN

bookworm norm

Note: I reviewed this strange and wonderful book last fall when it came out in the UK. It is being published this week in the US and Canada so I decided to re-post it. -Norm

Craig Brown, a British satirist and humorist who has written for The Spectator, Private Eye and nearly every London daily newspaper at one time or another, has produced a very witty and catty book about Queen Elizabeth’s wayward younger sister called Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret.

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In her lifetime Margaret was famous for being as rude and disagreeable as possible to nearly everyone she met. As Brown says, it was in a way her trademark or party piece. People came to almost hope for bad behavior from her to make for a juicy anecdote.

Brown’s book is certainly chock full of haughty and arrogant behaviour from Margaret, most of it verifiable or at…

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