presidential-election-2016

The Winter of American Discontent

History books will be analyzing this Presidential win from many angles for many reasons and over many decades. A complete political outsider, without much support from his own party, won against a complete political insider who had her party’s full support. The disenfranchised voter surge for him laid bare our deep class, race, and gender divides — but, more than anything, it made clear that non-college whites up and down the country categorically reject the status quo. Continue reading The Winter of American Discontent

5 short stories

Top Five Short Story Reads from October 2016

For me, the best “horror” story fits this description by Neil Gaiman: “I like horror, but I tend to like it as seasoning. I’d get very bored if I was told I had to write a horror novel. I’d love to write a novel with horror elements, but, too much, and it doesn’t taste of anything else.” So, here are some terrific horror short stories by Usman Malik, Alyssa Wong, Ruskin Bond, Kelly Link, and Stephen King. Continue reading Top Five Short Story Reads from October 2016

Johann Sperl Mädchen im Bauerngarten

On Cultivating One’s Own Garden

Recently, I caught up with the movie version of ‘The Martian’, about the NASA astronaut who gets left on Mars alone, presumed dead. After his initial shock and panic, Mark Watney decides to “science the shit out of” the disaster of being left alone on an uninhabitable terrain with practically no life resources. The most important thing he has to do is figure out how to sustain himself for some-50 days before contact with NASA can be possible. So, as a botanist, he cultivates a potato garden with ingenuity, hard work, and patience. Continue reading On Cultivating One’s Own Garden

the element of lavishness

Booknotes: The Element of Lavishness

“The personal correspondence of writers feeds on left-over energy. There is also the element of lavishness, of enjoying the fact that they are throwing away one of their better efforts, for the chances of any given letter’s surviving is fifty-fifty, at most. And there is the element of confidence — of the relaxed backhand stroke that can place the ball anywhere that it pleases the writer have it go.” Continue reading Booknotes: The Element of Lavishness