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Category Archives: books

I Have Always Practiced Social Isolation—Pt. 2

My wife Michael pointed out to me how strange it is to read tweets and posts by people who claim to be bored already. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, or even all of America, but I feel fairly comfortable in thinking I represent the, well, fairly comfortable. Even if I wasn’t […]

I Have Always Practiced Social Isolation—Pt. 1

A friend of mine, Eric Kirsammer, suggested I regularly post something during this period of social isolation. Some kind of online diary, “in your style” as he put it. Presumably he meant with an ironic, sarcastic, and semi-bitter tone, owing to the complete absence of that sort of writing from the Interweb. Ohhhh, that’s what […]

Ten Books That Have Stuck with Me Off the Top of My Head as I Make Them Up

1. Teddy’s Skin by Margaret Wise Brown—The peculiar recurrence of furry animals and fur-lined rooms in Brown’s work becomes apparent in this little-known and strangely horrifying entry in the author’s whimsical oeuvre. Uncommonly, Brown is a character in her own children’s book, having been made by the Color Kittens when they mixed together “all the […]


I only need to write my epilogue, and then I’m done with the first draft of my book

Hilaretic: Now Available at Quimby’s

Still available at!

All Aboot Canadian English, Eh?

A friend at work just passed this along to me. She worked as a designer in Toronto for a few years, and ended up toting it back to the states, where it remained wrapped in plastic until she thought, “I know! I’ll give it to the word nerd at work!” (She didn’t really say that.) […]

Crab’s Cradle

“But there was more to it than just coping with such traumatic situations. In later life, despite being hailed by so many as an American genius, Vonnegut felt that the literary establishment never took him seriously. They interpreted his simplistic style, love of science fiction and Midwestern values as being beneath serious study.” Never minding […]

Captain Prolix

Mike: So, are you going to finish that novel? Me: Yes, eventually. Mike: Well, how much is left? Where are you at? Me: Chapter 20 of Section 2. Mike: (Gapes) Really? Me: Wait a second. (I leave and return with the print-out of Section 1) Here it is. Mike: That’s it? Me: No, that’s just […]

I Have a Book

Way back in the ‘oughts, I wrote a series of articles for the Chicago Journal that were, for lack of a better term, “church reviews.” I’d visit local places of worship during services and evaluate them according to entertainment value, sanctity, and whatever else occurred to me. At the same time I’d do a little […]

Readers Without Borders

For many years I avoided buying books at Borders’ web site for the very reasons you’re probably thinking right now: they were overpriced and their stock was curiously limited. While I made regular browsing and buying visits to stores around Chicago (my son’s library was nicely padded out by their expansive children’s section), I dreaded […]