books

the archivist January 24, 2024

South Dakota’s may plausibly be considered the most genuinely innovative, most inspirationally forward-looking professional orchestra in the United States. It is also the happiest professional orchestra I know, and the most engaged. Fulfilling Theodore Thomas’s credo, it “shows the culture of the community.” Link: The American Scholar | Shostakovich in South Dakota A manifesto for […]

the archivist October 29, 2023

Over at Jane Austen’s World, Rachel Dodge has been comparing how Austen’s novels use what have now become standard romance tropes. The end of the series is the Sense and Sensibility’s (double) love triangle. Jane Austen’s World | Jane Austen and Rom Coms: Sense and Sensibility (“Love Triangles”) — We often forget that Thomas Alva […]

the archivist May 6, 2023

Yes, volume 8 was posted before volume 7. Want your money back? The girl who grew up in Pasadena, took the bus, loved her mom, and wrote herself into the world. Vulture | The Spectacular Life of Octavia Butler — With its sweet and loving disposition, combined with silky fur and elegantly droopy ears, the Cavalier […]

the archivist July 29, 2022

Cult Classic A Novel Sloane Crosley 306 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux (MCD) Publication date: ‎ June 7, 2022 From the publisher: Hilariously insightful and delightfully suspenseful, Cult Classic is an original: a masterfully crafted tale of love, memory, morality, and mind control, as well as a fresh foray into the philosophy of romance. MOST […]

the archivist September 5, 2021

Your Brain, Explained: What Neuroscience Reveals About Your Brain and its Quirks Marc Dingman ‎Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2019 256 pages From the publisher: Sleep. Memory. Pleasure. Fear. Language. We experience these things every day, but how do our brains create them?   Your Brain, Explained is a personal tour around your gray matter. Neuroscientist Marc Dingman […]

the archivist June 2, 2021

It’s rare that I feel pure jealousy of an author, but Mr. Towles manages to write exactly the books I wish I could. As a reasonably witty, well-educated Russian scholar with an overactive imagination, you might think I’d be capable of writing something as charming and transporting as A Gentleman in Moscow, but… alas. I […]

the archivist May 24, 2021

Music A Subversive History by Ted Gioia Perseus Books, Basic Books 528 pages, published 2019. From the publisher: “A dauntingly ambitious, obsessively researched” (Los Angeles Times) global history of music that reveals how songs have shifted societies and sparked revolutions. Histories of music overwhelmingly suppress stories of the outsiders and rebels who created musical revolutions […]

the archivist September 14, 2020

Catherine Caruso | Scientific American: Don’t Forget: You, Too, Can Acquire a Super Memory. Learning a memorization technique used by elite memory athletes leads to widespread changes in brain wiring. Amber Rae | Fast Company: How To Schedule Your Day For Peak Creative Performance. Elizabeth Winkler | The Atlantic: Was Shakespeare a Woman? The authorship […]

the archivist September 7, 2020

Links of the week… maybe not every week, but this week! Dave Weinstein | Eichler Network: When Joe Eichler Spoke Out About Race. He made good on his threat to resign from the San Francisco NAHB over their resistance to abolish discriminatory policies. Gillian Osborne | Boston Review: Herman Melville the Poet. The author of […]

the archivist August 7, 2020

Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant Ann Gardiner Perkins Sourcebooks, 2019 Writing for an academic audience (such as in a dissertation) is totally different from how stories are told in popular non-fiction, so it is rare when an author can turn academic research into […]

the archivist May 25, 2020

Review: Chasing the Bright Side by Jess Ekstrom This book covers a lot of the same ground that many positive-thinking self-help books do, but the author has some interesting stories to share. In particular, the relative she called “Uncle Bernie” became infamous when he stole away the wealth of many high-profile victims as well as […]

the archivist May 23, 2020

Review: Elgin Park: Visual Memories Of Midcentury America at 1/24th Scale This book reflects an interesting and unique project by artist Michael Paul Smith: he has created a fictional mid-century town. Using historically accurate car models (from the Franklin Mint and other sources), his own model buildings and roads, and his outdoor surroundings, he stages […]

the archivist May 22, 2020

Review: All Blood Runs Red by Tom Clavin, Phil Keith I had never even heard of Eugene Bullard before I read this book. His bravery and determination is truly inspiring, especially in the face of the many hardships he faced. It’s amazing to consider that one person’s life could take so many drastic turns, from […]