Yearly Archives: 2015


review of: the cloud forest by peter matthiessen

The Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness by Peter Matthiessen My rating: 2 of 5 stars   The Cloud Forest is a classic of its genre, perhaps undeservedly so. A young Peter Matthiessen, after a few books of fiction, his first divorce, and one wildlife book, sets […]


welcome to shangri-la

I love roadside attractions built by roadside people. Usually it is an obsession, fueled by many years of patient work, to built these temples to quirkiness. Shangri-La Stone Village, in Prospect Hill, NC, is one such place. The retired tobacco farmer Henry L. Warren began his quest in 1968, using […]


review of: the good soldier, by ford madox ford

The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford My rating: 1 of 5 stars This book is vastly overrated. It pioneered, if that is the right word, the untrustworthy narrator, which may have seemed an innovation a century ago, but now looks worn, disconsolate, like a ramshackle back alley. It also […]


review of: updike, by adam begley

Updike by Adam Begley My rating: 4 of 5 stars Let me say upfront: I’m not usually a fan of biographies. They always end badly. Especially in today’s morally unanchored world, the towering ambition of most lives worthy of a biography leaves a path of destruction on the way to […]