REVIEW: THE ECLIPTIC by Benjamin Wood

Author Benjamin Wood seems to find his stories among the desperately brilliant and talented, who can’t seem to get a handle on their own intelligence. In The Bellwether Revivals, his characters get themselves into trouble because Cambridge somehow isn’t intellectually stimulating enough. Wood’s characters are continually grappling with the anxiety of influence, paralyzing themselves entirely.…

Weekly Wrap-up: March 18

You can now see beautiful country walks in England on Google Street View. A view of the Margate Shell Grotto, a mysterious garden folly. If only flying were still as luxurious as Pan Am advertised. It’s always nice to know that sometimes the NY Times makes mistakes too. Ken Adams, giant of vast film set design,…

REVIEW: THE STARGAZER’S SISTER by Carrie Brown

In the mid 18th century, Caroline Herschel became the first woman to discover a comet. Sister of noted astronomer William Herschel, she had no rigorous formal education — only a curious mind and a supportive brother. Caroline — Lina — and William were two of eight children and were raised in Hanover, Germany. Their father…

31 Days of Halloween – October 24

These are both fantastic and silly. British Pathé and pulled together 3 newsreels about haunted houses in England that aired in the 1950s and 60s. They also curate a fantastic YouTube channel and all this month they are featuring “The Things That Scare Us.” Be sure to check out some of the 90,000 clips they…

REVIEW: JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL

Why are there no more magicians in England? In the Napoleonic era one man asks the question. Just why are there no more magicians in England? Yes, there are those who study magic, but there are no more practical magicians left. This at a time when the French emperor is trampling all over Europe. Thus far,…