Monthly Archives: November 2012

Phillip Roth Hangs Up His Pen, While Kent Haruf and George Saunders Have New Books in the Offing

So on the literary beat there’s an interesting tidbit in the news this week (delayed, as you’ll see, from our attention), in that the great American novelist—he did name one of his books that: The Great American Novel (1973)—Phillip Roth … Continue reading

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Interview on Montana Public Radio About “The Bird Saviors”

So I’m busy with writing a new novel and haven’t made much time for posting here lately, though I’ve been busy rereading Pete Dexter’s Paris Trout (1988) while also reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), as both are … Continue reading

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Reading Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the First Time (Maybe)

So I’m reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) for the first time ever (maybe: I might have read it in high school because we did get assigned books like that, but I’ve seen the film many times, and … Continue reading

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On Finishing David Quammen’s “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic”

So I’ve finished David Quammen’s excellent new book of nonfiction, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, about zoonotic viruses and the danger we face from new pandemics originating in crossover viruses leaping from animals to humans. At 520 … Continue reading

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Where Do You Live? What Do You Do? & Other Ways to Define a Person

So I’m working on a new novel, which is really the only part about being a writer I like. I was just visiting a friend who went to one of my readings and commented on how cool it was to … Continue reading

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Proposition 64 Passes in Colorado & Mitt Is a Loser, Which Means It’s a Good Day

So my (second) home state of Colorado voted to legalize “recreational” marijuana. Cool. It’s like volleyball now! (Only where you keep forgetting the score.) Enough already with this Prohibition, Part II. Obama even mentioned “this warming planet” in his acceptance speech—though … Continue reading

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On David Quammen’s “Spillover,” Today’s Election, and the Great Horned Owls Beside Me

So I’ve been reading David Quammen’s new book, Spillover (2012), on emerging diseases (and particularly zoonotic viruses, a la Ebola, Marburg, HIV, SARS, etc.), and I keep feeling sicker and sicker. It’s like I’m catching Ebola from reading this book. But … Continue reading

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Peak Oil & Climate Change Loom, While We Keep Our Fingers in Our Ears

So Hurricane (or Superstorm) Sandy has put Climate Change back in the headlines, where it will probably disappear after a couple weeks, replaced by something that Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan does or wears. But for now it’s heartening to … Continue reading

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On David Quammen’s “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic”: Viruses of the Future

So on this post-Halloween day I’m reading David Quammen’s just-published book of nonfiction, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, which is gripping from the get-go. He starts by describing the Hendra virus in Australia, one I had never heard … Continue reading

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