‘Recalled to Life’: A Case for Re-reading the Classics

taleoftwoMost people are exposed to the classics at the worst time of their lives.

When they are teenagers.

Young people typically have no patience or interest in the best works in literature and regard them, alas, as a slog to get through to graduation.

Part of the blame has to fall on school systems, which present these works about as appealing as the municipal tax code.

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When Magazines Struggle

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

The news came via a handful of flimsy postcards.

Four beloved fiction magazines were altering their formats to print only “double issues.”

The catch?

They were dropping down to bimonthly releases.

The quality quartet – “Analog Science Fiction and Fact,” “Asimov’s Science Fiction,” “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine” and “Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine” – have all been monthly publications, more or less.

For the last several years, they’ve been published 10 times a year – in eight regular-sized issues plus two double-sized issues.

But now current owner Dell Magazines, a subsidiary of Penny Publications, best known for its monthly flood of crossword and puzzle magazines, decided to switch them to bimonthly status and so notified its subscribers in postcards.

Is the change because of declining sales?

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Why You Need to Hide Your Copy of ‘When Breath Becomes Air’

breathDo not take “When Breath Becomes Air” on the train for your next commute to work.

Do not pull out “When Breath Becomes Air” the next time you’re eating lunch at work.

Do not pack “When Breath Becomes Air” into your bag for your next trip.

It’s not that you don’t want to be seen with this book.

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R.I.P., Jackie Collins

Author Jackie Collins

I was saddened to learn this morning of the death of novelist Jackie Collins.

I’ve never read a Jackie Collins book.

Her subject matter – the beautiful and the decadent, the rich and the decadent, the famous and the decadent – well, you get the idea – has no appeal for me.

But I’m not oblivious to her impact her books had on millions of readers – and one very special person in particular.

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