The Long Goodbye is poet Meghan O'Rourke's account of her mother's colorectal cancer and the year of mourning that followed her death. I read the book the first time through as a companion—O'Rourke's experience is eerily like my own.
On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, an area of booksellers that is the literary heart of the city. The bomb killed 30 people and wounded others. In response, a group of U.S. printers and artists formed the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition. The coalition honors the dead as well as the role of literature in preserving culture and forming the conscience of a people. The coalition's work is housed at the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts at Florida Atlantic University. This particular broadside or poster, by Frank Riccio, an illustrator, and Garrett Queen, who typeset and printed the work on letterpress, was produced at the Virginia Arts of the Book Center. It features a text from Akiba ben Joseph, one of the great scholars and founders of rabbinic Judaism.
Incendies is a
disturbing layover at the crossroads of forgiveness and revenge. It's a
challenging film on several levels. Not only is there a hearty helping
of violence to be digested over the film's 130 minutes, but audiences
must also wrestle with a complex narrative structure.
When newspaper circulation in the U.S. peaked in the 1970s
and '80s, large news outlets could afford to have specialists covering such
fields as science, medicine, legal affairs, environment and religion. At the Los Angeles Times, where I worked for
three decades through 1998, there were always at least two or three of us on
the religion beat.
These waters, I must trouble for myself, in an age of the absence of angels, as I plunge, first of the day to break the lambent surface of the pool, and commence my daily reaching after miracles, swimming laps at almost eighty-one. The miracle I seek these recent years has been defined, and then refined, by that old friendly temporizer, “yet”; no longer seeking not-to-die-at-all, just not-to-die-quite-yet, to win a couple bonus years, in which to pen another poem or two, to pile a few more chosen words onto this heap I have—for Oh so long—been working on. Any healing that might come will clearly have to be short term. Until, that is, I reach the final turn, take up my beggar’s bed, and walk.
Print books remain significantly more popular than digital books, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. The bad news is that the number of people who reported reading a book in any format last year was 73 percent, down from 79 percent in 2011 when Pew first started gathering data on the reading habits of America (Publishers Weekly, September 16).