Humanity’s greatest conflicts emerge from two parties looking at the same thing and each insisting, with the utmost confidence, that only he or she sees it correctly. More fundamentally, each party insists that there is a correct way to see it — that the issue is a matter of fact, not opinion.
By this point in the summer (if you’re doing it right), you’ve probably got a seashell or two shedding sand on your front porch. There’s something about the mindlessness of a day at the beach that lends itself to shell-collecting: You stroll along, you spot one and then another, eventually you start to compare them, then you look for the best one, and pretty soon a few of them come home in your pocket.
J. Ryan Stradal’s debut novel, “Kitchens of the Great Midwest,” is a culinary journey through his native Midwest. Stradal captures the region’s patois and traditions, such as cutthroat Lutheran church bake-offs and teenage boys forced to make pungent Scandinavian lutefisk, but he also chronicles the rise of the heartland’s foodie culture.
TV news was no friend to those of us who had small children in the 1980s. Allegations of child sexual abuse in day-care centers swept the nation, with high-profile cases in California, North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota and other states, leading to empty playgrounds, hyper-vigilant parents and the implication that behind every tree lurked a pedophile waiting to snatch our children.
How you say something matters as much as what you say. At least that’s the opinion of many grammarians, who have been quibbling about Americans’ use of language for as long as there has been an American language to fight over. Rosemarie Ostler’s “Founding Grammars” chronicles these word wars in wonderful, wonkish detail.
If all goes as planned, there’s a fascinating book about Diderot in your future — and one about the history of photographic detection and another one about the economics of addiction. Think that’s too heady for you? Think again. Read full article >>