When Mary Oliver died in January, there was an outpouring of loss and remembrance. She was perhaps the most beloved poet of our age. Still, because she writes about old-fashioned subjects--nature, beauty and (gasp) God--she has not been taken seriously by many critics. Her deceptively simple poems and concomitant accessibility can mask her depth and profundity.
Spy fiction has many modes and guises, encompassing superspies like James Bond and more grounded characters like George Smiley. The tone often depends on how frankly the author wishes to engage with espionage's checkered history. For a not-so-brief primer on the CIA, I recommend Tim Weiner's excellent Legacy of Ashes (Anchor, $18.99). The title makes his perspective clear, but he backs up his laundry list of global misdeeds with mountains of evidence.
Is it just me, or is everyone in the process of decluttering at the moment? I blame the new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo for this resurgence of decluttering (originally made popular by Kondo's 2014 book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up; Ten Speed Press, $16.99). Which is not to say I'm not a fan of decluttering; on the contrary, it has me thinking about how to stick to the goal of a more minimalist lifestyle after the original clearing out.
Key West, Florida Keys -- Do you have a finished, but unpublished, mystery genre manuscript? Mystery Fest Key West has announced a call for entries for the 2019 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition. The winner will claim a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Fest Key West 2019 registration, airfare, hotel accommodations for two nights and a Whodunit Award trophy to be presented at the 6th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 28-30 in Key West, Florida.
Landscape first appeared in print as an English word at the beginning of the 17th century. It meant what it meant. Over time, however, we've managed to co-opt it with adjectives like historical, political, sociological, economic, technological, cultural and many other variations on a... landscapian theme.