KP Reads
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Since time immemorial, writers in Russia have had the most forceful, penetrating and far-reaching responses to what was happening in their country — for those willing to listen, … more
Many times over the last 18-plus years I have wondered why I feel so much at home and so contented on the Key Peninsula. Certainly, there are many similarities to Scotland but that really … more
Some dirty comic book about the Holocaust got banned from the eighth grade English Language Arts curriculum by the McMinn County School Board in southeast Tennessee Jan. 10, because the book has cuss … more
Some of my teenaged relatives enlisted after 9/11.  One became a Marine and deployed to Afghanistan. He did convoy duty or was behind the wire, on base. When he came home, he had nothing but … more
As the former spouse of a Vietnam veteran, I did not think I would ever read another book about that war. For 16 years I absorbed everything I could find to understand the devastation Vietnam did … more
The bait is hard to resist but if you bite, you’ll be trapped in a sinister nightmare you hadn’t bargained for and from which you may never wake. more
A school year unlike any other is upon us, fresh on the heels of two other school years unlike any others. Students are returning to their posts while administrators rearrange deck chairs and … more
‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel García Márquez We were about a month into this thing last year when I was laid up in the hospital. It wasn’t Covid-related but I was imprisoned long enough to learn what that disease was doing to people, to … more
The mental time warp of being around young trees inspired me to pick up “The Overstory” for a second read. more
His name still evokes fear, anger and admiration five decades after his murder. Alex Haley interviewed Malcolm X more than 50 times from 1962 to ’65, and the result was a book alive with the same intensity as their all-night talks about racism, protest and brutality that seem little changed since then. more
Many of us went to school with a Shuggie Bain. Depending on what school you attended, there might be several pupils like him in each class. more
The main branch of the New York City library at Fifth Avenue straddling 41st and 42nd Streets is one of the most famous public temples of knowledge in the United States. Even if you’re just a … more
“The attack on the Fascist redoubt which had been called off on the previous occasion was to be carried out tonight. I oiled my 10 Mexican cartridges, dirtied my bayonet (the things give your … more
I had no idea. I have been an avid student of American history both before my arrival in this country and while living here and I still had no idea. I prided myself on the breadth of my … more
When you look up a word in the dictionary, do you end up spending half an hour looking up 20 other words? Psychologists have a clinical term for this. You could look it up. more
It seems an appropriate season to revisit the work of an author who wanted nothing but that his readers recognize the unexpected grace in people unlike themselves and offer them an unfamiliar mercy. more
“The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914” was a bestseller when it was published by historian Barbara Tuchman in 1966. Drawn from a collection of lengthy essays … more
Sometime in 1987, I think, I accidentally got to hear Toni Morrison read at a private gathering. I was a neophyte assistant at a large publisher in New York City. A sympathetic editor had offered … more
The best thing about sailing, as far as I’m concerned, is that when you do it right it’s really boring. more
“A Journal of the Plague Year,” Daniel Defoe’s short book about the 1665 outbreak in London of what is believed to have been bubonic plague, is never a comforting read; it is even less so in these times of a global pandemic. more
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