April 07, 2010



As the only, okay maybe the guy who rolls thirty gallons of garbage down the drive doesn't have one, too, but it's not a great loss, not for of us who slave alone, whether loading garbage, or writing it.


Mark, that's not an iPhone, that's an iPad Mini!


If only Joyce were alive to see it (the rage of Caliban, etc.) Will be fascinated to hear of any insurance plans made available for parents of the very young for same items.

Martha Southgate

My kids are 11 and 15. So they had their infancy before every parent (that would have included me) had an electronic something-or-other that looked like a toy, was easily broken, cost hundreds of dollars and had mom or dad's entire life on it. Phew. One of the many advantages to being a little bit older. Sorry about the loss of your iPhone.

Brooklyn Bibliophile

You should see what my four-year-old twins did to the laptop . . .

Sylvia Pierson

Great image! -- This month's issue of Fast Company magazine features a cover story titled, "The Real Smart Phone Revolution: How Tech is Making Kids Smarter Everywhere." Photos show three year olds and others using iPhones and other gadgets to learn to read. "A is for App" (Article on page 66)


The horror! The horror!

Rachael King

I went through several phones when my three year old was a baby. None as expensive as an iPhone though.

S. Jobs

There's an app for that!

Joelle Biele

So true! My laptop is on its 4th keyboard...


She's a budding Samsontie gorilla!!

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  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."