Archive for May 2016

Serious questions: Is it summer yet?

Serious questions: Is it summer yet?
As you turn your calendar to June, you’ll see “First Day of Summer” on June 20. So why does everybody argue about whether Memorial Day is the start of summer? If you don’t like getting stuck in storms, do you carry your umbrella all the time? If you don’t carry your umbrella all the time,... Read more »

'Through the Magic Door' -- Conan Doyle on book shopping

'Through the Magic Door' -- Conan Doyle on book shopping
In his 1908 book “Through the Magic Door,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle offers a tour of his book collection — and “there is no volume there which is not a dear, personal friend.” In Chapter 1, he writes of some of his older books: “Some of them represent those little sacrifices which make a possession... Read more »

'Through the Magic Door' -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on books

'Through the Magic Door' -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on books
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have loved A.A. Milne’s idea of Sustaining Books, had he encountered it. I thought that recently as I re-read Doyle’s book about books, “Through the Magic Door” (1908). Milne had Winnie-the-Pooh ask for “a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness.” Doyle begins... Read more »
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What happens in Chicago should be talked about as Chicago

What happens in Chicago should be talked about as Chicago
“Chicago” is a word worth defending. According to my original definition of this category at the beginning of this blog, “words worth defending” don’t get used enough. Chicago isn’t talked about here in “the city.” That’s what we tend to call something that happens all over town — “the city’s” problem 0r delight. Are you... Read more »

Vocabulary -- your non-musical repertoire

Vocabulary -- your non-musical repertoire
I’ve started learning to play two new pieces on my cello, “Apres un Reve” (“After a Dream”) by Faure and “Nocturne” by Tchaikovsky. That’s gotten me thinking about vocabulary and learning words. I thought the music was familiar already since I like listening to recordings of both pieces. But now that I’m taking them apart... Read more »