The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 214

Early Summer 2011

Fifteen Great Books
Here we highlight
fifteen non-fiction
books or novels
from the first half
of this year,
ones we found to be
especially compelling.

The Quotable Krishnamurti
"Freedom is the only
means to freedom.
The problem is the mind itself,
and not the problems it breeds.
No authority knows;
and he who knows cannot tell."

The Last Muster
"It seems at least half
of the men that
appear here personally
served side-by-side with
George Washington, if not
bunking with him,
eating with him,
and no doubt punting
across the Potomac with him."

Little Did I Know
"What he needs
is a parturient editor,
one who can help to separate
Immanuel Kant from Uncle Mendel.
Cavell's astounding knowledge
drags him down ...
and yet makes it possible
for him to pull it off."

The John Lardner Reader
"Some of us have a feeling
that sports in general and
sports writing in particular
should be approached in
the same spirit as the
prepwork for a colonoscopy."

"There is a little poetry here:
the Oort Cloud,
the Titius-Bole Rule,
and the comet Hale-Bopp
which always sounded to me like
an English punk rock band."

Train Dreams
"Beyond, he saw the Canadian Rockies
still sunlit, snow-peaked,
a hundred miles away,
as if the earth were
in the midst of its creation,
the mountains taking their substance
out of the clouds."

Combat Trauma
"You might survive combat
only to find that after
you come marching home again
your mind has gone off to another
far more scary posting."

"Happiness grows out of disorder,
just as infinity grows
out of the finite lake
on which he is
now turning his back."

Great Reviews of the Past
My Fine Feathered Friend
"They live in tiny dark hovels called apartments.
They brag when they find a room for under $3000 a month.
They've been in a massive traffic gridlock
since the days of brass hubcaps.
The sun barely shines,
and casts a perpetual
yellow-grey fried egg color
over all buildings and faces."

Headpots of Arkansas

James Low
Raymundo Sanchez

Cryptic Letters of the Month
Have the Desire
Chrome Hairpin Table

Letters We Never Finished Reading
The Race of Life

Great Articles of the Past
"There are animal hospitals like
Rin-Tin-Tin General, The Big Bird
Institutes of Health, and
Old Dog Tray Memorial.
These specialize in illnesses
such as pawlsey, hypurrtension,
furuncles, dogbone fever,
cateracks, fleabitis, and
Barkinson's Disease."

Now Pitching for Bartletts
"No quotation book
that calls itself a quotation book
can look you in the eye these days
unless it includes
I should of stood in bed."

An Early Flight
"The present world
materialized before his eyes
as the engine roared
and the plane leveled off,
circled the fairgrounds once,
and returned to earth,
landing so abruptly
Grainier's throat nearly
jumped out of his mouth."

"At the foot of the baldaquin supporting her beloved
jewels and her physical masterpieces, I was a large bear
with purple gums and fur turned hoary with grief, my
eyes on the crystal and silver of the credenzas."

Great Poems from the Past
The Bad Sonnet
"It stayed up late, refused to go to bed,
and when it did it sang loud songs instead
of sleeping, disturbing its siblings --- couplets, quatrains
in their small rooms, began caterwauling ---
and soon the whole neighborhood was awake.
Sometimes it got in petty trouble with the law,
shoplifting any little thing it saw
that caught its fancy: happiness and heartache
slipped neatly in its pocket."


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