Saturday Reading (1st of December 2012): The New York Review of Books, Oct. 11, 2012

Self is engaged in the following activities:   a)  trimming clematis henryi, in rather strenuous rain; b) chopping up empty boxes that she’d been storing in her shed “for future use” for at least a decade; c) trolling the web and d) reading the Oct. 11, 2012 issue of The New York Review of Books.

Among the trove of riches contained in this issue of the review, self makes the following discoveries:

  • The Library of America has published a two-volume anthology called American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s, edited by Gary K. Wolfe.  Among the nine are these titles:  The Big Time, by Fritz Leiber; The Long Tomorrow, by Leigh Brackett; The Space Merchants, by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth; More Than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon; and Who? by Algis Budry.
  • iUniverse took out a large ad, and among the books featured in the ad was this one:  If You’re Gonna Be Stupid, You’ve Gotta Be Tough! by Bob Cole (An excellent piece of advice, which self will take to heart!)
  • Directly beneath that ad is a smaller one by Trofford Publishing, which features this exceedingly interesting book:  Romantic Resumes:  What Graduate School Did For Lovely Young Jane Doe, by Veronica Verity (What a great pseudonym.  That is, if it really is a pseudonym.  A writer can’t really have a last name like “Verity,” can she?  Are there any people in the world with the family name Verity?  Pray tell!)
  • Gary Wills has an excellent review of Through the Eye of a Needle:  Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350 – 550 AD, by Peter Brown (Surely one of the plainest names ever to be sported by a professor anywhere in the world.  Unless there is a professor somewhere with the name John Brown?)  Self is so excited, she immediately decides to add the book to her “To Read” list, until she happens to glance at the number of pages:  759.  Gulp!

Plus, there is an amazingly funny article written by Ian Johnson, on a Chinese writer named Yu Hua, apparently a celebrity in China, who hosted a raucous dinner party with local notables at which Johnson was in attendance.  At the end of the party, “when the wine bottles had been emptied, the prawns sucked dry, and a bottle of grain alcohol lay on its side, the guests staggered out to their government-issue Audi A6L limousines, windows tinted and doors held open by drivers in dark aviator glasses.  Yu saw them off with a wave and then wondered aloud:  Who the fuck are these people?”

And self is not yet done reading!  This issue might take her the rest of the weekend to get through.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. December 1, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Wow – clematis henryii

    please post photos when it blooms.


  2. December 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    My clematis henryii is indeed stunning when it is in bloom. It was only my second clematis — all the others eventually died after a few years, this one’s continued to grow for about 10 years. In the last two years, it’s been sorely neglected, but I’m trying to correct that now by lavishing it with care! (There are pictures of it in bloom on my blog. Do a search for clematis and you’ll find them!)


  3. December 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks, Marianne.


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