Columns

Fly on the Wall—At Ease, Monkey Brain!

We can be forgiven for feeling as though we live in a world on fire.  Literal firestorms engulf swathes the size of a small province each summer, and an El Nino year like 2024 makes forest fire fears a top story even in the depths of winter.  Meanwhile, global tensions have reached our back door… Read more »

Beyond Literary Landscapes—American Gothic

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile. From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and… Read more »

[blue rare] Here Comes the Future Again

When I was walking home in the early hours of the first day of 2024, a sports car drove by in the lightly falling snow.  It was a fine machine.  Sleek and built for speed, streetlights reflected in its chrome, headlights flashing, tail lights glowing, heading confidently towards its destination; a vision of the way… Read more »

Beyond Literary Landscapes—The Dictator Novel

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile. From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and… Read more »

Best of Beyond Literary Landscapes—Death and Dying

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile. From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and… Read more »

Best of Dear Barb 2023: Attention Please!

Dear Barb: I am a guy in my thirties, and I have recently been diagnosed with ADHD.  I always knew there was something wrong.  I have never been able to focus on anything for more than a few minutes.  Even in school, my teachers called my parents because they couldn’t manage me.  My parents were… Read more »

[blue rare]—Lost in the Splendor

If I am a hedonist—and I definitely am—I partly blame Aladdin and his magic lamp and the secret cave of wonders that he discovered.  Or, at least, an amateur theatrical pantomime adapted for children from the story, which is included in One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, that famous collection of Middle Eastern folktales.  I… Read more »