Kindness requires little of us. A little time, some thought, and one or more good actions. I sometimes think we overlook how something some small can produce such large effects. Is it because our world seems to be becoming meaner? And enjoying it? Even applauding it? Sometimes, yes, but at least in my case I try to recognize when I am beginning to feel bogged down with that sense of hopelessness and discouragement. If I can see it, I can ward it off. I did some of that this past weekend, and it felt so good. So this week, in addition to enjoying our new issue, I encourage BiblioBuffet’s readers, regardless of how bad their own circumstances might be, to do one thing each day for the week that makes someone else feel good. I can guarantee those people will not be the only ones who benefit.
Sports memoirs that are worth reading are rare. Most tend to follow a formula that keeps their subjects from being honest—and human. While that template generally allows the athlete to avoid being vilified for his human qualities, it also creates upbeat, barely-there memoirs. Pete Croatto pleads for athletes to Speak Out or Shut Up.
When a biographer sets out to write a new biography of a much-chronicled subject, how does he sell it to publishers? Carl Rollyson took a fresh look at old material, contending that Sylvia Plath recognized herself as a “cynosure, a guiding force and focal point for modern women and men.” She became a “genre-breaker and a cross-cultural heroine” and, he argues in Revisionist Biography, her responses to the pressures she put upon herself offer insights into the way we live now.
Doctoral dissertations rarely turn into books of general worth but a recent and “lovely” one became, as Gillian Polack notes, one of “rollicking adventure” that digs “beneath the surface of a society” to discover the “warrior culture” where “masculinity is expressed through military means” in the seventeenth century in On Matters Military and Historical.
With Borders on its second round of store closings the feelings of employees are running high. They are being abused by management and in too many cases by customers. When the only store remaining in the area was given the axe in the most recent round of closings, Lauren Roberts decided to do something. Why? Because It’s a Nice Thing to Do.