Issue of April 10, 2011

It may be tax season—at least the last desperate gasp of it—but that doesn’t mean that your reading should fall before the 1040. On the contrary, what could be better than a fine book or excellent essay to take you into a world you deserve to be in. Well, we have all that and more for you in our newest issue. Please join us.

Pete Croatto takes a break from sports reviewing this week to reminisce about his years spent as a bookseller in Borders and what the likely loss of the chain means for readers and for buying books. (Hint: Not much.) Still, there is Personal Sadness, Professional Irrelevance.

Two bookmarks made of ivory and with scrimshaw art upon them are the focus of this week’s historical journey by Lauren Roberts, who shares the history of the art and her feelings about the bookmarks themselves in Carving Out Bookmarks.

What actually is steampunk? And how and why did it develop as a genre? Gillian Polack explores not only the history of it but how it polarizes the science fiction/fantasy community of readers as she takes us on a tour of two of its books in On Steampunk.

What happens when a biographer, in order to understand his subject, obtains information at the cost of not using it? Carl Rollyson explores the role of sources and their acknowledgements in biographies in The Cosmos of the Biographer.

With Tax Day 2011 looming, Lauren Roberts began to wonder if there were books of fiction that featured taxes (or more accurately, tax preparers, accountants, or IRS agents). It turns out there are, and a couple of interesting discoveries were made along the way. If you are sweating your paperwork this week, perhaps you’ll find some relief in Taxing Reading.

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