Tag Archives: D. Books

Narrative Nonfiction

I have become spoiled by this genre called Narrative Nonfiction, the style of writing that presents factual information in an entertaining form similar to that of a novel. Looking back, I realize that the Landmark books I loved as a … Continue reading

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Funk and Wagnalls: A standard for the 20th century

  The comedy variety show “Laugh-In” in the late 1960s and early 1970s popularized the catchphrase “Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls!” The show featured rapid-fire skits and one-liners, and the F&W line, used as a snappy rejoinder … Continue reading

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Dr. Brewer and the polymath-in-training

I found an old friend in the attic last week — “Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.” I discovered “Brewer’s” in the summer of 2002, when, as a neophyte journalist (an elaborate way to say I had no idea what … Continue reading

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A new look at an American life

Published Aug. 23, 2005 “Benjamin Franklin An American Life” by Walter Isaacson, published in 2003, stands next to Carl Van Doren’s “Benjamin Franklin,” published in 1938, long the definitive biography, as a masterly look at a masterly man. Isaacson introduces … Continue reading

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Log Cabin Shop purveys a variety of historical arms and goods

Published Feb. 3, 2006 A customer can enter the Log Cabin Shop wearing sneakers and a T-shirt, and he can exit clad in fringe, leather, fur and moccasins, armed with a Pennsylvania long rifle, ready for the 18th century. The … Continue reading

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The queen mother of encyclopedias

Published Aug. 9, 2005 Encyclopaedia Britannica was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1771, edited by William Smellie, and printed as 100 weekly numbers starting in December 1768. It comprised three volumes and 2,670 pages, and its plan departed from … Continue reading

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Woolgathering and widdershins — a journey through words

Published Sept. 29, 2003 Woolgathering is defined variously as idle daydreaming and to let one’s mind wander from the matter at hand. Related words are mosey, saunter, dawdle, lollygag, goldbrick, loiter, lounge, laze, and more, and in a society that … Continue reading

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