Category

review

naturereview

Climate Fiction: Three Vectors

As you spend a few last hours this summer in your Adirondack chair under a shady canopy of leaves—with that feeling of autumn’s imminence causing you to contemplate decline, aging, and the end of civilization—you might consider distracting yourself with some “climate fiction.” Sometimes short-handed…
mm
August 4, 2018
review

The Privilege of an Inner Life

I’ve always understood that my education, beginning with my mother’s early tutelage, was a privilege. This week my gratitude—and perspective—deepened significantly as I read, along with a class of college senior English majors, Michelle Kuo’s wise and generous memoir, Reading with Patrick.
mm
April 28, 2018
review

Discovery: A Report from the Final Frontier

I hereby provide a public service by filing this scouting report for those of you wondering whether the new Star Trek series, airing on the subscription service CBS All Access, is worth the investment of your time and money. The answer is: maybe.
mm
November 3, 2017
cultural commentaryreview

Any Tenderness?

The show’s title makes it sound like one of those silly British slapstick comedies, but no. I would describe it as an historical drama with a loving heart. It has the same historical-immersion appeal as Mad Men, except with wholesome values, lots of babies, and…
mm
August 26, 2017
review

Return of the Warrior Maiden: A Review Essay

Played by the splendid Gal Gadot, this Wonder Woman is fit, fleet, and fabulous. From a movie-making point of view, though, that was the easy part. What sets this movie apart in its genre is a fresh, thoughtful character arc, one that perhaps only a…
mm
June 17, 2017
review

The Call of the Library

Of all the good books I received as Christmas gifts this year, one has captured my heart: You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf from Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia (Bloomsbury, 2016). I realize it’s hard to imagine a geekier volume than a history of…
mm
January 13, 2017
review

Patience with the Puzzles

That is not what I got with Arrival. Instead, this film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, manages to be riveting and meditative at once. Rather than marching us through a briskly paced action thriller, Villeneuve invites us to dwell in the mysteries of language, time, and…
mm
November 25, 2016
cultural commentaryreview

Hamilton and Our Story

I first found out about the new Broadway musical Hamilton during a car ride across Michigan last November. The family was packed in the minivan on our way to Thanksgiving dinner at my brother’s in Detroit. To pass the two-and-a-half hours of car time, we…
mm
January 22, 2016