Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Michael Haag’s The Durrells of Corfu

This is an exhaustively researched biography of the Durrell family (Gerry, Larry, Margot, Leslie and Mother, for those who know them from Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals). It’s … Continue reading

October 13, 2017 · 3 Comments

Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic. Words and Pictures on How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Alien Next Door

I’d heard good things about this anthology before Vulpes Libris was offered a copy, so I grabbed it. It’s a miscellany from Saqi Books, consisting of dialogues, short stories, art … Continue reading

September 27, 2017 · 2 Comments

Penelope Lively’s Passing On

For most of my life the name Penelope Lively has meant The Whispering Knights, The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, Astercote and The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, books I reread for … Continue reading

September 22, 2017 · 7 Comments

Coming Up this week on Vulpes Libris

Autumn is here. Definitely. I’m wearing socks, for goodness’ sake. Jumpers are out of the wardrobe. I’m thinking about putting gloves in the pockets of my coats. There is condensation … Continue reading

September 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

A is for Arsenic. The Poisons of Agatha Christie

It’s astonishing that this book had not been written before. It’s a study of the poisons deployed by Agatha Christie in a selection of her novels, written by a toxicologist … Continue reading

September 6, 2017 · 3 Comments

Christina Ward, Preservation: The Art and Science of Canning, Fermentation and Dehydration

This is a hefty Mid-West cookbook and instruction manual on how to preserve your fruit and veg in jars. It’s most definitely written for North Americans, by a Master Food … Continue reading

July 10, 2017 · 2 Comments

Coming Up on Vulpes Libris: Cookbooks

This morning I was picking black mulberries in my garden. This sounds very English, but it was in Brussels, though the tree was originally English. It was a present from friends … Continue reading

July 9, 2017 · 5 Comments

Spider-Woman kicks it all over the street

Some time ago I wrote about Spider-Woman. After a healthy reminder of how good female superheroes can be from Wonder Woman, I went and bought two more Spider-Woman collections, Civil … Continue reading

June 21, 2017 · 3 Comments

Coming up on Vulpes Libris: Castles, strong, stable castles

Well, what a week for British politics. But let’s not go down that inviting leafy trail where arguments will soon break out about who gave out the wrong directions and … Continue reading

June 11, 2017 · 2 Comments

Frank O’Connor: An Only Child & My Father’s Son

I started reading this pair of autobiographies by the Irish short story writer and giant among modern Irish literature, Frank O’Connor, without really knowing much about him. I’d read some … Continue reading

May 29, 2017 · 3 Comments

Vulpes Random: On marking a poetry exam

I collect my share of the poetry exam scripts, put them in my bike pannier, and cycle home. I put them on the table, close my laptop to avoid distracting emails, find … Continue reading

May 18, 2017 · 2 Comments

Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures is a tremendous pun. It means the women who worked for NASA from the 1940s to send people into space and back again. It also means the numbers … Continue reading

May 10, 2017 · 1 Comment

May the Fourth be with you

How do I love thee, Star Wars? Let me count the ways …. Yoda’s syntax. Han Solo (always). Chewy can put androids back together again with furry paws. Leia takes … Continue reading

May 4, 2017 · 6 Comments

Coming Up: Science Fiction Week

This is the week of May the Fourth, so the Foxes are rolling around joyously in the mixed metaphors and timeless plots of science fiction. But what is science fiction? … Continue reading

April 30, 2017 · 1 Comment

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Acknowledgment

  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)