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.

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

My plan was never to get married. I was going to be an art monster instead. Women almost never become art monsters because art monsters only concern themselves with art, … Continue reading

September 16, 2015 · 1 Comment

Vulpes Random: Jurassic Jesuits

Alix Montague has written a solemnly ludicrous narrative of the adventures of four nineteenth-century Jesuit priests shipwrecked off the coast of South America, in fine High Victorian style. Into the … Continue reading

September 10, 2015 · 5 Comments

The History Chicks podcasts and website

Sometime last year I was browsing a list of historical websites when one called “The History Chicks” leapt out. Appreciating its 1960s name, I clicked on the link, and wasn’t … Continue reading

September 7, 2015 · 1 Comment

Ferney by James Long

I was recommended Ferney (1998) by James Long and awfully long time ago by my friend Carol, and was lucky enough to get a copy given to me by my friend … Continue reading

August 26, 2015 · 2 Comments

Secrets of the Italian Gardener by Andrew Crofts

Andrew Crofts has published over 80 books, including a dozen Sunday Times best sellers, and sold more than 10 million copies. He’s the best-selling writer you’ve never heard of  but … Continue reading

August 19, 2015 · 3 Comments

Vulpes Random: On recording a podcast for The Guardian

So, a couple of days ago, my book came out. It’s about conservative popular fiction, which I’ve spent many decades reading and studying, and trying to teach, though getting permission to … Continue reading

August 15, 2015 · 2 Comments

Nan Shepherd’s The Quarry Wood

Nan Shepherd’s three novels – The Quarry Wood (1928), The Weatherhouse (1930 and A Pass in the Grampians (1933) – were reprinted by Canongate in the 1990s with her memoir … Continue reading

August 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

My name is Ruth. I grew up with my younger sister, Lucille, under the care of my grandmother, Mrs. Sylvia Foster, and when she died, of her sisters-in-law, Misses Lily … Continue reading

July 24, 2015 · 5 Comments

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Back in February, one of the biggest news stories to come out of the book world in recent years broke. Harper Lee, who had famously only ever released one novel, … Continue reading

June 25, 2015 · 5 Comments

Jenny Erpenbeck, The End of Days

There are several ways to describe The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky. The selected quotations from big-name newspapers on the cover rave and croon over its … Continue reading

June 19, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (trans. by Ted Goossen)

The critical acclaim and the cult following of Haruki Murakami in this country is such that the front cover of The Strange Library that only Murakami’s surname is required. Also on … Continue reading

June 15, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth

“The Legend of the Holy Drinker is Joseph Roth’s last work of fiction, quite deliberately so. Like Andreas’s repayment of the two hundred francs, it was his last detail. Again, … Continue reading

June 11, 2015 · 5 Comments

The drinking in Hemingway’s fiction

Ernest Hemingway was and still is a famously alcohol-inclined novelist, evidently a heavy drinker for most of his life. For folks who want to live out their fan-fantasies of drinking … Continue reading

June 10, 2015 · 3 Comments

All my Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews

by A. Bookfox It was the first time that we had sort of articulated our major problem. She wanted to die and I wanted her to live and we were … Continue reading

May 22, 2015 · 3 Comments



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  • (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.)
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