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.

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

Nifty Nonfiction: Dreadlocks and Deliveries

Two books on elements of everyday life that I found interesting. Twisted by Bert Ashe This is a memoir about hair. As a person who has had short hair all … Continue reading

June 19, 2017 · 3 Comments

Stoker: The Life of Hilda Matheson, OBE

If you are keen on Bloomsbury and its ramifications, you may already know that Hilda Matheson (1888-1940) was Vita Sackville West’s lover between 1929 and 1931. She wrote to Vita … Continue reading

September 28, 2016 · 3 Comments

George Orwell’s Letters, Essays, Journalism

  I told my English teacher brother-in-law that I’d bought the four-volume 1968 edition of George Orwell’s Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters, as edited by Sonia Orwell (volume 3 was … Continue reading

January 13, 2016 · 2 Comments

Practising History by Barbara Tuchman

Barbara Tuchman is my favorite historian and I was sorry when she herself passed into history in 1989. Thankfully, she left a good-sized body of work and I have read … Continue reading

November 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

We Refugees by Benjamin Zephaniah

When I was reading some new poems recently, I was struck by how this one showed the universality of people displaced from their homeland. The news reports make refugees into … Continue reading

September 23, 2015 · 6 Comments

Medic: Saving Lives from Dunkirk to Afghanistan by John Nichol and Tony Rennell

“War at its rawest is their domain, an ugly place of shattered bodies, severed limbs and death. Theirs is the most selfless of acts. They fulfil society’s vital pledge to … Continue reading

September 4, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a radical Pope, by Austen Ivereigh

The Great Reformer is a substantial book. 480 pages in the new UK paperback edition, including notes, acknowledgements and a thorough overview of the sources, this biography of Jorge Mario Bergoglio—now … Continue reading

August 25, 2015 · 3 Comments

adventures around the globe: recent nonfiction

Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod This is the book that Eat, Pray, Love wanted to be, filled with adventure, romance and wisdom. The author scrimps and saves at her high … Continue reading

March 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Faith, Seriously: The Ethics of Everyday Life, by Michael Banner

Like much of the really exciting theology I’ve read this year (Rowan Williams’ Meeting God in Mark, or Hugh Gilbert OSB’s The Tale of Quisquis), The Ethics of Everyday Life … Continue reading

December 19, 2014 · 3 Comments

Daunderlust

The Scots word ‘to daunder’ is to take a wee walk, a leisurely stroll. This book collects 42 of Peter Ross’s feature articles from Scottish newspapers into a very readable book where he … Continue reading

May 26, 2014 · 4 Comments

Mission Estonia

I visited Estonia recently for work, and took some time off from the teaching to go book-shopping. I do like to read about a new place when I’m there, or … Continue reading

May 5, 2014 · 4 Comments

Tony Benn: Dare to be a Daniel

In 1928, when I was three, there was a huge flood in London and I remember looking out of the window and seeing boats sailing down the street in front … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · 9 Comments

American Bee by James Maguire

Every March, dozens of children from all over the country gather in Washington D.C. for the National Spelling Bee. This book charts some of their journeys, explores the history of … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · 2 Comments

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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.)