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.

Walking by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau is one of America’s quintessential writers. He embodies that independent spirit that is so stereotypical of our image. Not so much in Walden, which could’ve been written by any … Continue reading

July 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Public Domain Review: essays of eclectic weirdness

A guest post from Colin Fisher on the curiosities that spice the imagination at rest. My father had a shelf above his chair where he stored what most people would … Continue reading

March 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Traces Remain. Essays and Explorations, by Charles Nicholl

Charles Nicholl’s books, so beautifully and elegantly written, and based on such meticulous research, give me great pleasure. So I was delighted though somewhat shamed to find that his shorter … Continue reading

February 24, 2016 · 3 Comments

Coming Up On Vulpes Libris

eek beginning 21st February: and now a return to our normally scheduled, not-quite-so-romantic programming. Last week was potentially a time of dilemmas, exemplified by hearing at the supermarket checkout about … Continue reading

February 21, 2016 · Leave a comment

Thinker, Failure, Soldier, Jailer – edited by Harry de Quetteville

Newspaper and magazine obituaries have been around pretty much as long as newspapers and magazines.  By the first half of the last century they’d generally become po-faced and worthy accounts … Continue reading

February 5, 2016 · 2 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

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

Mason Currey: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

My copy of this book happens to be the American edition, but the UK edition actually has the more accurate title: Daily Rituals. How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, … Continue reading

January 22, 2015 · 3 Comments

How to Spell Chanukah…And Other Holiday Dilemmas edited by Emily Franklin

When I saw this book in my library’s catalog, I thought the blurb said it was a group of funny essays about Hanukah and imagined something akin to varying flavors … Continue reading

December 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

Paris Tales, translated by Helen Constantine.

I have already written about the goodies to be found on the £1 book rack outside Treadwell’s Bookshop in Store Street, Bloomsbury. Lately, a day trip to Paris made me … Continue reading

October 29, 2014 · 2 Comments

On murdering books

Readers, you find me at a crucial point in my literary life. I have been culling my book collection. Not completely decimating it or anything, but lately I’ve been feeling compelled … Continue reading

June 19, 2014 · 13 Comments


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 · 5 Comments

VL Q&A: Chris Ward, author of Living on the Western Front (Annals and Stories, 1914-1919)

What I wanted to do was disrupt narrative structures and upset realist expectations by imitating an early-medieval annalist… but it proved impossible. In the first place because every sentence is … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 6 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.)