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

The Tattoo Dictionary

Tattoos have been part of human culture since the Neolithic era. The methods used and the quality of tattoos have progressed and changed, but the reasons behind choosing to have … Continue reading

November 7, 2016 · 1 Comment

American music writing

Guest reviewer Brad Bigelow from The Neglected Books Page gives us a joyous blast of musical literary Americana. When Kate asked me to step in and provide a piece this week, … Continue reading

July 8, 2016 · 1 Comment

Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl

Hope Jahren is a scientist, now based in Hawai’i, but she’s worked in and built laboratories all over the USA. She’s a plant scientist, a palaeobotanist and geobiologist, searching for … Continue reading

July 6, 2016 · 1 Comment

Ida Cook’s Safe Passage

Before I can tell you how excellent Ida Cook’s memoir Safe Passage is, I have to rage at its publicity. It’s been trumpeted as ‘the incredible true story of two … Continue reading

March 14, 2016 · 5 Comments

50 Games to Play With Your Cat

Guest reviewer Holly trials 50 Games To Play With Your Cat, by Jackie Strachan I wasn’t a cat person until I got a cat. In fact Mia wasn’t even my cat, it … Continue reading

December 18, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

In hindsight, it’s difficult to gauge the full impact of certain books. One can view media reports from the time, but that doesn’t include conversations between regular people over phones, … Continue reading

June 24, 2015 · 5 Comments

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

A few weeks before the birth of my daughter, I had a particularly bad patch of depression and anxiety. Lots of panic attacks, lots of hours too scared to get … Continue reading

May 25, 2015 · 8 Comments

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

Picasso and the Chess Player by Larry Witham

My first impression of this book was of a rivalry between Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, but that really wasn’t the case. Though they had met, their goals and philosophy … Continue reading

July 27, 2014 · 2 Comments


Simon Winder’s massive tome Germania is a travel book, a history book, a collection of anecdotes that bludgeon the reader into helpless laughter, and an inspiration for ambitious plans to read more German … Continue reading

May 2, 2014 · 4 Comments

Coming Up This Week

As we change the calendars, we note that Spring is scheduled to arrive officially later this month. Some of the Foxes view this with skepticism seeing noting but piles of … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Turn Around Bright Eyes by Rob Sheffield

When I took out this book from the library, I assumed it would be light and funny, probably because the blurb indicated it was about the author’s experiences with karaoke, … Continue reading

February 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Anne Sexton in “Mercy Street” by Peter Gabriel

Mercy Street Looking down on empty streets, all she can see Are the dreams all made solid Are the dreams all made real All of the buildings, all of those … Continue reading

June 15, 2013 · 4 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.)