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.

The Plagiarist in the Kitchen. A Lifetime’s Culinary Thefts, by Jonathan Meades

When Bookfox Kate proposed this theme week, I stuck my hand in the air immediately and cried ‘Me me me!’. After all, one of the first pieces I ever wrote … Continue reading

July 14, 2017 · 1 Comment

Footprints in time …

My mother was born in a two-up, two-down, end-of-terrace house in the pretty market town of Ampthill in Bedfordshire. The money for the rent, the gas meter and the milkman … Continue reading

July 13, 2017 · 13 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

What I Read on Christmas Break

Like many avid readers, I always have at least one book on tap, no matter what else is going on. So, just because the Foxes were not posting over the … Continue reading

January 11, 2016 · 2 Comments

Ursula Buchan’s A Green and Pleasant Land

Ursula Buchan (yes, one of John Buchan’s grand-daughters), trained as a gardener after taking a degree in history, and was the Spectator’s gardening correspondent for twenty years. This is certainly not her … Continue reading

October 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Forks and Feathers

Two recent nonfiction reads that were excellent and very enjoyable.   The Thing With Feathers by Noah Strycker One of the best books on birds I’ve read in a long … Continue reading

June 5, 2015 · 2 Comments

Nicola Humble’s Culinary Pleasures

I missed Nicola Humble’s cookbook phase because she published the results of her seven years of research on the history of the British cookbook outside the academic cabbage patch, with a … Continue reading

March 20, 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

Coming Up this week

With this being the last week of posts before our Christmas Break, we have an eclectic mix of subjects. The Foxes are busy with holiday preparations and even we can’t … Continue reading

December 14, 2014 · Leave a comment


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


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

Dandelion Hunter by Rebecca Lerner

My sister has this belief that if she and I were lost in the woods, I would know what to do and eat to survive. She is mistaken in that, … Continue reading

October 21, 2013 · 1 Comment



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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.)