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 Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Volume I, The Pox Party, by M.T. Anderson

I must begin with a confession. Despite the fact that I write (among other things) books for children, I hardly ever read youth literature. That’s not to say that the … Continue reading

July 12, 2008 · 13 Comments

The Goshawk, by T.H. White

Part of our Wilderness Week series. Most people know T.H. White as the author of The Once and Future King, a series of novels based on the legend of King … Continue reading

April 26, 2008 · 7 Comments

St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves, by Karen Russell

Karen Russell was just twenty-five when she made her publishing debut with this remarkable collection of short stories. Subsequently named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists (a bit odd, … Continue reading

March 25, 2008 · 8 Comments

The Paris Review Interviews, vol. II, Philip Gourevitch (ed.)

In his introduction to the second collection of Paris Review interviews (I’ll admit that I haven’t read the first, but it hardly seems necessary to read them in any particular … Continue reading

January 26, 2008 · 13 Comments

The Frozen Thames, by Helen Humphreys

In its long history, the river Thames has frozen solid forty times. These are the stories of that frozen river. So begins Helen Humphrey’s superb collection of short fiction based … Continue reading

January 11, 2008 · 8 Comments

The Sorrow of Belgium, by Hugo Claus

I decided to read The Sorrow of Belgium as research for my current work in progress, a novel narrated in part by a boy recruited into the Flemish nationalist movement … Continue reading

November 8, 2007 · 11 Comments

On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan

I’ve heard a few people moan about Ian McEwan lately, and I’ve been struggling to fathom why. The most outrageous claim so far has been that On Chesil Beach “wasn’t … Continue reading

October 28, 2007 · 11 Comments

Oliver James, Affluenza

Do you often compare yourself to others? Would you like to be very wealthy? Do you ever find yourself feeling so jumpy and irritable that relaxation is impossible? These are just … Continue reading

October 18, 2007 · 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.)