In a small Indian village, an unnamed surgeon receives the most unlikely of evening visitors: a teacher, his pregnant wife and their young son, all of whom are dead. So begins Vikram Paralkar’s “Night Theater” (2020, Catapult). These unexpected guests explain to their host that he alone can save them: if he agrees to perform surgery on the family and fix their wounds, they … [Read more...] about Checking Out: Night Theater
Checking Out Book Reviews
When the topic of environmental impact and climate change comes up, we frequently hear about broad concerns such as weather changes, rising sea levels and air quality issues that can sometimes be difficult to wrap our heads around on an individual level. Many of our daily actions, however, do have an impact on the world around us, and those impacts can be pretty … [Read more...] about Checking Out: Inconspicuous Consumption
In 1873, Scottish explorer David Livingstone died of dysentery and malaria. He was in the area that is now Zambia searching for the source of the river Nile. Doctor Livingstone, who is credited with being the first European to cross south-central Africa, kept a journal of his explorations – his life and his multi-year, obsessive pursuit to locate the beginning of Africa’s … [Read more...] about Checking Out Book Review: Out of Darkness, Shining Light
As a librarian and a reader, I have spent more time than I’d care to admit meditating on the power of words. I have often considered the seemingly infinite amount of English grammatical rules alongside the fluidity of language and the interesting things that can happen when these rules are stretched or broken, either intentionally or not. The structure of grammar offers … [Read more...] about Checking Out: The Grammarians
“Here’s the deal: it’s normal to be curious about death,” writes mortician and New York Times best-selling author Caitlin Doughty in the introduction of her new book, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death (2019, W. W. Norton & Company). Doughty, who gives death-related talks around the globe to wide varieties of audiences, gathers the … [Read more...] about Checking Out: Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?