Books: “Bowling for Communism” in Leipzig

 Leipzig was among the East German cities to be visited in 1989 during my August working holiday in the GDR, but the group excursion...

Books and politics, with Roberto Bolaño and “The Savage Detectives”

In the year 2015 I ran for mayor of New Albany. During a candidate Q & A, I became the first mayoral candidate in...

Louisville beer, now and then (or, my 2014 review of Kevin Gibson’s “Louisville Beer”...

Because, I really nailed this one. --- Louisville Beer, Now and Then “Anyone who has groped among the dark beer dungeons which lie for a number...

Books: “The Cold War from the Margins” in Bulgaria

In May I read a good book about a little-known aspect of the Cold War. The Cold War from the Margins: A Small Socialist State...

The books I read in 2020

From December 22, 2020 at NA Confidential. Some articles from late in the year were not archived here, and this is one of them.  The...

“Trieste,” a novel by Daša Drndić

It can be daunting, perhaps even crippling, to consider the immensity of what remains unknown about the wider world. What we as individuals know...

“When the Doves Disappeared,” a novel by Sofi Oksanen

The novel is called When the Doves Disappeared, written by the Finnish/Estonian author Sofi Oksanen. The English translation was released in 2015. The publisher...

Times change, but Ernest Hemingway was an inspiration to this youthful traveler

Originally published as "(Ernest) Hemingway in a time of mercifully silent thunder" on April 23, 2020. A Ken Burns documentary about Hemingway is coming...

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Not Hip & Fewer Hops: A few instructive beers in Ostrava in 1989

(Originally published at Food & Dining Magazine on September 6, 2021.) For me, drinking beer is not a performative exercise, even if cameos are allowed....

Shane’s Excellent New Words: Hagiography — or haggis?

Welcome to another installment of SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS, which was a regular feature of the now defunct NA Confidential blog. But why new words? Why not the...

Hunter S. Thompson eulogizes Richard M. Nixon (1994): “He Was a Crook.”

Arguably, the finest political obituary in American history. A Twitter friend linked to it recently, remarking that he rereads the piece every few months....