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...

“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...

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...

Roger’s year in books and reading, 2021

When it comes to books, I’ve never seriously attempted to rank a year’s reading in terms of "best of" or the like. To be...

Menu Items: “Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants and Intoxicants”

Originally published at the Food & Dining Magazine web site on 13 September 2020. --- Nothing could be more common than the salt and pepper on...

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...

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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My Beers in the GDR, Part Two: Sharing a few Pilsners with a future...

Previously: My Beers in the GDR, Part One: A working lunch in East Berlin, August 1989. East Berlin: August, 1989. Each Friday afternoon for three weeks...

My Beers in the GDR, Part One: A working lunch in East Berlin, August...

In 1989 I spent the first three weeks of August buffing and polishing V. I. Lenin’s shoes. The footwear belonged to a gargantuan statue...

40 Years in Beer, Part Ten: When friends actually did let friends drive drunk

Previously: 40 Years in Beer, Part Nine: The point of know return. It has taken me a long while to understand that it usually takes...