Category: Books

I Want a Library

I just uploaded a set of photos of my neighborhood branch of the D.C. Public Library. The library has been closed since 2004 and no plan exists for its re-construction. It was closed with two other neighborhood plans and slated for demolition and re-construction, but the D.C. Board of Public Library Trustees canceled the construction […]

Read more

WPA Guide To D.C.

I just ordered the book Washington: City and Capital published by the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration. The book was the Washington, D.C. edition of a series of books on each state published by the WPA. Although supposedly a guide, at 1,140 pages there’s clearly quite a bit else that made it […]

Read more

Thomas Pynchon on D.C.

“Downstairs, Meatball Mulligan’s lease-breaking party was moving into its 40th hour.” Thus begins Thomas Pynchon’s short story “Entropy,” which I discovered leafing through a collection of his early work that I picked up at a booksale the other day. To me, the best part about this story is not the first line — although I […]

Read more

Review: The Crying of Lot 49

Ok, I lied. I’m not going to try my hand at a review of Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, mostly because Amazon.com already has 155 of them. Instead I thought I’d just note a couple thoughts on it. I was inspired to re-read it after I picked up a copy of a book […]

Read more

Books About DC I Want To Read

Hopefully this will be an evolving list. The Secret City: A History of Race Relations in the Nation’s Capital by Constance Green The Hidden History of Washington, DC by Tingba Apidta Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D.C. by Howard F., Jr. Gillette Urban Odyssey: A Multicultural […]

Read more

Review: Richard Sennett’s The Uses of Disorder

Richard Sennett’s The Uses of Disorder is one of those books I had heard obliquely mentioned so many times I decided, finally, to read it. Published in 1970, it has aged curiously. Labeled “sociology” by the publisher, the books’ oddly diverse jacket endorsements suggests the stew of ideas contained — the front cover claims it […]

Read more

The Chestnut Tree Cafe

The Chestnut Tree Cafe was a short-lived project of mine to collect pithy quotes about society on an anonymous Blogspot blog. Like many an ill-fated blog project, it was abandoned in the face of more pressing obligations. If I may be humored the point, it became as neglected as its namesake, yet like the purloined […]

Read more