5 Most Popular Posts: February 2020
- March 3, 2020
We here at the Independent love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. Seriously, though, here are February’s winners.
- The 2020 Washington Writers Conference. Our keynote speaker — Laura Lippman! — has been announced, our panels are set, the agent roster is filling, and excitement is building for the DC area’s premier writing event, which happens May 8-9 in North Bethesda, MD. Last year’s conference sold out, so don’t wait! Register NOW before the Early-Bird rate expires!
- Jennifer Bort Yacovissi’s review of The Book of Delights by Ross Gay. (Algonquin Books). “Even better (or, as the author would say, ‘Delight!’), this is a physically small book that fits nicely in the reader’s hands. Each essay stands satisfyingly on its own, at most six or eight pages, more often two or fewer. All of which goes to say that it’s a book that begs to be carried along, offering insight and delight in whatever slice of time a reader may have. This is flash nonfiction.”
- Larry Matthews’ review of The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military by Tim Bakken (Bloomsbury Publishing). “Bakken’s basic criticism in this book is that the military has its own culture. He notes that only one percent of the population serves on active duty today, but then claims the military has somehow hijacked the nation into its corruption. He writes that the U.S. military has not ‘won a war in 75 years,’ and makes the mistaken assertion that the military is responsible for getting America into these battles through its hubris and shady influence, ignoring the fact that civilian leaders, not generals, make the decision to go to war.”
- “The Raw Power of Ledger” by Grace Cavalieri. “Jane Hirshfield may balk at the word moral, as it hints too much of spiritual leader; that’s been a burden to her, but one she handles gracefully. In her latest work, Ledger, all Hirshfield wants to do, it seems to me, is say what is of value to her. It’s up to the reader, then, to determine how value is established.”
- Kitty Kelley’s review of The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell (Simon & Schuster). “As a conservative, white, male graduate of Harvard, Caldwell writes to the right, occasionally to the left, and sometimes swerves center as he cites lawsuit after lawsuit to make his points, one of which actually suggests that maybe Southern segregationists were correct all along. His book, which relies on much of the conservative journalism he’s published in the Financial Times, the National Review, and the Weekly Standard, reads like the lamentation of an anguished man who sees his world slowly crumbling beneath him.”