Recent Posts

  • Should you read this book? Or just the review?

    Occasionally the review is more informative and entertaining than the book itself. Consider a review of The 25 Rules of Grammar by Joseph Piercy. In case you’re confused, it’s the book that’s by Joseph Piercy; the review is by Joe… Read More ›

  • 110 Grill, South Bay

    As long as we were at the South Bay Shopping Center yesterday, Barbara and I decided to reserve a table at the “new” 110 Grill through Open Table. (New to Dorchester, and new to us, that is. The restaurant is part… Read More ›

  • Scots: an indigenous language or a dialect?

    Most Americans, I’m sure, hold an erroneous belief about languages in Scotland. Here are some common beliefs on this subject: Some Americans think that all Scots speak Gaelic. Not true. (And more on this one below.) Some — most, probably… Read More ›

  • Paper Son

    A mystery focused on Chinese-owned grocery stores in the Mississippi Delta? Who knew! And I don’t mean some investment scheme by contemporary mainland Chinese; I mean Chinese families that have lived in Mississippi for a century now, i.e. American-born Chinese,… Read More ›

  • My dad, wearing many hats

    “What does your dad do?” people used to ask me when I was a kid. Always my dad, not my mom, even though she too was a professional. Things have changed today (I think). This article is about my dad,… Read More ›

  • Found in a book… and some linguistic remarks

    So I‘m sitting next to one of my bookshelves this morning, and I happen to notice an old French paperback. I say to myself “I wonder if I can still read French.” (The answer is “not so well.”) I pick… Read More ›

  • A noisy deal-breaker

    …The space is also fashionably (some will say painfully) loud, to the point where conversation in the dining room at peak hours requires shouting. I understand why this is voguish — younger patrons equate quietness with death, and operators love… Read More ›

  • Before She Knew Him

    If you like character-driven psychological thrillers, Peter Swanson’s Before She Knew Him may be the book for you. If you like mysteries but not thrillers, this might not be for you. I’m not going to summarize the plot. In fact, it’s… Read More ›

  • Mollie

    Mollie usually prefers her kitty couch, but today she prefers sitting regally in the sunlight on the back of the humans’ couch: