Life as a Character

I thoroughly enjoyed Ann Patchett’s new novel, Commonwealth. In it, she tells the story of an extramarital affair and the blended family of six children that results. The stepsiblings mostly live on opposite coasts except for summer vacations when they become a tribe, wandering around the Virginia countryside. Patchett’s books tend to be about groups…

Dig Libraries

As I prepare for another dig later this month (i.e. ignore clothes and such but trying to find the perfect book for the airplane), I was reminded of an essay I wrote for Booksense.com. That website is no longer available so I guess the rights reverted back to me. Dig libraries can be described in…

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

I’m an accidental coach. I thought I would sign up to assistant coach my son’s 4th grade soccer team but with limited parent volunteers, I got “promoted” to head coach of the Bears. As it turned out, some other parents stepped in to help out and I’m enjoying it. One of the other father’s even…

Irene Winter’s Festschrift now online

Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter By Her Students, eds. Jack Cheng & Marian Feldman, (Leiden: Brill), 2007 is now accessible online for reading or download. You can find it on Scribd here: Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter By Her…

Book Review: Babylon’s Ark

Babylon’s Ark by Lawrence Anthony is a memoir of a conservationist’s trip to Baghdad soon after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to save the animals at the Baghdad Zoo. After reading a number of books on the topic, mostly on the archaeological looting, but also the excellent Imperial Life in the Emerald City, as…