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    Tender Is the Night

    It May Not Be as Great as Gatsby, but Fitzgerald’s 4th Novel Ain’t Shabby 4th month of F. Scott Fitzgerald reading challenge, 4th novel, Tender Is the Night (1934). F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first of five novels, This Side of Paradise, turns 100 this year and new “Collector’s Editions” are out from his old publisher Scribner, now part of Simon & Schuster. The more likely motivation for the new editions, however, is that the brilliant and lucrative Gatsby now slips into the public domain, as of January 1, and Scribner understandably wanted one last cash grab. Everyone and his brother is publishing The Great Gatsby for 2021 and it seems half…

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    Covid Daze

    First today’s big event was canceled, then today’s big event was canceled Today was the big day. Twice. This was the public start of the fabulous Bizarre Bazaar in Richmond, Va. Or it was until it was canceled for the coronavirus. Understandable, of course. These days, it’s as impractical to hold a massive Christmas show as to go on a cruise ship and kiss all the passengers. Still, we miss it. We’ve been bringing books and such to the Bizarre Bazaar since we were first invited in 2006, the year my Topsail Island: Mayberry by the Sea came out. (If you’re counting, this would have been our 15th show.) We…

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    GATSBY!

    GATSBY! More than Merely Great There aren’t enough superlatives for Fitzgerald’s third novel 3rd month of F. Scott Fitzgerald reading challenge, 3rd novel, The Great Gatsby (1925) This is the big one, of course, the novel judged the best American work of the entire 20th century (and the 2nd best only to Joyce’s Ulysses among all English language works), the novel everyone from teens to their English teachers to their grandparents adores. This is The Great Gatsby. I had only ever read two of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels. But his first, This Side of Paradise, turns 100 this year and new “Collector’s Editions” of all five are out from his…

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    Tell Them What It Means to You

    Remembering my father (Bob McAllister, upper photo) and his brother (Warren “Bud” McAllister), World War II veterans, on this #VeteransDay. My father enlisted in the Army Air Corps (forerunner to the Air Force) right out of high school, but the war was ending by the time he was shipped to the Pacific. He ended up seeing more action on the group’s basketball team, which won the Far Eastern championship. Dad, who died nine years ago just short of 84, always said his 7-years-older brother was the true hero. Indeed, Bud, shown here in 1943, was a bomber pilot for the Eighth Air Force, whose perilous missions were flown over Nazi…