Back in May, announcements of museum exhibitions celebrating the work of Leonardo da Vinci began to appear in the various places where I hang out online, triggered by the 500th anniversary of his death.(1) They made me wonder what else of note happened in 1519.(2) It turned out that quite a lot was going on.…

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In 2011, I became a reviewer for Shelf Awareness for Readers: an on-line bookish newsletter that comes out on Tuesdays and Fridays.(1) It was a wonderful experience. I reviewed Big Fat History Books, quirky little reference books, and an occasional cookbook. (2) In April, 2017, I resigned. It just about broke my heart, but I…

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The first thing that struck me about the Alamo when I visited it with My Own True Love back in October* was how small it is.** It casts a historical shadow disproportionate to its size. The Alamo is billed as “the shrine of Texas liberty”. Consequently, I expected a monument to the famous last stand…

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