Archives For Manhattan


The Wake Up CallThe Wake Up Call –
20 December 2012


Like the smell of strong coffee wafting down the hall, we offer a few book-related thoughts and stories to jumpstart your day…


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Books make great last-minute Christmas gifts…
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Poem of the Day: “In Whom We Live and Move and Have our Being” – Denise Levertov, who died on this day 1997
*** Books by/about Denise Levertov


“We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.”  – John Steinbeck, who died on this day 1968
*** Books by John Steinbeck


Happy 55th Birthday to Singer/ Song-writer Billy Bragg!
Listen to his rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “Christ for President” recorded with Wilco…
*** Albums by Billy Bragg


Book News:

Thanks be to God for this new day, may it be full of beauty and grace!

The Wake Up Call image via WikiMedia Commons


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“Manhattan, The City that Never Dies”

A Brief Review of

Zone One: A Novel
by Colson Whitehead
Hardback:  Doubleday, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Chris Enstad

Zombie fiction has been experiencing something of a, ahem, rebirth in the last few years… if it was ever really dead at all.  From the monster movies of the 50’s to the Sam Raimi classic of 1981, Evil Dead, to the Woody Harrelson film Zombieland to the recent bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or the latest runaway AMC TV show The Walking Dead there is just something about zombies that seems to resonate in our blood.

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“A Conversation With the History of a Place”

A Review of
A Natural History of New York City.
Eric Sanderson.

Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.

A Natural History of New York City.
Eric Sanderson.
Hardback: Abrams, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

My observations and conclusions thus far sum up to this: In our American cities, we need all kinds of diversity, intricately mingled in mutual support. We need this so city life can work decently and constructively, and so the people of cities can sustain (and further develop) their society and civilization.
— Jane Jacobs,  Death and Life of Great American Cities, 137

Mannahatta - Eric SandersonJane Jacobs’ Manhattan in the 1960s was already a megalopolis with approximately the 1.6 million people that live there today. The marks of a healthy city community she identified – such as density, diversified uses of spaces, and neighborhoods –   turn out to be equally useful when describing natural ecologies, namely the pre-colonial island of Mannahatta, home to at least fifty-five distinct “ecological communities” of old-growth forests, salt marshes, swamps and the like, several hundred plant and animal species, and a human population of between two- and six-hundred people, the Lenape. The monumental task of assembling a vision of Manhattan as Henry Hudson and company would have first seen it on September 12, 1609 has been the task of Eric Sanderson, a landscape ecologist based out of the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo. Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City is the resulting book chronicling years of research and map-making, and filled out with extensive illustrations of the verdant green of Mannahatta (that’s right) by Markley Boyer, which are a striking contrast when acting as diptychs with bird’s-eye photographs of present-day Manhattan.

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