Although I started my own company, Blue Finch Books, just recently, I have been providing freelance editorial services to trade, museum, and academic publishers as a side business since 1992.
“I’m in a business where people come to me with troubles. Big troubles, little troubles, but always troubles they don’t want to take to the cops.” That’s Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, succinctly setting out our image of the private eye. A no-nonsense loner, working on the margins of society, working in the darkness to shine a little light. The reality is a little different—but no less fas... read more
“In our imaginations, war is the name we give to the extremes of violence in our lives, the dark dividing opposite of the connecting myth, which we call love. War enacts the great antagonisms of history, the agonies of nations; but it also offers metaphors for those other antagonisms, the private battles of our private lives, our conflicts with one another and with the world, and with ourselve... read more
Whereas twelfth-century pilgrims flocked to the church of St-Lazare in Autun to visit the relics of its patron saint, present-day pilgrims journey there to admire its superb sculpture, said to have been created by the artist Gislebertus whose name is inscribed above one of the church doors. These two cults, of sculptor and of saint, form points of departure and arrival for Linda Seidel's study... read more
Technologies may change, but the need for clear and accurate communication never goes out of style. That is why for more than one hundred years The Chicago Manual of Style has remained the definitive guide for anyone who works with words. In the seven years since the previous edition debuted, we have seen an extraordinary evolution in the way we create and share knowledge. This seventeenth edi... read more
Ask a scientist about Hollywood, and you’ll probably get eye rolls. But ask someone in Hollywood about science, and they’ll see dollar signs: moviemakers know that science can be the source of great stories, with all the drama and action that blockbusters require. That’s a huge mistake, says Randy Olson: Hollywood has a lot to teach scientists about how to tell a story—and, ultimately, how to ... read more
Provence today is a state of mind as much as a region of France, promising clear skies and bright sun, gentle breezes scented with lavender and wild herbs, scenery alternately bold and intricate, and delicious foods served alongside heady wines. Yet in the mid-twentieth century, a travel guide called the region a “mostly dry, scrubby, rocky, arid land.” How, then, did Provence become a land of... read more
At first glance, evangelical and Gotham seem like an odd pair. What does a movement of pious converts and reformers have to do with a city notoriously full of temptation and sin? More than you might think, says Kyle B. Roberts, who argues that religion must be considered alongside immigration, commerce, and real estate scarcity as one of the forces that shaped the New York City we know today. ... read more
“There is not a single American awake to the world who is comfortable with the way things are.” So begins Lawrence Lessig's sweeping indictment of contemporary American institutions and the corruption that besets them. We can all see it—from the selling of Congress to special interests to the corporate capture of the academy. Something is wrong. It’s getting worse. And it’s our fault. What Les... read more
“We could have been called a lot of things: brazen vandals, scared kids, threats to social order, self-obsessed egomaniacs, marginalized youth, outsider artists, trend setters, and thrill seekers. But, to me, we were just regular kids growing up hard in America and making the city our own. Being ‘writers’ gave us something to live for and ‘going all city’ gave us something to strive for; and f... read more
Who Wrote the Book of Love? is acclaimed novelist Lee Siegel's comedic chronicle of the sexual life of an American boy in Southern California in the 1950s. Starting at the beginning of the decade, in the year that Stalin announced that the Soviet Union had developed an atomic bomb, the book opens with a child's first memory of himself. Closing at the end of the decade, when Pat Boone's guide t... read more
Love in a Dead Language is a love story, a translation of an Indian sex manual, an erotic farce, and a murder mystery rolled into one. Enticing the reader to follow both victims and celebrants of romantic love on their hypertextual voyage of folly and lust-through movie posters, upside-down pages, the Kamasutra: Game of Love board game, and even a proposed CD-ROM, Love in a Dead Language expos... read more
Did you know that for every human on earth, there are about one million ants? They are among the longest-lived insects—with some ant queens passing the thirty-year mark—as well as some of the strongest. Fans of both the city and countryside alike, ants decompose dead wood, turn over soil (in some places more than earthworms), and even help plant forests by distributing seeds. But while fewer t... read more
This engaging volume describes the creation and restoration of the extraordinary large-scale drawing The Temptation of Saint Anthony—a work by late 19th-century Belgian artist James Ensor (1860–1949)—on the occasion of its first public showing in more than 60 years. The piece is composed of 51 separate sheets of paper collaged into a hallucinatory social critique and artist’s manifesto. Each s... read more
There’s nothing quite like a relationship with an aged pet—a dog or cat who has been at our side for years, forming an ineffable bond. Pampered pets, however, are a rarity among animals who have been domesticated. Farm animals, for example, are usually slaughtered before their first birthday. We never stop to think about it, but the typical images we see of cows, chickens, pigs, and the like a... read more
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