Terry Cannon: The Great Enthusiast

By John Schulian The Stacks Reader August 4, 2020 By its name alone, the Baseball Reliquary was unique, for who besides those taught by knuckle-rapping nuns knew what a reliquary was? (Answer: a receptacle for storing religious artifacts.) Right there you have your...

A Hollow Venue

By Steve Oney New York July 29, 1996 The most telling news to come out of Atlanta during the days leading up to the opening ceremonies of the centennial Olympic Games had nothing to do with the erection of a 165-foot-tall statue of a Coca-Cola bottle—in a city of...

First Aid to Inebriates

By Helen Lawrenson From The Hussy’s Handbook 1944 One summer night, when I was visiting an uncle and aunt of mine, we were all sitting in the house, talking and listening to the violent rain storm outside. It was very late, and we were about ready to go to bed, when...

Boy, 8

By Marilyn Johnson Life June 1, 1992 I didn’t want to be part of anything when I was a teenager, especially my family. There were seven of us, and they pressed in on me. So I buried my head in books. My reading irritated my parents; books were a narcotic I used right...

On Revision

By Nora Ephron From Nora Ephron Collected November, 1986 I have been asked to write something for a textbook that is meant to teach college students something about writing and revision. I am happy to do this because I believe in revision. I have also been asked to...

Helen—An Introduction

By Nora Ephron from The Attentive Eve May 2002 The first time I heard about Helen Dudar, I was working at Newsweek magazine as a fact-checker in the National Affairs department. A new writer named Peter Goldman had just arrived at the magazine from St. Louis, and he...

To The Beat

By Will Blythe The New York Times July 8, 2010 If you’re like me, you tend to regard plot summaries as a necessary boredom at best. They’re the flyover country between a reviewer’s landing strips of judgment, revealing almost nothing about the way a book actually...

I Was a Champion

By Floyd Patterson The American Weekly May 15, 1960 (as told to W.C. Heinz) For almost a whole year I’ve seen it day and night, maybe a thousand times. Me and Ingemar Johansson boxing and Johansson sticking out that left jab and me ducking under it, and then I’m down...

R.I.P. The Best American Sports Writing

By Kevin Koczwara The Stacks Reader February 2, 2020 The calm and quiet of upstate Vermont—past Burlington and Winooski, almost to the border of sleepy Canada, but before Montreal—is where Glenn Stout calls home. The world stops there. Or so it seems. The pace of life...

Adagio, ma non tropp

By Lewis H. Lapham Harper’s August 1995 “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening...

… The Joy of Boredom …

By Helen Dudar Newsweek May 1, 1978 I am a connoisseur of the boring, a secret indulgence that, over the years, has proved to be more sustaining than praise and less fattening than chocolate. If I choose to go public now, it is out of a sincere feeling that boredom is...

The Insanity Bit

By Seymour Krim From Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer, 1961  Until this time of complete blast-off in seemingly every department of human life, the idea of insanity was thought of as the most dreadful thing that could happen to a person. Little was actually known...