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Murray Browne
Decatur, Georgia
Writer
Interests: Down & Outbound: A Mass Transit Satire (2016), The Book Shopper: A Life in Review (2009), Understanding Search Engines (1999),
Recent Activity
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Here's a short article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 20th written by Bill Banks about the City of Decatur where I live and walk the 10-15 minutes to the train station four days a week for the last 9 years. Though miffed by the sudden arrival of EScooters in... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Down & Outbound: The Hub
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Dear Blog Readers: The Book Shopper blog - now in its 10th year -- is in the process of changing how we maintain contact with our small but fiercely loyal group of readers. There are two reasons for the change: a.) Facebook has become tiresome for several reasons -- even... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2019 at The Book Shopper
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"The best way to absorb the contents of the book is to copy it manually." - Jorge Carrión Instead of focusing on the best books published in 2018, my tradition is to revisit the best books I read in 2018. To do this I pull out a year's worth of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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I have become obsessed* about scooters but in an unhealthy way -- like riding 15 mph on a motorized scooter without a helmet on a sidewalk strewn with wet leaves. I really dislike them. I've even written a joke about it: "The only thing that keeps me from clipping the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2018 at Down & Outbound: The Hub
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Despite not being in Jorge Carrión’s list of notable bookshops (see previous posting), Portland, Oregon or should I say Powell’s Books is known unto itself as the City of Books. While making our second visit to Portland, we decided ahead of time that we would at least try to go... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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I recently finished reading Jorge Carrión's Bookshops: A Reader's History (2016), a browser's voyage of bookshops from around the world. The voyage includes a passage through time since some of the bookshops cease to exist except in the author's memory. I am not much of a world traveler, but I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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For me, World War I isn’t an event remembered once a century, it was something I grew up with since both of my grandfathers fought in The Great War. Captain Glenn R. Browne was in the 35th Division over in France and my mother’s father Sergeant Harry D. (Pete) Burtis,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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The most noticeable outlier of my Books Read in 2018 list, which is viewable on the blog’s home page, is Brian Christian and Tom Griffith’s Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions (2016). This book also caught my attention in the June/July Believer issue (see previous posting... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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The Book Shopper Backlog The last couple months I have seen the backlog of my unpublished postings really pile up. But my alibis are in order: 1.) The Cubs were in the race for the NL pennant again. This was the fourth year that the team has been relevant in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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The other day I was reading this article from the September 20th edition of The Economist while riding a crowded MARTA train: And that's not all -- then there is the loss of poultry and pigs: You could buy a lot of greenhouse gas-reducing public transportation for that kind of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2018 at Down & Outbound: The Hub
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This seat-less bike has been chained to a Midtown Atlanta street sign for a couple of weeks. Long enough to wonder if someone is making some kind of "artistic" statement. Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2018 at Down & Outbound: The Hub
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The Georgia Book and Paper Fair is a few blocks away from the Decatur Book Festival, which is currently being held on Saturday, September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd. The event is located at Decatur's Ebster Recreation Center, which is air-conditioned and a welcome relief from the heat and humidity... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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Denise and I recently returned from a 10 day swing through the National Parks of Bryce, Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon (North Rim) and Zion. In addition to the amazing scenery, hikes, raft trips, jeep rides and afternoon gin-'n-tonics, we did do some book reading and book shopping. Our audio book... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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When I have to share the already narrow, crumbling sidewalks of Midtown Atlanta with speeding, silent scooters, ridden by well balanced, carefree, young people, I will I admit I have evil thoughts about vandalizing the offending vehicles. And I am not only one, as reported in the August 18, 2018... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2018 at Down & Outbound: The Hub
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One of my many excuses for not posting in a couple of months is that I had been writing a longer piece for Tropics of Meta, which describes itself as Historiography for the Masses. This political and thought provoking website examines popular culture and current events through an historical lens.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the famous photographer Walker Evans took black and white photographs of riders on the New York City subway. The book Many Are Called includes 89 of these photographs with an introductory essay by James Agee. It was not published until 1966 because Evans... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2018 at Down & Outbound: The Hub
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The recent deaths of writers Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth provided me the opportunity to revisit more than just their books and novels, but gave me license to re-examine what I had written about them in The Book Shopper: A Life in Review (2009), this blog's namesake. Rather than force... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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Last year I started reading challenging books to grandson Myrick and now I have a granddaughter Zoey who likes to be read to as well. Here I am sharing David Halberstam's The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (2007). Halberstam devotes several background chapters to General Douglas MacArthur the... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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Apparently readers around my adopted Little Library are starved for decent books to read because two days after restocking the library with these offerings, the shelves were empty again. Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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In a posting from October, 2016 I featured one of the quaint, small libraries in a city park near my house that had fallen in disrepair and suffered from a dearth of books. It's only offering was pro football coach Pete Carroll's treatise on coaching and winning. (Why does it... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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March 30th, 2018 was the first anniversary of the I-85 bridge burn and collapse here in Atlanta. We all remember where we were when we saw the black plumes belching over the late afternoon skyline. As I was taking a MARTA train from downtown Atlanta to my home Decatur, I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Down & Outbound: The Hub
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One of the ways I have managed to keep the baseball flames lit in the off season is by revisiting Neal and Constance McCabe's Baseball's Golden Age: The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon (1993). I took it off my baseball book shelf after a recent visit to the Joe Jackson... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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This is a shout out to that tattered paperback --- a yellowed time capsule that continues to be in circulation while withstanding the onslaught of E-books and the proliferation of audio books. Unlike more modern fanfare, these evocative paperbacks can bring back memories of our reading youth, do they not?... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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You can cross The Shoeless Joe Jackson Baseball Museum in Greenville, South Carolina off my Let's-Not-Set-the-Bar-Too-High Bucket List. (I think people put a lot of pressure on themselves with exotic Bucket Lists, which can shorten their lives...) Located in Jackson's actual home near the minor league stadium, Fluor Field, the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2018 at The Book Shopper
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In this scene from movie "The Darkest Hour" Winston Churchill, played by Gary Oldman, queries riders on the London Underground whether Great Britain should sue for peace or fight the Nazis on the beaches, the landing zones, fields and streets etc. It was the emotional zenith of the movie, but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Down & Outbound: The Hub