Front Page

Book Review of A Practical Guide to Conquering the World

K. J. Parker’s standalone sequel to Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (2019) and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It (2020) is the “true” history of Aemilius Felix Boioannes the younger, a skilled translator who accidentally-sort-of-on-purpose topples an empire and sparks a new religion.

Book Review of The Hatmakers

In eighteenth-century London, Cordelia Hatmaker (11) is the youngest Hatmaker of Hatmaker House. Her millinery family has been crafting magical headgear since Henry VIII established six Makers of the Royal Garb: Hatmakers, Cloakmakers, Glovemakers, Watchmakers, Bootmakers, and Canemakers. Now, it’s the Hatmakers honor to Make a Concentration Hat for Mad King George.

The “It’s Just a Movie” Mistake

I used to think everyone was wooed by the characters and qualities they admired onscreen. Turns out, many aren’t even aware of the ways movies subtly impress upon us visions of character, virtue, and vice.

Road-Tripping Update

Happy November 1st! I hope you remembered to “fall back” before crashing on Halloween. I hope you’re using the extra hour to sleep off your candy coma. I hope you don’t wake up to find the last Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup in your hair, ‘cause let’s face it: that would be almost as good as finding $20 in a pair of old jeans.

I meant to write this last Sunday, but I was doing my own crashing in a hotel room in San Antonio. Since then, it occurred to me that I published my first announcement about The Scribbler at the new time—9:00 a.m.—instead of at noon like you’re used to. There’s also a possibility that traffic isn’t being properly redirected from to I’ll be posting several of these asides to make sure that we’re still on the same webpage, but please bear in mind that unprotected Wi-Fi networks are currently limiting me to the WordPress mobile app.

I’m about to leave the cheapest hotel I could find off the I-10 in Jacksonville, Florida (of all places) to begin my northward journey on the I-95. When I left California eleven days ago, I wasn’t sure how far my travels (and Adrienne) would take me, but I’m now determined to make it all the way to Canada (wink).

Today, I’ll be stopping in Savannah, Georgia on my way to Charleston, South Carolina, where I’ve booked a private bed/en suite bath at my first hostel. The staff is working remotely because of COVID-19 and my card was charged from somewhere in Ireland, so I’m a bit nervous. Let’s hope it’s as charming as it looked online!

You can also follow my travel adventure(s) on Instagram and learn more about my road trip here.


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.