The Polyglot Archipelago

Seven islands form the area now called Mumbai (Bombay until 1995). Marathi, Hindi, and English are just a few of the languages spoken there, including Bambaiva, a blend of Gujarati, Konkani, Urdu, Indian English, and more. Its home to 18.5 million, India’s most populous city. Rudyard Kipling, Salman Rushdie, and Fareed Zakaria all were born … Continue reading The Polyglot Archipelago

Halloween Specials

Trust me, this is way better than the animated version of David S Pumpkins. Does Tom Hanks really get to get away with that? Podcasts return to BenEastBooks! First up, Mohan reading The Spider and the Fly, a spooky birthday gift from his aunt. Next up, Vikram reads Poe's unsettling chiller, The Raven. Listen up! … Continue reading Halloween Specials

Gutman!

My sons are psyched Dan Gutman's coming to town! So am I. They used Barnes & Noble gift cards to pick up something for him to sign. The youngest snagged My Weird School Fast Facts: Space, Humans, and Farts. I can't wait to read it with him! The oldest went for Flashback Four #2: The … Continue reading Gutman!

The Mars Boycott

Halloween is here and I'm taking a stand. I will eat nothing wrapped in orange, brown, yellow, or gold. I declare Mars and the rest of Candy Corp America persona non grata in my home! Here's  why: The average child eats about 3 cups of sugar and 7,000 calories on Halloween. They'd have to walk approximately … Continue reading The Mars Boycott

Prophetic—

Patchworks is sadly a timely tale of national character and individual insight, juxtaposing individual lives and Second Amendment rights. One reads this engaging, often amusing, and ultimately disturbing account in light of an advancing history of public massacres involving firearms. WorldView Magazine's Peter Van Deekle reviews Patchworks at Peace Corps Worldwide. Excerpts: B.A. East brings … Continue reading Prophetic—

The Old Man. The Sea.

Last spring we visited Key West. Of course we toured the Hemingway home. That was Vikram’s 9th birthday week. Being a natural reader, he couldn’t leave the premises without a book. What to buy? The novels and stories that introduced me to Hemingway --- A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, the Nick Adams … Continue reading The Old Man. The Sea.

Remarks at Indie Author Day

My new novel is the quintessential Washington, DC book. At the climax to Patchworks, hundreds of federal workers stream from their offices, urged on by the sound of a screaming alarm. They gather on a grassy knoll near the National Mall, some of them leaning on one another, some of them sobbing, others in stony, … Continue reading Remarks at Indie Author Day

The First Freedom

If standing is obligatory, it is also meaningless. As a form of non-violent expression, taking a knee during the National Anthem epitomizes a fundamental principle in every fiber of the flag. Taking a knee honors, rather than dishonors, the Stars and Stripes. The First Amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, … Continue reading The First Freedom

Don’t Tread on Me

Yesterday several dozen white supremacists made national headlines for gathering in Charlottesville around the statue of secessionist leader Robert E. Lee. Local television footage shows the group chanting, among other things: Russia is our friend. Not a peep from the White House. The next day, professional football players took a knee during the National Anthem … Continue reading Don’t Tread on Me

Guns Don’t Kill People…

The comments section of any article about sensible gun regulation reveals the infant-like imaginary world of the pro-gun argument. The most common, perhaps, is that 'Guns don't kill people. People kill people.' But when was the last time you saw a murderer swing a People against a group of people, killing them? Should we also … Continue reading Guns Don’t Kill People…