Ancient Rome is important, Mary Beard tells us at the start of "SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome," her smart and exuberant survey of the first millennium of Roman history. "Rome still helps us to define the way we understand our world and think about ourselves, from high theory to low comedy.…

Sometimes you read a book at the wrong time. That was the case for me with Charles Portis' 1968 novel "True Grit," which I first picked up in the early 1970s, after seeing the film with John Wayne. Back then, I had no idea what Portis was doing; I read the book as if it were in the vein of, …

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!