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Todd Stockslager (TStocksl)
posted "Google is for this" about Life's imponderables: The answers to civilization's most perplexing questions.   Saturday
Google is for this
Other than the fact that I review every book I read, I might have skipped writing a review of this omnibus collection of "Imponderables.". B
posted "Adventure stories with a serious bite" about Death dance: True life and death adventures from Alaska to Africa.   July 13
Adventure stories with a serious bite
Nolan is a wildlife biologist, filmmaker, guide, and adventure junkie who has worked for years in Alaska and Africa.  Along the way he has writte
posted "You can go home again--but it might not be a good idea" about Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.   July 09
You can go home again--but it might not
You know how in a Dickens novel pretty much every thing works out happily in the end?  Yeah, that doesn't happen here.  Hardy followed u
posted "Not much masquerading as something" about Beatles vs. Stones.   June 28
Not much masquerading as something
The title might suck you in like it did me in this intertwined thumbnail parallel sketch of the careers of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  A
posted "The uninevitable" about 1913: In search of the world before the Great War.   June 24
The uninevitable
Cataclysmic events like the Great War cause us to see the history of the time immediately preceding only in the light of the events that followed.  Th
posted "What's in a name? Thomas Hardy's Dickens gone Wilde" about The Hand of Ethelberta.   June 19
What's in a name? Thomas Hardy's Dickens
Hardy tries his hand at a "comedy in chapters" in this outting.  It actually sold better in serial form than Far from the Madding Crowd
posted "Worlds apart: Christianity divided to conquer the world" about Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.   June 14
Worlds apart: Christianity divided to co
MacCulloch's massive one volume history of the religion based on the man and the mission of Jesus Christ is imaginative, insightful, and mostly ma
posted "Music history allegro" about The story of music: from Babylon to the Beatles: How music has shaped civilization.   May 08
Music history allegro
Goodall spans the entire history of music (including why musical notations like allegro are in Italian) in just over 300 small format pages.   Th
posted "Pay it backward" about 11/22/63: A Novel.   May 03
Pay it backward
I haven't read many of this hyper selling author's books and not for quite a while (I remember reading Christine when it was a new book decade
posted "Progressing maturity yields Hardy's first classic" about Far from the Madding Crowd (book).   April 27
Progressing maturity yields Hardy's firs
Not with any other author, even the inimitable Dickens, have I ever seen the linear progression in maturity and strength of writing as in Thomas Hardy
posted "Hardy opens the door to his future fame" about A Pair of Blue Eyes.   April 16
Hardy opens the door to his future fame
The third book published in his slowly accelerating career brings Hardy to. the style and moral principles that will finally bring him fame and acclai
posted "The classic Mark Twain never wrote" about Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1.   April 07
The classic Mark Twain never wrote
If you search any book buying site you will find editions of Mark Twain s autobiography.   You will also learn that Mark Twain's will ca
posted "Ley of the land" about The Skin map.   March 31
Ley of the land
Lawhead has made a career writing series of books updating and reinterpreting legends that may have some roots in the early mists of history, most not
posted "North and South in Western PA" about Civil War Pittsburgh: Forge of the Union.   March 22
North and South in Western PA
Pittsburgh may have been far from the battlefields of the Civil War but from its position guarding the Ohio River gateway to the South and West it sup
posted "Renaissance born, Reformation raised" about Heretics and heroes: How Renaissance artists and Reformation priests created our world.   March 18
Renaissance born, Reformation raised
Cahill has been guiding us through what he calls the "Hinges of History", describing the major threads and the decisive turning points in cu
posted "Little white ball, big Red game" about Ping Pong diplomacy: The Secret history behind the game that changed the world.   March 09
Little white ball, big Red game
If you have a chance to go to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH, be sure to stop by the museum there, and take special notice of the displ
posted "Pop-up book" about Fizz: How soda shook up the world.   March 03
Pop-up book
This is a fast paced trace of carbonated soda pop beverages from their historical roots in mineral waters, ginger beers, and patent medicine concoctio
posted "Candyland" about Candy: A century of panic and pleasure.   March 01
Candy might be empty calories but Kawash has written a satisfying study of the intersection of the history, nutrition, sociology, marketing, and even
posted "The music of sound" about Let me clear my throat.   February 24
The music of sound
I picked this up based on the title of one of the essays in this collection called "Double Joy: Myron Cope and the Pittsburgh Sound." 
posted "A story about nothing" about Under the Greenwood Tree.   February 22
A story about nothing
The concept and the execution of Seinfeld, the TV show about nothing, applies to Hardy's second novel as well.  Though nothing much happens,
posted "Chess piece sensation novel" about Desperate remedies.   February 15
Chess piece sensation novel
Hardy became known for the depth and nuance of his morality plays but in his debut the moral landscape is simpler and clearer in its shading of black
posted "Larger than life" about The Life of Charles Dickens: The Illustrated Edition.   February 06
Larger than life
But maybe not larger than this book.  The title of my review is the tag line on the back cover of this one volume 500-page abridged edition on ov
posted "No retreat, full surrender" about Not a fan: Becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus.   January 19
No retreat, full surrender
Kyle Idleman is a pastor at a very large church in Kentucky.  I am always suspicious of churches of this size, expecting that they must be soften
posted "Discursing aplenty" about Alarms and discursions.   January 16
Discursing aplenty
When Chesterton starts off this collection of newspaper essays with the claim and reason why he wanted to start the title to this book with the even-t
posted "The irrepressible optimist meets the unstoppable force" about Jim Henson: The biography.   January 14
The irrepressible optimist meets the uns
Jim Henson, in Jones's biography, is an incurable optimist.  He loves his work, enjoys his coworkers (says long-term Muppeteer partner and fr
posted "Baby it's cold outside" about Frozen in time: An epic story of survival and a modern quest for lost heroes of World War II.   January 09
Baby it's cold outside
So this might be one of my least favorite holiday songs (the combination of desperate male, sultry female, and Christmas just doesn't work for me)
posted "Expunging the ghosts of his own addiction" about Headhunters on my doorstep: A True Treasure Island ghost story.   January 05
Expunging the ghosts of his own addictio
Troost has made a living (fragile as it may be based on his funny "hypothetical" aside about the writing/publishing process) writing short w
posted "The metal of the men with the mettle to become Americans" about The Men who united the states: America's explorers, inventors, eccentrics, and mavericks, and the creation of one nation, indivisible.   January 03
The metal of the men with the mettle to
Winchester, a native of England, married to the daughter of a citizen of Japan, became in 2013 a naturalized US citizen.  In his journey he has l
posted "Baseball sprung eternal" about Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball's Longest Game.   December 31, 2013
Baseball sprung eternal
On the Saturday and Sunday of Easter 1981 the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings played the longest professional baseball game ever. 
posted "The decline and fall of the Modern outlaw" about Dead run:The murder of a lawman and the greatest manhunt of the modern American West.   December 26, 2013
The decline and fall of the Modern outla
Schultz tells an intriguing tale of three loners who leaped and lost.  But what were they reaching for?    A police officer in a small
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