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In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an
Larson again brings his special talent for writing an historical account that reads like a novel. Bill Dodd, historian was picked by FDR to fill a position that nobody wanted. That is, become the US ambassador …
reviewed Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption .... June 03, 2011
Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball's Longest Game
Baseball is unique among professional sports simply because infinity is built into the rules - not only teasing us with the remote possibility of endlessness but suspending time for those who play, and …
reviewed How To Survive The Titanic or The Sin.... October 12, 2011
How To Survive The Titanic or The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay
In the Congressional investigation that was conducted in New York City just days after the tragic sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 J. Bruce Ismay claimed that he was nothing more than a passenger …
reviewed Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely .... December 20, 2011
Poor Richard's Lament: A Most Timely Tale
Fitzgerald's interesting experiment in genre bending alternative history, "Christmas Carol" other-worldly visitations, and "It’s a Wonderful Life" second chances is alternately …
Recently I read and reviewed the pre-publication Poor Richard's Lament, a fantasy-fiction account of Founding Father Ben's eternal accounting for his misdeeds in heavenly court; I rated the book …
Fads, Follies and Delusions of the American People: A Pictorial Story of Madnesses, Crazes and Crowd Phenomena
This is another of my bag-o'-books book-sale pickups.  Yes, it is hopelessly dated, so one of my reasons for buying and reading this book is to consider how fads and other crowd phenomena were …
Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN
Bestselling oral history of the ESPN corporate family of sports programming (covering every delivery channel imaginable from dozens of cable channels to the internet) will be of interest to every fan …
Bob Dylan is the greatest musician in popular music (I'm a huge fan, as you may know from my reviews of his music and books about him, and by my frequent references to his lyrics in other book reviews).   …
reviewed The Woman in Black (2012 film). February 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Woman in Black
There is some hype surrounding director James Watkins’ film “The Woman in Black”. For one thing, Watkins has been known for the sleeper horror hit “Eden Lake”, this film …
reviewed The Birth of Britain (History of the .... February 08, 2012
The Birth of Britain (History of the English
A false dialectic between great men and great events is often forced upon historians by those who want to ascribe or deny the power of free will and fate in the lives of men.  Churchill, assuredly …
reviewed The Woman in Black (2012 film). February 09, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Woman in Black
From the first frame of this movie, you know bad things will happen.  Everything on the screen, soundtrack, and dialogue is so dark and full of foreboding sounds and dark colors that it almost felt …
reviewed The New World. February 13, 2012
The New World
In Volume Two of Churchill's classic, the weight of historical documentation starts to tell on the ability of a narrative history like this to encompass its scope, such that even with a much narrowed …
reviewed The Woman in Black (2012 film). February 13, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Woman in Black
*** out of ****    There's a fascinating scene in "The Woman in Black" where an eye scans a condensed room through a peephole in the door that conceals all that lies within it. The …
reviewed The Great Democracies (The History of.... February 21, 2012
The Great Democracies (The History of the English
In the final volume, Churchill brings his history up to the opening of the 20th Century (for an interesting extension of Churchill's outline to the end of the century, read Andrew Roberts fine effort   …
reviewed Churchill. February 26, 2012
Like his near contemporary Teddy Roosevelt (the reasons for the concurrence might make an interesting historical comparision) the scope of Churchill's interests, output, and impact on the world's …
reviewed The Invention of Hugo Cabret. March 03, 2012
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
. . . .which perhaps makes perfect sense for a book about one of the directors who created the history of movies and a movie by a director who has made history with his movies.  Scorsese's Hugo …
reviewed Ned Kelly: (movie tie-in). March 09, 2012
Ned Kelly: (movie tie-in)
Ned Kelly, in the book (I haven't seen the movie with Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom) comes across as the lovable smart-ass, but with a sharp edge.  In a first-person inner monologue, Drewe tells …
reviewed "Wrecking Ball" by Bruce Springsteen. March 18, 2012
posted in Music Matters
That is the key line from "Jack of All Trades" the song that I immediately went back to for a second listen after going straight the album in track order.      Bruce also …
Gold!: The Fever that Forever Changed Australia
Australia experienced gold rushes in the second half of the 19th century following and paralleling the California gold rush of 1849.  In fact, the first big gold discovery was by an Australian who …
reviewed Capricornia. April 01, 2012
I bought this book cold while I was working in Melbourne, Australia, and found I had picked up a classic.   The introduction references Herbert as Australia's Charles Dickens, and the comparison …
reviewed Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob D.... April 05, 2012
posted in Music Matters
Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan
I finally got a copy of this homage to Dylan, on the occasion of Amnesty International's anniversary, and as probably the biggest Dylan fan on this or most posts you had to know I was going to come …
reviewed The Girl Who Played With Fire (book). April 07, 2012
The Girl Who Played With Fire (book)
   Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland      I was a bit disappointed with how Dragon Tattoo ended.  It took a long time to wrap the Wennerstrom story, and it …
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland      Kicking a hornet's nest is not a recommended approach to dealing with life's problems, but Lisbeth Salandar is no ordinary girl …
Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide
   I never like those "Men are from . . . . Women are from . . . . " formulations because they are usually trite and forced, and Dowd would agree.  She is from everywhere in this …
How To Survive The Titanic or The Sinking of J. Bruce Ismay
On the 100th anniversary of the Titanic (the ship's name a shorthand for both the event and its importance) is a poignant story that unlike so many about the ship is fresh and powerful in its impact.  …
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