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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 …
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 …
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 with the Dragon Tattoo. April 04, 2012
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millenium
Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland      I was late coming to the massively popular and critically-acclaimed novel (now a Major Hollywood Movie), and while I was thoroughly …
reviewed Capricornia. April 01, 2012
Capricornia
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 …
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 …
I have two pieces of advice for most first novelists:      1).  You needn't say everything this time.  Save some for your second time out.  I can understand the …
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 …
Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the
But maybe I'm the one who would be surprised by the absence of reason in the world around me.  Seems like simple logic would tell people that funeral directors are often greedy predators, that …
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 The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg. March 09, 2012
The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg
Of all the subtexts of the Civil War, the involvement of wealthy sons of New England is one of minor but enduring interest.  The granite Calvinist abolitionism and noblesse oblige that their privileged …
The Love Pirate and the Bandit's Son: Murder, Sin, and Scandal in the Shadow of Jesse James
This is a true crime story that has a bit of a bite, a bit of a misdirected premise, and a lot of oversell of a story that could have stood better on its own.        The bit of …
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 …
Iraq: An Illustrated History and Guide
I finished this book on that rarest of days that only happens once every four years, February 29, and I felt like I could easily have leaped over this one too.      And it isn't …
reviewed Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrou.... February 26, 2012
Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions
   Rhodes, most well-known for his histories of nuclear weaponry, writes this slim and eclectic volume about the actress turned inventor.        Actually, it turns out, …
reviewed Churchill. February 26, 2012
Churchill
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 Chambersburg: Frontier town, 1730-179.... February 25, 2012
Chambersburg: Frontier town, 1730-1794 (A
This is a joint review of a pair of books of local history about Chambersburg, PA, the seat of Franklin County in the south-central part of the state, where I was born and later returned and lived for …
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 The age of revolution (His A history .... February 18, 2012
The age of revolution (His A history of the
   A note about the structure of Churchill's four-volume history of the English speaking peoples: each volume is equally divided into three books (a total of 12 then for the set), each covering …
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 11/22/63: A Novel. February 13, 2012
11/22/63 a book by Stephen King
   While I end up liking most of the books that I read by Stephen King, he isn't an author that I salivate over when something new comes out. I'm not sure why, as I like the genre and …
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 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 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 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Woman in Black
In the early 1900s, young lawyer Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is sent to a remote village to go through the papers of a recently deceased old woman. He finds the villagers oddly hostile, yet sets …
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