• Book Corner

    The Turning Point—All the Truth is Out by Matt Bai »

    If the world of national politics can be said to occasionally resemble epic tragedy, then Gary Hart might be its Hamlet. Matt Bai, a former correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, has written a blow-by-blow account of Hart’s meteoric fall from grace, an event that not only ended one of the most promising public […]

    Judging a Book By The Cover »

    Do not judge a book by the cover. You have all heard this. Maybe even said it. I know I have. And yet…I did just that. I was browsing books from Summer 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List (a list of Independent Booksellers recommendations. Comes in Adult flavors too. You can pick up a copy in […]

    A Return to the Earth—Some Luck by Jane Smiley »

    Jane Smiley writes, in an enthusiastic preface to her new novel, Some Luck, that it is the first volume in a trilogy that chronicles the century-spanning history of an American family. Each chapter advances the story by a single year, often focusing upon a different member of the rapidly expanding Langdon clan. Beginning in 1920, […]

    Reading, Writing and History »

    I have always enjoyed reading and history. Therefore, combining the two has always been an obvious choice.  When I recently found some amazing gems that combine history and good reading in wonderful combinations. First we go to 1848 and The Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George. Here we meet a young Eskimo boy, Toozak. And […]

    The Terrible Eventuality – Lila, Marilynne Robinson »

    There comes, in every reader’s life, a sobering moment that is inevitable as death and taxes: A favorite author stumbles. Accordion Crimes did, after all, directly follow The Shipping News, even if we had just as soon just forgive and forget. Of course, it is completely unreasonable to assume that it won’t happen eventually to […]

    The Pilfered Painting—The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt »

    This review is going to be short and sweet. The book that is its subject is neither. That isn’t meant to be a criticism, even if I came away from The Goldfinch thinking it could have benefited somewhat from a touch of both. The final verdict was rendered in the case of Donna Tartt’s novel […]

    Call me Duke—John Wayne – The Life and Legend »

    I remember reading an article about Marilyn Monroe a while ago. After returning from a walk around the block of her Manhattan apartment with a friend, she noticed a group of photographers gathered around the entrance to the building. Monroe turned to her companion and said, “Want to see me be her?” In some ways, […]

    The Master of Congruity – Dying Every Day, Seneca at the Court of Nero »

    “There is much we should approve in him, much that we should even admire. Only take care in making your choice.” — Quintillian, reflecting upon Seneca’s legacy, circa 90 AD The downside of power in Rome during the first century is examined in vivid detail in James Romm’s Dying Every Day. Before reading it, the […]

    Fourth of July Creek—A World Closing In »

    There is an urgency about Fourth of July Creek that makes it very difficult to set aside. That is a very impressive accomplishment for a first novel. Smith Henderson’s new book is also rich in atmosphere, having a majestic and largely unspoiled area of the country to draw from, and it is filled with characters […]

    Blood Trails—Jack the Ripper, Forgotten Victims »

    In the 126 years that have passed since that dark autumn in London, one question has remained paramount. Who was the person called Jack the Ripper? But, there is another question that is just as vital to the complete story: How many victims did the killer ultimately claim? Did the terror really begin on the […]

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