« March, 2011 »
I picked this up at a used bookstore and it’s the best 3 dollars I’ve spent in a long time. It’s film noir, on paper, as the author really captures the feel of the times in this hardboiled crime fiction set in NYC in the months leading up to opening day, 1947, with Jackie Robinson playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It’s a good story that moves along quickly, and would make one hell of a good movie. ESPN, are you listening?
read: 22 March 2011
This book can be neatly divided into two halves. The first half, encompassing the author’s career from his start in the USAF in the late 50s, through Reagan’s election in 1980, is a fascinating account of cold war history that reads like a Tom Clancy novel. Once Reagan is elected, and the author becomes Secretary of USAF, it becomes too autobiographical and loses objectivity. He spends 4 chapters cheer leading Reagan’s accomplishments, and devotes about two sentences to Iran Contra, which he seemed to blame on Nancy. There is a lot of fascinating history in this book, and the I do share the author’s admiration for the men and women on the ground who never screwed up and pushed us over the brink into WWIII. One thing you will get from this book is a sense of just how lucky we are to have made it through the cold war without a civilization ending accident.
read: 17 March 2011
Ken Jennings is much, much funnier than you would expect. The book is 50% stories from Jeopardy, and 50% tour of trivia culture in the US. But it is 100% funny.
read: 12 March 2011
1070 pages, yet it felt like a quick read. In fact, I read it in about a week. The basic plot - an invisible force field cuts a small New England town off from the world. Imagine living in a snow globe. How would you react? How would other react? At one point about half-way through the book I almost quit. It was so dark, and so depressing, the evil in men’s hearts so domineering, that I really didn’t want to read anymore about it. Luckily, that is the point where good starts to make its presence known. This is not scary in the Salem’s Lot or Pet Cemetery sense. It’s scary because King has nailed human nature in this book, and it isn’t pretty.
read: 1 March 2011
The word unschooling is never used in this book, but trust me, this is a book about unschooling. The author’s 16 year old son is flunking out of high school. School just doesn’t work for him. So he makes a deal with the kid. He can drop out, but he has to watch 3 movies a week with dad. How much can you learn watching 3 movies a week? How much can you learn about somebody else by watching 3 movies a week with them? I think we all instinctively know the answer to those questions is “a lot.” The author is a professional movie critic. His insights into the movies, the movie selections themselves, and his conversations with his son, are all fascinating. This book is a fun, quick read. But that doesn’t mean that is doesn’t have a much bigger message. Content warning: The 16 year old in the book smokes, drinks, and fornicates with his girlfriends.. His father is aware of all of this. If that bothers you, don’t read the book.
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