The remaking of a learned writer

bookThe new year is a time when many people, dissatisfied with some condition of their lives, resolve to make changes. Often these attempted transformations involve shedding weight or unwanted habits like smoking or drinking. Depending on all sorts of variables — the will power of the individual, support given or denied, circumstances beyond our control — we either keep the resolution and make an adjustment to our style of living, or we fail in our attempts and fall flat on our faces.

Koch novel a hearty serving of words, plot

bookBack in 1981, a provocative film called “My Dinner With Andre” created quite a stir by reducing drama to the bare essentials. For more than two hours (an earlier version was three hours in length), two intelligent, gifted, but very different men (Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn) talked to each other. There were no exotic treks to other locations, no thunderous music scores, no speeding cars. 

Conroy’s memoir reveals much about his troubled upbringing

bookThe times in which we live may someday be celebrated for our advancements in medicine, technology and education, but surely some future historian will designate our voluble times as the Age of Revelation.

Santa and reindeer and drones… Oh my!

bookI was never a fan of drone missiles. Until now, I had always regarded drones as killing machines or mechanical spies. Their deployment by the military to eradicate enemies associated with terrorism does reduce our own casualties to zero, but during these same strikes drones too often murder innocent people, including women and children.

‘Green’ text more relevant today than ever

bookAlthough this book was published over a decade ago, A Fierce Green Fire has grown steadily in popularity and is currently receiving maximum exposure, both as a required text in environmental courses in universities and as a provocative film which is now available on the internet. Essentially, this is a “no holds barred” survey of our tragic history in what most authorities now call a “comprehensive account of how we “befouled our own nest” to the extent that it may be too late to save this planet.

Can you believe the gall of this grafter Jeff Minick?

bookBy Joe Ecclesia

My name is Joe Ecclesia, and I have a bone the size of an elephant’s thigh to pick with one of your reviewers, Jeff Minick.

For 12 years or so, I have known Mr. Minick. We’ve shared many meals, spilled some wine together, had some laughs.

Tarrt delivers once again — a decade later

bookI first encountered a Donna Tartt novel some 20 years ago when a friend reverently placed a copy of The Secret History (1992) in my hands, and said, “You will never forget this one.” 

Hays’ new book succeeds on several levels

bookIn What I Came To Tell You (Egmont Publishers, ISBN 9781606844335, $16.99), local author Tommy Hayes brings us the story of 12-year-old Grover Johnston, his family and his friends. 

Vintage King is a frightening prospect

bookIt has been more than 30 years since Stephen King published The Shining, but I still remember that little kid, Danny Torrance peddling his tricycle down the halls of the Overlook Hotel, and although the Overlook is supposed to be empty, Danny sees people in some of the rooms. If you are a Stephen King fan, you remember the sound of Danny’s wheels as they trundle from carpet to bare floor to carpet. He passes rooms where dead people beckon to him. (Remember the woman in the bathtub?)

To those teachers who exacted excellence

bookBook reviews shouldn’t begin with dedications. But with Strings Attached (ISBN 978-1-4013-2466-7, $24.99) being the book under review, I feel compelled to commence by issuing a few long-overdue honorifics:

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