During the break, I took a look at my bookshelves and was struck by how many novelty books I have. You know, the kind of volumes you find in college bookstores or souvenir shops. They're the books you didn't know you wanted, and they serve no discernable purpose besides pulling readers out of the everyday. … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Read My Lips
Today's post is not going to be exactly cheery, and if anyone wants to stop reading due to sensitivities or thinks this topic is too macabre, I completely understand. History's not always a pretty sight. However, I wanted to at least touch on Jonestown because it shook a lot of people in America, and Northern … Continue reading Why I Never Say, “They Drank the Kool-Aid.”
The Atomic Age didn't always mean doom and gloom and total annihilation. People also saw a whole new world of possibilities opening up to them. Like living on Mars, for instance, which Ray Bradbury explored in his 1950 novel, The Martian Chronicles. Well, it's not exactly a novel. The book is culled from some of Bradbury's … Continue reading We’re Going To Mars
The single most controversial part of the Second World War is the use of the atomic bomb. We know that Germany and Japan both had such weapons in the works, and that their efforts were narrowly thwarted by circumstances. As for the United States' development program, called the Manhattan Project, most think of the testing site … Continue reading What’s Tubealloy?
In 1937, a rather gargantuan project of compiling England's social history commenced: Mass Observation. Its aim was and is to chronicle day-to-day living in the United Kingdom, and that can mean anything from sending in diaries to filling out questionnaires to writing poems or taking photos. One of their most enthusiastic participants was Nella Last … Continue reading Page To Screen: Nella Last’s War
About a year ago, I reviewed the 1934 film, Of Human Bondage, starring Leslie Howard and Bette Davis (Read it here), and at the time, I found it to be a downer, full of manipulation and abuse. In spite of that, I jumped at the chance to buy the novel at a library sale. When … Continue reading Page To Screen: Of Human Bondage
Every once in a while, Hollywood seems to turn out something promising, and the upcoming A Wrinkle In Time looks to be one of those. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Zack Galifinakis, with Storm Reid as Meg, the film is, of course, based on Madeleine L'Engle's superlative novel. I read the book … Continue reading Origins: A Wrinkle In Time
Elizabeth Taylor was just as famous for her jewelry as she was for her beauty and acting ability (Who else remembers White Diamonds?). Her collection was such a phenomenon that it was immortalized in a gorgeous, highly detailed book called Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry. This coffee table book is chock-full of high-definition photos. … Continue reading A Lady And Her Jewels
There have been a lot of famous last words spoken throughout history. John Lennon's aunt famously told him, "A guitar is nice, but you'll never make a living with it." Neville Chamberlain waved the Munich Pact and declared "Peace in our time." The Titanic was called "unsinkable." Then there's this little gem: "I'm telling you, this is … Continue reading The Face On the Lunchbox
Heh. I don't know about anyone else, but I never thought any of Beatrix Potter's stories would translate well to the big screen, least of all Peter Rabbit. Not that Potter's stories are bad or anything--they're classic and charming--but they're all so short. Even The Tale of Pig Robinson is only about one-hundred twenty pages long with big … Continue reading Origins: Peter Rabbit
Ever felt like you had a lot of energy and desire to do something big, but didn't have the foggiest idea how to get started? Have you ever gotten that let-down feeling when setbacks pop up and reality creeps in? I think everyone has had to grapple with this dilemma on some level, and it's … Continue reading Who’s Hungry?
Remember that thumbs-down I gave A Strange Brand of Happy in August? This is the day, friends, when I reveal the other haul item I mysteriously alluded to, and that is...drum roll, please...Julianna Deering's mystery novel, Dressed For Death. Yeah, I know, it took me long enough. Life, people. Life got in the way. Anyway, like most clearance … Continue reading Regency House Murder