Reading Rarities: ABC of Aviation

I've grown up hearing and talking about airplanes. My dad was a single-engine pilot for many years. Well, technically he still is, but he hasn't got a current medical certification, so there's that. My knowledge of planes is purely academic while Dad's is practical, but it's our thing. One year I bought him a pack … Continue reading Reading Rarities: ABC of Aviation

Nora’s Revenge

It's a cliche that necessity is the mother of invention. Before she really made a name for herself as a crafter of witty film repartee, Nora Ephron was an essay writer for the New York Post and Esquire. She also dated and married fellow journalist Carl Bernstein in 1976. Happiness was short-lived, though, as Bernstein cheated on Ephron … Continue reading Nora’s Revenge

Reading Rarities: A Field Guide To the North American Family

Ah, that elusive, nubelous entity, the American Family. The whole world finds the American Family intriguing. They can't really help it, seeing as American Families are ubiquitous. Everyone from the Jeffersons to the Cleavers to the Bundys are known in every country. The fictional American family, at least the ones found in sitcoms of a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Field Guide To the North American Family

Reading Rarities: A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California

As the saying goes, you never really know someone until you climb in his shoes and walk around in them. Lately I've been walking with John Steinbeck, one of my favorite authors (and a fellow Californian), in Susan Shillinglaw's A Journey Into Steinbeck's California. Far from being a simple tour guide of Steinbeck haunts, Journey is a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Journey Into Steinbeck’s California

Reading Rarities: Joan Of Arc In Her Own Words

No one is ever quite indifferent to Joan of Arc once they've found out about her. She's been called a witch, she's been called crazy, she's been called a mystic. Some people think her Voices were actual Saints and others don't. Either way, we all know Joan's a towering figure to many, and because of … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Joan Of Arc In Her Own Words

Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

Dear friends, unless you've been in the military, I'm guessing your thoughts look something like this right now: "Yikes." "Wow." "This looks boring." Also highly likely: "What is it?" That was my question when I spied Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies while poking around Winston Smith Books several years ago. I asked the cashier about … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

Reading Rarities: A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy

It goes without saying that we're all spending extra time at home right now. A lot of extra time. It also goes without saying that it can be hard and weird because, among other things, it's a real slowing-down process. We don't know how long we're going to have to live this way and a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy

Reading Rarities: John Lennon In His Own Write

If he were alive today, John Lennon would be turning eighty this year. It's also the fortieth anniversary of his death. Kind of amazing, isn't it? Gee whiz, time flies. Once the Beatles had a number one song in America, lives that were already on fast-forward went into hyperspace. In 1964 alone, the group toured … Continue reading Reading Rarities: John Lennon In His Own Write

Reading Rarities: The Diary of A Victorian Lady

OK, I'm kind of excited about this Rarity. Well, I get excited about most of the stuff I review, but this book is a little different. The Victorian era and Victorian women in particular are such enigmas. Sure, we have novels and other works from Victorian women, and we have a pretty good idea of … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The Diary of A Victorian Lady

Be Careful What You Wish For

John Steinbeck was full of surprises, but a common theme in his stories is the struggle between good and evil. His 1947 novella, The Pearl is one such story, with the battle taking place within the protagonist, brought on by what he thinks is a treasure. It's a cliché, but our hero gets more than he … Continue reading Be Careful What You Wish For

Reading Rarities: The Zombie Survival Guide

Well, here we are, starting off a new year and a new decade by talking about that most menacing of threats, the Zombie Apocalypse. Dun dun dun... I'll be honest, while I'm not much of a horror fan, I'm even less enamored with zombies. They're undead like vampires, although they're not nearly as elegant, and … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The Zombie Survival Guide

My Favorite American Short Stories

Which short stories do you like? It's nice to be able to easily dive in and out of a story and still feel like something's getting done. Naturally, English majors have to read a lot of these kinds of stories, which is fun most of the time, but can also be a pain in the neck … Continue reading My Favorite American Short Stories

Reading Rarities: 1909 Sears Catalogue

Remember Sears' Wish Book? Us kids used to look forward to that thing all year long and when the Christmas season came around we would pore over it meticulously, looking with big eyes at the pages and pages of toys. There might have been some linens, or clothes, or electronics. or other grownup stuff in … Continue reading Reading Rarities: 1909 Sears Catalogue

Reading Rarities: Eating For Victory

OK, if you're thinking we've been here before, you'd sort of be right. It's World War Two-themed and it centers around food and family. Heck, I even did a review of a Marguerite Patten cookbook three years ago that had this exact title, sans the "Reading Rarity" part. Still, there are a few differences here, … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Eating For Victory

More Cuisine, Stars Hollow Style

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably remember a post I did a couple of years ago in which I reviewed Eat Like A Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls. Well, dear readers, author Kristi Carlson and her entourage of chefs are back with more eats for the … Continue reading More Cuisine, Stars Hollow Style