And you think your family has problems! Modern and new scholarship into the life of Emily Dickinson that certainly opens several windows into the work...moreAnd you think your family has problems! Modern and new scholarship into the life of Emily Dickinson that certainly opens several windows into the works of ED.
The feud that continued long after her death alone is worth the time to read about in this well constructed work.(less)
The Atomic Women were a blast. One can't resist such an obvious tag line to start a review of this work.
Multiple shelving of this fine book should in...moreThe Atomic Women were a blast. One can't resist such an obvious tag line to start a review of this work.
Multiple shelving of this fine book should inform the potential/future reader that author Denise Kernan has covered many topics in her research of the Clinton Engineering Works. CEW as it was known during the height of the secrecy in the WWII era produced a part of the nuclear material used to make the first atomic weapons. Today this area is known to the world as Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Author Kiernan has written of the women who were vital to the development of Nuclear Energy in all its forms. Their stories are the root of this work. From the factory workers who were offered jobs because the men were at war and personnel was at a premium, to the women with special skills from nursing to chemistry to administration they are included. Kiernan also writes about women in scientific roles that should have received more credit in the basic physics and perhaps should have been included in Nobel prize citations.
The post atomic bomb propaganda and philosophic concerns are covered if minimally and in a standard fashion. A few telling anecdotal events that add to the humanity of the book are included that are definitely about the women's view of their work and now, world.
Overall a chapter of history that other than Richard Rhodes, has not been widely written about, particularly about the common workers, let alone women.
Highly recommended and well written book with sourcing and photographs that are first rate and unusual.
Meandering McMurtry Memoir. Alliteration by yours-truly.
This is not a autobiography by the authors own protest. McMurtry sets out to reflect on being...moreMeandering McMurtry Memoir. Alliteration by yours-truly.
This is not a autobiography by the authors own protest. McMurtry sets out to reflect on being sixty as a companion theme to the philosopher Walter Benjamin writing about the telling of stories.
Along the way McMurtry speaks of his history with the written word from his earliest days to the present. As a reader, discoverer, writer, student, collector, and seller of books, L.M. vamps on several topics though none as thoroughly as I would like. It is typical sparse L.M.
This should be more than a two star review. There is nothing really wrong with this work, I just didn't resonate with his prose in this case. Several authors for many years and generations have written about their relationship with 'the word', some more successfully than others. There is a deceptive simplicity and elegance to all of L.M.'s works, and this one does not disappoint in that regard. It just needed expansion on almost every topic, subject, place and time to be as captivating as so much of McMurtry's works can. In that way it is a forced work. For me that is almost deceptive. The style and talent are in full abundance, but the substance in careful analysis for this type of work is lacking.
McMurtry has also written another work along in a similar vein or that can be viewed as a companion piece, Books, that is far more successful in achieving what this type of work usually aspires to . . .
There were some earlier versions of this work including a couple from the 1960's that I first read.
Keith was a rather colorful character who saw the...moreThere were some earlier versions of this work including a couple from the 1960's that I first read.
Keith was a rather colorful character who saw the last of the 'Old West' up close and personal as a boy on the western frontier. He learned to shoot, ride, and raise hell as a part of his survival. This legendary gunmen weaves a fascinating tale/memoir of a bygone era that was vanishing before his eyes.
Not in anyway a politically correct work. If you are interested in some real history of the American West and the 'real' American Riflemen, this is the book for you. Hunting game across the world, and lore and saga of firearms are the primary themes of this book. Hell, I was There! is a Helluva read!
Many biographies and memoirs have been on my reading list for the past few years, few of which have lived up to expectations. Conroy's unusual take on...moreMany biographies and memoirs have been on my reading list for the past few years, few of which have lived up to expectations. Conroy's unusual take on this genre is a pleasant if not entirely satisfying alternative.
Relating his life through the lens of his reading of great works of literature and the people and experiences that introduced him to these works gives the reader respite from pedantic attempts by many intellectuals to tell us what to read and why! I find that I've read many/most of the books he mentions but a few that I had not heard of before seem to be some that I'll investigate soon.
This memoir paralleled with his first exposure to various books does explain much about his stylistic approach as a writer. I will agree that the Citadel teacher of his that offered to shoot the person who introduced him to Thomas Wolfe had a point. A good point. Then again, I found Wolfe disastrous and a monumental waste of my time. Conroy's adoration of Gone With the Wind strikes me as fawning to point of insincerity. Several of his 'great' works are to me minimally important, but then again I fancy some books that others only find mildly amusing.
There are experiences relating to his recurring theme of his abusive childhood relationship with his father, Don Conroy also known as The Great Santini, though not new in telling are now illuminated by the prose he was experiencing at the time. A very fascinating take for Conroy to use to tell another side of the story.
Conroy has not been a favorite writer of mine, but the stories he tells I have been mostly glad to hear and read. This is a very unique and pleasantly brief work from an otherwise at times long winded writer. Each chapter in this work stands alone if need be and thus the book can be picked up and put down without losing impact over a few days or weeks of reading.
Recommended for those seeking a different type of memoir and a 'reading list'.
One of many pop-culture, current events books from the near to distant past that I will admit reading.
A dark sordid catty tale soaked in drugs and as...moreOne of many pop-culture, current events books from the near to distant past that I will admit reading.
A dark sordid catty tale soaked in drugs and as nearly pure evil as can be found on the bookshelf. And it's true stuff. Having been a denizen, if for a short time and mostly as an avid voyeur,of the Limelight crowd, one knew something really bad was going to happen. Nobody gets to live at the pace that so many on display at the clubs of the period did and get out unscathed.
JStJ writes amazingly well for one who spent time so numb at the bottom of the K-hole. Dialog is always suspect and at places JStJ doesn't quite make you believe that the habitue's of this world really talked quite that well. Creative license to keep the story on track, but people at this stage of damage are often beyond this level of cohesive discourse. Then again, perhaps all they had left was the ability to tell stories. And what a story they told to keep their life over the edge going for a moment or two more.
Then Angel's body floated up in the river and the party started to thin out and crashingly end.
One or two sections aside, this is a gripping read that will keep your attention to the end. You will want to know more at the end, or maybe it is that you're glad that it finally over and done.
Tony Bourdain created a cult classic in the realm of 'another chef' biographies. Not a cook book by any means, but more of an autobiography of a ordin...moreTony Bourdain created a cult classic in the realm of 'another chef' biographies. Not a cook book by any means, but more of an autobiography of a ordinary guy who can cook and write very well.
Almost true crime in the kitchen and the book that a multitude of other chefs/cooks wish they could have put together. After all, it got Bourdain not one, but at least two television shows. Both seem to have been or are quite successful. Not just reality TV dreck but interesting and fun to watch. Some of it happens to about cooking which is a plus for some viewers!
Kitchen Confidential, set primarily in New York City, is everything you never wanted but needed to know about the foodie feeding frenzy that is fine dining. Sex drugs and food roll around this story like a runaway Long Island RR commuter train.
Guilty pleasure or good entertainment reading, Bourdain will 'feed' your need!(less)
A well done sharply focused work about the rise of the modern political world of Los Angeles. With the backdrop of several shady characters and select...moreA well done sharply focused work about the rise of the modern political world of Los Angeles. With the backdrop of several shady characters and selected criminal activities of Organized Crime, L.A. Noir is a very readable political history and biography of primarily LAPD Chief William Parker and the criminal Mickey Cohen.
John Buntin stays on track and with a few minor exceptions resists temptation to stray off onto the many juicy sub-plots that was L.A. from the Roaring twenties until the 1970's. Using primarily well vetted public and journalistic sources, author Buntin weaves a fascinating story through the dark undercurrents of the American City of Light and Angels. From pre-war LA to the LA of Tom Bradley and Darrell Gates, this is a rich tale.
Highly recommended for readers of history, crime, politics and stories of the American Dream. The real American Dream, not an idealized landscape but an urban swamp. LA Noir works without inclusion of most of the sordid and sensationalistic crimes solved and unsolved that have littered that western landscape. A few shootings, riots, jealous lovers murders, political and mob hits are included but they all advance the story.
If any major flaw exists it is the almost total lack of inclusion of anything Hollywood and the related film industry. Hollywood is only peripheral to the general corruption that is the focus of the story line. A few of the Hollywood greats get mentioned if only in passing. I would like to see what this writer would do with the Hollywood story of the same historical period.