The Brooklyn Dodger bookshelf is a long one, crammed with histories, biographies, memoirs and novels, but David Krell has made a worthy addition withThe Brooklyn Dodger bookshelf is a long one, crammed with histories, biographies, memoirs and novels, but David Krell has made a worthy addition with “Our Bums.” The subtitle of his book clues the reader in to its focus: “The Brooklyn Dodgers in History, Memory and Popular Culture.” This is the story of the franchise beyond the field—the songwriters, playwrights and novelists who sought to capture their spirit and meaning; and the fans who cheered and sometimes jeered them, and whose hearts were broken when owner Walter O’Malley moved them to Los Angeles following the 1957 season.
Other defunct baseball franchises still have their followers, but none of those groups are as large and loyal as devotees of the Brooklyn Bums. Anyone who wants to understand the reasons why should pick up this book. For those who already know the Dodgers and their story, it’s still an essential read. These stories make clear that the bond between borough and team was something unparalleled in baseball history. Ebbets Field truly was the center of Brooklyn’s universe, and if we can never go there again, reading “Our Bums” is the next best thing.
It seems that the author has consulted just about every printed source on the Dodgers in existence, yet he’s resisted the temptation to produce a volume the size of a phone book. Instead, he’s mined that trove judiciously to select the very best nuggets. Krell also has a gift for a clever turn of phrase, which further adds to a reader’s pleasure as the pages speed by. Branch Rickey III provided the forward for this very enjoyable work, a winner from the first page to the last. ...more
“Secrets of the Royal Wedding Chapel” is a well-crafted story that will pull you in quickly and keep you turning the pages until you have reached the“Secrets of the Royal Wedding Chapel” is a well-crafted story that will pull you in quickly and keep you turning the pages until you have reached the end. I’ve read every one of Kathleen Irene Paterka’s books, and her storytelling skills keep improving every time. As “Secrets” opens, we’re dropped right into the middle of a family crisis. The daughter of the main character, Lily Lavender, is on her way from her California home to Las Vegas, her birthplace, because her seventeen-year-old daughter Tori has abruptly disappeared from school and is headed east to Vegas, where Lily’s mother still operates the Royal Wedding Chapel, which trades on the family’s distant ties to the British Royal Family. Lily has spent her life fleeing her mother, the chapel, and all it represents, but now she’s about to be pulled back in to an extent that she, and the reader, can’t imagine.
No sooner has Lily arrived in the city where she grew up than she discovers a crisis involving her mother that threatens the future of the chapel. Tori’s father, who still lives in Vegas, becomes a major player in the story, which soon takes a series of unexpected turns. Without getting into spoiler territory, it’s safe to say there’s a lot hiding behind the façade of the chapel and as the revelations unfold, Lily and her family are forced to confront some long-buried truths. A gripping read with strong, relatable characters. ...more