This engrossing crime-horror-thriller is set in the town of Millhaven, Illinois. Tim Underhill, a former resident, and now a successful writer, has pu...moreThis engrossing crime-horror-thriller is set in the town of Millhaven, Illinois. Tim Underhill, a former resident, and now a successful writer, has published an account of the “Blue Rose” murders which gripped the town 40 years earlier. Now another “Blue Rose” murder has occurred and the victim’s husband calls Underhill back to Millhaven hoping he can help determine who killed his wife.
This intense psychological thriller is a thoroughly engaging story supported by vivid characterizations and details of small town life.
The Throat is actually the third of a very loose trilogy, the first two being Koko and Mystery. While there’s no need to read these prior to The Throat you may wish to read them afterward. There are additional glimpses into Millhaven in Straub’s collection of short stories, Magic Terror.(less)
Although this begins and ends among the Chinese Americans in California, the bulk of this story is set in mid-twentieth century China. Winnie tells he...moreAlthough this begins and ends among the Chinese Americans in California, the bulk of this story is set in mid-twentieth century China. Winnie tells her life story to her grown daughter—a story of a lonely childhood followed by an arranged marriage to a self-centered, second-rate businessman who lacks integrity and any other value you care to name.
By her own wits and sense of values, her friendships, and more than a bit of luck, Winnie not only survives her marriage and the Japanese bomb raids, but goes on to marry an American soldier, immigrate to the United States and settle in California. Offering insights into Chinese history and culture this is an inspiring, triumphant story of one woman’s courage.(less)
This fascinating and unusual book includes over 100 biographical sketches—some of people you’ve heard of and some of people you’ve never heard of (I r...moreThis fascinating and unusual book includes over 100 biographical sketches—some of people you’ve heard of and some of people you’ve never heard of (I recognized about half the names). Each sketch gives some information about the individual—often with a slant to a very particular aspect of the person or their contribution to civilization. Each sketch also seems to become a platform for launching into a related or sometimes apparently unrelated topic, such as in the sketch on Marc Bloch, wherein he launches into a diatribe against Ezra Pound.
There are a fabulous number of very quotable passages (I jotted down my favorites as I went—it’s not often a book prompts that sort of reaction). Here are three of my favorites:
Speaking of Camus he states “The Gods poured success on him but it could only darken his trench coat: it never soaked him to the skin”. During the sketch on Dick Cavett is found “It might be said that the United States is the first known case of a civilization developing through disintegration”. Also in the vignette on Bloch he writes “Admirers of Ouspensky, Gurdjieff and Wilhelm Reich were all under the illusion that profundity can be attained by embracing principles with no basis in science. The occult and the mystically profound are perennial shortcuts to a supervening vision: a worldview without the world”.(less)
The internet has prompted a revolution in information science. This book is about the emerging methods of finding information. These methods are appli...moreThe internet has prompted a revolution in information science. This book is about the emerging methods of finding information. These methods are applied to locating music (iTunes), books (Amazon and WorldCat), real estate (Zillow and PropSmart), photographs (Flickr), encyclopedias of information (Wickipedia), used stuff of every sort (eBay), and the list goes on.
Weinberger sets for three orders of information. The first order is the arrangement of things (books alphabetical on a shelf, for example), the second order involved a representation such as cards in a card catalog. With the first two orders things were like leaves on a tree and to get to any given leaf one had to follow the correct path of branches and twigs to get to it. The third order is digital. Now we forget about the branches and just rake the leaves into the piles we’re interested in.
Very accessible with plenty of examples (that will have you pulling up websites on your computer), this book includes a little library science, a few facts from history, a bit about biology, while being essentially a work of philosophy.(less)