Category Archives: Books

Books I’ve read lately, in the past or about the authors.

Octavia Butler gets some overdue love!

Although it will require the International Astronomical Union to make it official, the brilliant people at NASA have named/dedicated Perseverance‘s landing site to Sci-Fi author Octavia Butler. It’s a shame she didn’t live to receive this, she passed away in 2006. … Continue reading

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Favorite fiction v. Philosophy

How about some examples? In the fiction department I would go with Alan Dean Foster, Octavia Butler, Michael Moorcock, Douglas Coupland and James Ellroy (he would be a bumpy journey). In the latter? There is fiction: Frank Herbert (Dune has … Continue reading

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RIP Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth’s career was riddled with problems which made her a questionable source of truth as a reporter. It may have plagued the validity of her most famous book Prozac Nation. Initially, I dismissed her as a whiney Gen X’er from a … Continue reading

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Fear by Bob Woodward

The only other book I’ve ever read by Bob Woodward was Veil way back in the early Nineties (or was it the late Eighties?) I know I was still attending Marquette when I checked it out from the library. Even so, I … Continue reading

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Star Wars: Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston

When Ahsoka Tano made her debut in Clone Wars (both the movie and series) I will readily admit that I found the character precious and annoying. Star Wars was once again drowning the franchise in saccharine-covered dialog with a kid-friendly padawan. Maybe the … Continue reading

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The Platinum Age of Television by David Bianculli

If you’re a fan of Fresh Air, then you are probably familiar with the author since he’s the TV Critic and sometimes guest host. I usually tune out the last 5-10 minutes of the show anyway because I tend not to … Continue reading

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John Adams: A Life by John Ferling

Before reading this biography, I was like most Americans when it came to their knowledge of John Adams: Second president. First one-termer. First vice president. Pretty short guy, even for the era. His presidency was a bit of a mess … Continue reading

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RIP William Goldman

William’s name may only come up easily for film buffs but to the rest of us, he’s the author behind the novel and screenplay The Princess Bride. The movie tanked when it was released 31 years ago but thanks to the … Continue reading

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Better Off Without ’em by Chuck Thompson

Better Off is a long, multi-page, darkly humorous argument on how the American South (aka, the Deep South) should be allowed to secede because the region is an albatross around America’s neck. Being a Yankee from Lincoln’s home town, I … Continue reading

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Frankenstein turns 200

I’ve always found the story behind the book to be more interesting. Trust me, after the 1992 release of Coppola’s take on Dracula, I tried to read Mary Shelley’s opus. Holy crap! It is boring! Frankenstein probably took off because there was … Continue reading

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Germany’s Defeat in the First World War by Mark D. Karau

Let me kick off with a couple quick disclosures regarding this review. Over 30 years ago, I attended Marquette with Mark, the author. I was a year older and we were on different degree tracks but we became friends through … Continue reading

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Krysten Ritter

Currently Krysten is best known as Jessica Jones on Netflix (a show I need to restart) but for me she was Jesse’s ill-fated girlfriend Jane on Breaking Bad plus I remember her in Big Eyes. Krysten was stopping through Austin to promote … Continue reading

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RIP: Jerry Pournelle

Science Fiction writer Jerry Pournelle passed away Friday from a long series of health incidents. For those who read a lot of the genre may recognize his name, Jerry often collaborated with Larry Niven on several books, especially The Mote in … Continue reading

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Forever War reprinted

Joe Haldeman’s masterpiece has returned as a six-part comic book series. I vaguely remember seeing the graphic novel version in the early Nineties. Titan Comics found a good way to separate the story into logical chapters. I also know that … Continue reading

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John Oates

The conclusion to my Brush with Greatness, Eighties Edition, wrapped up with John Oates of the legendary duo. John was in Austin to promote his new book Change of Season, which is also the title his band’s 1990 release. Tired jokes … Continue reading

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