Category Archives: Reviews

My book reviews

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

I finally finished a book! We all (including myself) thought I’d get a bunch read during Covid. No luck. I was really guilty of starting a few, then getting bogged down, forgetting to continue and then losing all the momentum … 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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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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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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The Comedians by Kliph Nesteroff

An awesome “Comedy History 101” book that covers all the bases on how stand-up became not just an art form but a dominant form of entertainment in the Twentieth Century. Nesteroff takes a chronological approach, explaining the evolutionary changes: Vaudeville (and Burlesque): these … Continue reading

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White Trash… by Nancy Isenberg

Given Trump’s success, this book’s timing couldn’t be any better since they were a major factor in the outcome and were lumped in with the “White Working Class.” For starters, when does the term White Trash really begin? As hinted by the … Continue reading

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Another book I managed to read before the movie is released in…2018. Yeah, I definitely got a better head start unlike The Martian. Spielberg is directing so the film adaptation may be fantastic like Jurassic Park or a humongous dud like this Summer’s The BFG. … Continue reading

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Washington: a Life by Ron Chernow

My first book on a Quixotic Quest to read up on all 44 presidents. Since I read David McCullough’s opus on Harry Truman 20 years ago I have two down and 42 to go. I figure William Harrison and James Garfield will … Continue reading

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Smarter Than You Think by Clive Thompson

Three cheers for the podcast On the Media because they interviewed the author who’s little summary/arguments sold me on his book. I’ll start from the easy angle. Today’s teenagers. They’re often seen on their mobile devices (often cell phones), staring into them, … Continue reading

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Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

The Force Friday book release and my vacation reading goal/treat! For two years running, I have finished a whole book while on vacation! Last year was Devil in a Blue Dress and I’m stoked about next year. Aftermath is the official novel … Continue reading

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The Martian by Andy Weir

I think this is the first novel I’ve read with a movie on the horizon in 30 years. The last time I did this was Dune when I was in high school. (Mentally reviewing…so far, yes.) Had I known about the … Continue reading

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Star Wars Rebels: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

Thanks to Disney XD pushing back season two of Rebels to October after the big tease “Siege of Lothal,” I scored this novel to scratch the itch and whenever The Martian was boring me. Oh and to keep me from jonsin’ too much … Continue reading

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