Gene Wilder. For me, the name conjures up sounds and images from the movie Young Frankenstein--a classic comedy from the mid-70s. When a coworker recommended a novella that Wilder had written, I couldn't resist checking it out to see what kind of aut...read more
Sometimes a great book gets shouldered out of the way by bigger, bestseller books. It sits on the shelf, crying out to be read and enjoyed, but somehow gets overlooked. Eventually, if nobody reads the book it is discarded from the collection to make ...read more
What do a "smart phone", an iPad, an eReader, a laptop, and the Chevy Volt have in common? You guessed it--they all use lithium-ion batteries. (You did guess it, right?) Batteries have been around for more than 200 years, but it was the invention of ...read more
Louis L'Amour is one of the best-known names in Western fiction. In his early years he started out writing poems, articles, and eventually stories for various magazines. The first Western novel under his own byline was written in 1950. It was rejec...read more
In The Book of Murdock by Loren D. Estleman, no-nonsense deputy Page Murdock goes undercover as a traveling preacher. After a two-week crash course in religion from a defrocked priest, Murdock is sent to Texas -- a place he hates on all levels -- to ...read more
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff is a thoroughly researched book that dispels the many stereotypes and myths about Cleopatra as a seductress. The author combed the classical sources to provide a well-written and believable portrait of Cleopatra as a...read more
Last Call by Daniel Okrent is the fascinating story of Prohibition, from its beginnings in the Temperance movement of the 1840s to its demise in 1933. Nowadays we think of Prohibition as a brief interruption in our drinking history, but it was a jou...read more
Roy Bean's Gold by W.R. Garwood is the fictional story of Judge Roy Bean in his younger days - the "prequel" if you will. This plot-driven, first person narrative is set in the years immediately following the 1849 California gold rush days, where 23-...read more
"Ugh! That's dead!" I shrieked when we came upon a sleeping foxhound. The dog was curled up near a radiator. It looked so peaceful, so alive, that I petted it to be sure. It was as hard as fiberglass."
I don't know about you, but for me any mention ...read more
What is it that attracts you to a book? Is it the content? The writing style? The cover? Maybe it's the memories conjured up by the book, or the autograph inside, or the year it was printed. For me it's the physical book's journey, its place in time....read more
I recently went on a trip with an old friend of mine--park ranger, Anna Pigeon. Well, actually I just met her a few months ago when we traveled to Michigan's Isle Royale National Park in the dead of winter. ...Ok, ok--you dragged it out of me! She's ...read more
My grandmothers--one a child of Conestoga wagons and the dustbowl, and the other born to an Italian immigrant family--lived through a staggering amount of history and change during their nine decades on this earth. Back in the mid-1980s I recorded in...read more
In Blackman's Coffin, Mark de Castrique begins a new mystery series, introducing us to the character Sam Blackman. Sam is an about-to-be-released Army veteran from the Iraq war, who suffered injuries that required his left leg to be amputated just be...read more
I think I've found the destination for my next vacation. After reading Christopher Fowler's book, The Victoria Vanishes, I really need to go to London to check things out for myself. And I'll make sure not to go alone....
This fun and lively mys...
Ed Begley, Jr., the actor, got involved with the environmental movement back in 1970, the year the first Earth Day was held, and has faithfully practiced what he preaches for nearly 40 years. In the beginning he began recycling, composting, buying bi...read more