Blogroll

Abstaining from best books mania

For some reason this year’s onslaught of “best of the year” lists really wore on me. As a result, I’m not going to do one of those posts for 2013. Instead, I will note that, based on books listed in both of two different compilations of this year’s book lists, it’s again clear I am […]

Book Review: Eastern Europe! by Tomek Jankowski

History, even American history, doesn’t seem to be one of our strong suits. One recent assessment showed that 20 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and only 12 percent of high school seniors demonstrated proficiency in U.S. history. And that’s history that actually matters to us. As anything outside that is likely […]

April missteps and milestones

Nonfiction works constituted both the good and the abandoned this month.

Abandoned:

I Got a Name: The Jim Croce Story, Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock — Perhaps I’m too much off a stickler when it comes to nonfiction. Recreating conversations between people is somewhat acceptable in my view but when the only participants are dead, […]

Book Review: Infinite West by Fraser Harrison

British travel writer Fraser Harrison knows most travelogues are written with the writer’s home country in mind. He admits, though, that he didn’t necessarily aim Infinite West: Travels in South Dakota at British or other readers. He also is addressing “the people who inhabit the exotic land through which I journeyed.” Although writing as a […]

Book Review: Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin

Like perhaps most everyone, occasionally something strikes you that makes you think about those three or five people, dead or alive, you would invite to dinner if your could. Now anyone who reads this blog might well think that Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are on the “must invite” list. To be honest, though, I […]

Book Review: Comic Books and the Cold War, 1946-1962, edited by Chris and Rafiel York

As David Hadju documents in his excellent examination of comic books in the 1940s and 1950s, The Ten-Cent Plague, adults saw the genre as contributing to juvenile delinquency and even subverting American values. This uproar, which included U.S. Senate hearings, led to the creation of the Comic Codes Authority in 1954. Yet even before the […]