Books

Book Report — Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America’s Game

Book Report — Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America’s Game

Books
The last few years have been conflicting ones for football fans. While NFL devotees wrestle with their collective conscience regarding the impact of football on it's participants' long-term health, the sport has arguably never been more popular (or certainly more financially successful). While not ignoring the troubling revelations coming out almost daily on the medical front, the rich history of football in the United States is still worthy of celebration. It is in the spirit of this celebration that we now have the fantastic visually striking Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America's Game (Abrams Books 2013). The book was written by Library of Congress author Susan Reyburn, and it is this association that is Football Nation's greatest strength. So let's talk about that. ...
Every First-Edition Ian Fleming James Bond Book Cover (1953-1966)

Every First-Edition Ian Fleming James Bond Book Cover (1953-1966)

Books
Ian Fleming's 007 spy novels aren't just some of the most fun stories in the entire genre, they also sport some outstanding book covers. So for reference and for your eyes only (yuk yuk), here is a gallery of every original Ian Fleming James Bond novel book cover, 14 in all. They were all published in Britain by Jonathan Cape between April 1953 and June 1966. The last two books were published after Fleming's death in August 1964.
Book Report: Fletch (Gregory Mcdonald, 1974)

Book Report: Fletch (Gregory Mcdonald, 1974)

Books
It's taken me a long time to finally delve into Gregory Mcdonald's Fletch book series, although I can't give you a good reason why. I have loved the first movie for a few decades, so you'd think I would want to consume all I can about the character right from the source. But inertia is a powerful force, and so it is that I've finally started my journey this week. So, the original Fletch from 1974. If you're reading this I'm guessing you've seen the movie but not read the book, and want to know how closely the former follows the latter. So let's go ahead and get the story differences out of the way now. Needless to say, spoiler alert. Book Fletch is a blonde, not dark-haired like Chevy Chase. The Geena Davis movie role (Larry) is named Clara Snow in the book, and Fletch has a rathe...
Vintage Ephemera: Fun and Nonsense by Willard Bonte (1904)

Vintage Ephemera: Fun and Nonsense by Willard Bonte (1904)

Books, Ephemera, Featured Posts
I've always been a lover of anthropomorphic art, so when I found this old children's book from 1904 on the internet I was pretty jazzed. It's called Fun and Nonsense, and was written by Willard Bonte. I know nothing of Mr. Bonte, and Wikipedia offers no help, but his contribution to the world of illustrated children's literature is spectacular indeed. Clicking on most of the images will open larger versions. Enjoy! (Images obtained from the International Children's Digital Library.)
Pop Culture Capsule: Vintage Pulp Fiction Novel Book Covers

Pop Culture Capsule: Vintage Pulp Fiction Novel Book Covers

Books, Capsules, Featured Posts
Who doesn't love a delightfully cheesy pulp fiction book cover? I know I do, so here's a bunch of good ones, curated for maximum enjoyment by yours truly. Some of these were selected for the artwork, some for the titles or description, and some for both. As you can probably guess, some of these may not be safe for work so I'll put the racier ones after the jump. And lest you think pulp novels were all about sex, there was also murder and space. But yeah, mostly sex.
Book report: The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ

Book report: The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ

Books
For those of you who, like me, are reasonably intelligent folks who have long wondered why you weren't bestowed with outrageous genetic gifts like musical genius or athletic ability, have I got the book for you! It's The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent, and IQ by David Shenk. OK, I'm being a little facetious. But honestly, Shenk's book offers a lot more than just a purely scientific analysis of the nature/nurture debate. To my surprise, The Genius in All of Us is a bit of a hybrid -- part case study, part self-help/motivational literature. He lays out the premise right away in the prologue, telling the story of how baseball legend Ted Williams became one of the game's most feared sluggers not by sheer chance (nature), but by simply busting his ass for years (nurt
Still scary after all these years – Stephen King’s It

Still scary after all these years – Stephen King’s It

Books
In celebration of It's 25th anniversary on September 15th, 2011 I'm reposting this review I wrote in April 2007. - Chris I am not what you could call a voracious reader. I can barely make it through an issue of Highlights for Children without getting distracted by something or other. So when I can make it through a 1,000+ page book, it's quite a feat. When I consciously choose to re-read the same 1,000+ page book, it's nothing short of a miracle. I recently finished reading Stephen King's It for the second time, and I think I enjoyed it even more than the first (which was probably about 15 years ago). I know a lot of literary snobs look down their large and bespectacled noses at King, but let's face it, the man delivers. I'd read about the Losers and Pennywise the Clown any day o...
Book report: The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism

Book report: The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism

Books
It's hard to imagine, especially for those of my generation or younger, but broadcast news was not always a wasteland of vacuous celebrity gossip, shallow political "analysis", or crude sensationalism.  There was in fact a time when the men and women who called themselves broadcast journalists were actually journalists first, broadcasters secondly.  A time when networks valued the insight and knowledge these broadcasters brought, with not nearly as much regard for profit. And for a period of almost 20 years starting in the late 1930s, there was one group of broadcast journalists more insightful, knowledgeable, professional, and popular than all others.  They were the Murrow Boys, started and led by the legendary Edward R. Murrow.  While most people still know his name, the names of the