Tag: Books

Pop Culture Capsule — July 20-26, 1986

Pop Culture Capsule — July 20-26, 1986

Capsules, History
Here's a look at America's top movies, music, and books for the week of July 20-26, 1986. TV was in summer rerun mode, but it was pretty much all about The Cosby Show anyway. I remember most of these things (except the books), but I had no idea Patti LaBelle hit #1 over Janet Jackson and Peter Gabriel. Good for her! Top 10 Movies 1. Aliens 2. The Karate Kid Part II 3. Ruthless People 4. Top Gun 5. Back to School 6. About Last Night... 7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off 8. Legal Eagles 9. Running Scared 10. The Great Mouse Detective Top 10 Albums 1. Patti LaBelle, Winner in You 2. Janet Jackson, Control 3. Peter Gabriel, So 4. Top Gun soundtrack 5. Genesis, Invisible Touch 6. Billy Ocean, Love Zone 7. Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston 8. Bob Seger, Like a Rock 9. The Moody Blue...
Book report: The French Connection

Book report: The French Connection

Books
The nice thing about reading a book prior to seeing a subsequent cinematic adaption is that you can go in fresh, with no notions or expectations.  So when I picked up a copy of Robin Moore's The French Connection, published in 1969 and later adapted into a hit movie starring Gene Hackman, I only had a vague idea of what to expect.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  I had a vague idea that it would be an action-packed story with lots of chases and maybe shootouts.  Also, I was pretty sure it took place in France. Turns out I was wrong on a few counts. For one - and I trust I'm not spoiling this for anyone - the book actually takes place in New York City.  It details the investigation of and subsequent arrests of a group of shady characters involved in the heroin trade.  The thing i
Book report: Time Out of Joint

Book report: Time Out of Joint

Books
There are some names in literature that for some reason intimidate me before I even read a word of their work.  Since I'm not a voracious reader I think I have a tendency to put some authors on a pedastal.  When I do get around to reading something by one of the "greats", I feel silly for having avoided them for so long. So it was with science fiction legend Philip K. Dick, whose canon I have finally entered by reading his 1959 novel Time Out of Joint.  Why this one, and not one of his more famous works such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? or A Scanner Darkly you might ask?  My wife owns a copy so that's the one I decided to start with, that's why. As I made my way though the story of Ragle Gumm and his struggle to break through what he at first only vaguely feels to be the f
GFS enters the heart of Pottermania

GFS enters the heart of Pottermania

Books
I'm a pretty jaded person when it comes to really popular things, so I tend to avoid them regardless of the actual quality of said popular things. And yet there I was (with Mrs. Suit by my side) at Borders on Friday night, standing in line with a few hundred teenagers dressed in robes and wizard hats - not waiting to buy my reserved copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but to receive a colored wristband that would allow me to stand in yet another line to buy my reserved copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yes, I am now officially one of those people, even if I was not in costume. But the thing is, I didn't really care. For once it was nice to part of a huge pop culture movement instead of casting derision on it from the outside. I just wish this particular move...
Posters of the WPA

Posters of the WPA

Ephemera
Back in the day (1935 to be precise), President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA), an enormous government program aimed at providing employment for millions of Americans affected by the Great Depression. The legacy of the WPA is a host of public works (bridges, roads, etc.) and cultural projects. That's all well and good obviously, but what I really care about are the cool posters designed to promote many of the WPA's programs. All of these images and hundreds more are available as part of the Library of Congress's "Posters of the WPA" collection. I've simply picked what I feel are some of the most visually appealing and added my usual pithy commentary. As you'll see, these great images are very much of their time and most display an Art Deco sensibili...
6 great (and random) moments in Star Wars history

6 great (and random) moments in Star Wars history

Listcruft
We're just 10 days away from the 30th anniversary of the release of Star Wars, and I'd be remiss if I didn't do something to commemorate the event. Many other sites are already going overboard in the celebration, but I'm going to keep it simple. This list of six applies to anything in the Star Wars universe, and is not just exclusive to the movies. Why six instead of ten? Because that's what my heart says is a good number. Also I couldn't think of anything else, so feel free to add to the list! Timothy Zahn publishes the Thrawn trilogy: Nine years after the release of what we thought was the last movie, Return of the Jedi, the franchise was reinvigorated with the release of these three books. They introduced a slew of fascinating characters, but the coolest of all was Grand Admiral Thra...