Book Review: Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell
“To be enjoyed, life must be shared.”
Historical fiction at its best: opens the past as can only be done by fiction; while connecting to the reader’s present in ways that are both entertaining and informative. Neatly melds modern opinion with history. Compare this with James Michener’s Caravans, telling in 1963 how the world was going to lose Afghanistan.
“America, I recalled, were notorious colonial troublemakers.” “As the Arabs promise to be,” Lawrence said quietly.
All of the narrowness and prejudices one would expect of a 1920s American abroad–like Mark Twain’s 1869 Innocents Abroad, but Russell’s protagonist is open to Continue reading
Book Review: The Women of Harry Potter by Sarah Gailey
“Ginny let herself be impressed once … and wound up vulnerable and look where that got her.”
I almost didn’t read this collection of posts. I’m not a Harry Potter fan. I read a couple of the books and saw a few of the films, and never connected. So I figured Gailey would have nothing to say I’d be interested in. Wrong.
“These, I must teach to hate.”
I didn’t even know who one of these characters was, but Gailey creates a cogent, interesting essay on each; exploring who they are, what motivates them, and why we should care. Good job.
These posts are among the finalists in the 2017 Hugo Award Related Works. Now that I’ve read them all, I can affirm I liked this one best. Better than many much more famous names who were, IMHO, trading on their names as excuse for publishing drivel.
Today (and tomorrow) we remember those who gave “the last full measure of devotion” that we may live in freedom and peace.
theatrical release poster
Movie Review: Collateral Beauty, directed by David Frankel
“This doesn’t feel right.” “I know. But when something starts with a six-year-old dying, nothing is gonna feel right.”
A complex, yet satisfying contemplation of love, death and time. Not all morose and weepy, it has its motions of emotion. Clever script by Allan Loeb. Filmed in New York City in winter, it feels both intimate and connected.
“Just make sure you notice the collateral beauty.”
Will Smith can act: who knew? Though this movie drew the lowest opening weekend box office of Smith’s career, it’s a better movie and not all about him. If anything, it’s more like an essemble theater piece, with some players in multiple roles.
“But you never know, nothing’s ever really dead if you look at it right.”
Book Review: The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas J. Fleming
“In their loves and losses, their hopes and fears, they are more like us than we have dared to imagine.”
A worthwhile addition to the histories of our founding. Superficially what seems trivial reveals deep of relevance for understanding both the founders and the product of their labors.
“Newspaper ethics in the nineteenth century did not put a high value on accuracy. ‘Faking’ a story … was accepted journalistic practice.”
The universal themes seem to be of men driven almost to monomania, often to the neglect of wives and family. In several cases, it is impossible to know the man without knowing the wife. Most were dedicated to their spouses. Sadly, those who had sons or grandsons almost universally begat individuals who embarrassed them, improvised them, and broke their hearts. Their daughters seem to be woven of finer stuff.
“Nothing is ours which another can deprive us of.” Thomas Jefferson
Well-conceived, well-researched, well-written.
“Dolly [Madison] concluded that a woman who waded into the contentious side of politics aroused the always lurking hostility between the sexes and won no friends for her side of the argument.”
Book Review: Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
“Sometimes even bad advice can point a man in the right direction.”
Eight stories bound to stretch your imagination if not your horizons.
“Maturity means seeing the differences, but realizing they don’t matter.”
Original, thought-provoking fiction in a range of times and contexts.
“When you love someone, you don’t really see what they look like.”