They’re Watching Us

Time to crack open those books... H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds seems to be the Michael J. Fox of sci-fi in that plenty of other sci-fi stories want to be it really, really badly, and some are more overt about it than others. John Christopher's wonderful Tripod series is definitely an homage to … Continue reading They’re Watching Us

Page To Screen: The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

As pretty much everyone knows by now, next month Amazon Prime will premier its new Lord of the Rings series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Hi, my name's Fred. What's my name? Sorry, I think the series title looks redundant. Anywhoo, the trailers have been royally dragged by Tolkien fans and rightly so, … Continue reading Page To Screen: The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

Page To Screen: Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew is iconic to say the least. She's OG. She's been a teenager way longer than Bart Simpson has been a ten year old and has been inspiring readers, boys and girls alike, for decades. She has a very deep bag of tricks at her disposal. Codebreaking? Nancy's on it. Deductive reasoning? No problem. … Continue reading Page To Screen: Nancy Drew

Page To Screen: Little Women

Few books have been as influential to women's literature and for that matter, American literature as Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. There's a saying among Englishers that the American literature canon is more than twelve dead white guys and Emily Dickinson, but I think it should be "more than twelve dead white guys, Emily Dickinson, and Louisa … Continue reading Page To Screen: Little Women

Reading Rarities: The Fun Of It

2022 will be the eighty-fifth anniversary of Amelia Earhart's mysterious disappearance at the tail end of her around-the-world hop. Nowadays, this part of her life garners most, if not all the attention because we want to know what happened, and it's totally understandable. Eighty-five years is a long time to be in suspense (I have … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The Fun Of It

Bonjour, Par-ee

I'm doing a standalone book review for once--whaddaya know? I'd like to do more of these, so keep watching this space. Anyway, today's offering is Siri Mitchell's 2005 novel, Kissing Adrien. Go ahead and make Rocky Balboa jokes. You know you want to. Anyway, this Adrien is a guy, and he's been friends with Seattle accountant … Continue reading Bonjour, Par-ee

Reading Rarities: Mount Vernon: The Story of A Shrine

Ever been to Mount Vernon? I have, twice, and it's a fascinating place. Like more than a few other historically significant sites, though, George Washington's home came very close to fading into oblivion, only to be saved by conscientious souls. In this case the benefactors were, and are, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, who have … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Mount Vernon: The Story of A Shrine

Reading Rarities: I Take My Religion Seriously

There was way more to Charles M. Schulz than Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and from the mid-1950s until early 1965 Schulz drew monthly or bi-weekly single-panel comics for Youth and Reach Magazines. It's been said that these characters are the Peanuts kids as teenagers, but Schulz tried to keep the two strips as separate as he could. He … Continue reading Reading Rarities: I Take My Religion Seriously

Page To Screen: Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday

Who's been to Cannery Row? For those who haven't, it was a group of fish canneries, flophouses and dive bars on Ocean View Avenue in Monterey, California. It was a tough, wild, colorful place, and its king was marine biologist Ed Ricketts, best friend of John Steinbeck and collector of strange scientific samples. Of course, … Continue reading Page To Screen: Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday

Earth In A Bottle

Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the first Biosphere 2 crew entering their enclosure. It's also the twenty-eighth anniversary of the crew's exit from their enclosure. It's not often talked about today, but it's a fascinating story, and while I don't agree with all the motivations for the project, lately I've been reading and rereading … Continue reading Earth In A Bottle

My Favorite Lord of the Rings Character

Love it, like it, or not, it's pretty safe to say no one's indifferent to Lord of the Rings, and people are pretty precious about their favorite characters. Remember the uproar when Tom Bombadil was left out of the movies? It's still a slightly touchy subject because there are LOTR fans who are that committed. Me, … Continue reading My Favorite Lord of the Rings Character

Reading Rarities: What We Saw

Those who remember 9-11 will no doubt recall the huge demand for merch that immediately followed. The Longs Drugs I worked at during that time couldn't keep American flags, or anything flag-related, in the store. What we did get would sell out by the end of the day. Naturally, 9-11 books, magazines, and T-shirts were … Continue reading Reading Rarities: What We Saw

Reading Rarities: 100 Greatest Songs In Christian Music

At one time, contemporary Christian music was the fastest growing subgenre in the industry, and the years between 1969 and the year 2000 seem to be its golden period. Artists covered all genres and appealed to all age groups, making the secular side of the music business sit up and take notice. 2006's 100 Greatest … Continue reading Reading Rarities: 100 Greatest Songs In Christian Music

Reading Rarities: Silent Echoes

Southern California and LA in particular are notoriously cavalier about architectural history. Everything's got to be new and fresh. With all the movies that have been made there over the past hundred-plus years, not to mention the periodic earthquakes, it's amazing anything stands longer than a few decades. Still, remnants of old Hollywood manage to … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Silent Echoes

Reading Rarities: The American Frugal Housewife

We all know that for as long as there have been houses and households, there have been housekeeping gurus. Today's guru, Mrs. Child, wrote several such books, but today we're talking about her 1826 volume, The American Frugal Housewife. Eloise and Martha have nothing on Mrs. Child, who isn't well-known today, but Housewife ought to be. … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The American Frugal Housewife

Reading Rarities: The American Home Front, 1941-1942

When most people think of Alistair Cooke, at least people of my generation and before, we think of the dapper English gentleman on Masterpiece Theatre or Upstairs Downstairs, sitting in the posh wing chair bidding all of us a good evening before introducing that night's program. Mr. Cooke was an institution, and Masterpiece Theatre hasn't … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The American Home Front, 1941-1942

Reading Rarities: So You Think You’re A Bookworm?

I love reading. Put me in a library or a bookstore and I will happily stay until I get hungry or it's closing time, whichever comes first. Who else can relate? Yep, a lot of people consider themselves bookworms, but according to Joan Hoare there's more to being a bookworm than meets the eye. Way … Continue reading Reading Rarities: So You Think You’re A Bookworm?