Yesterday was still humid, although air temps eased back to only slightly above ‘normal.’ I attended the latest meeting of Friends of the Windber Library at 5 PM, the most interesting part of which was all the rest of us trying to convince our dedicated Library Director that, visibly ill as she was, she really […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights, August 30, 2018"
The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang (Fantasy Novel, 2018). Like many writers, this first-time fantasy novelist has drawn on elements of a real-life subject she knows about (in this case, Chinese history and mythology) as inspiration for an imaginary world series. There’s nothing wrong with that, yet I must confess to some slight ambivalence in […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Poppy War"
My old computer finally died, so what follows is one of my first offerings via my spiffy new Dell laptop! Thursday afternoon again meant a meeting of the Friends of the Windber Library to plan new fundraising efforts. The Library’s Board of Directors having asked us to report our activities to them and since I […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: August 23, 2018"
Charmed Bones by Carolyn Haines (Supernatural Mystery Novel, 2018). The latest Sarah Booth Delaney novel (18th in the series, if I haven’t miscounted) is a fun, cozy mystery that blends a colorful Mississippi Delta setting with often playful supernatural elements, plenty of misdirection, some romance and the expected greedy and/or murderous evil doers who must be […]Read more "REVIEWED: Charmed Bones"
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (SF novel, 2018). This author’s third SF novel mostly takes place during the final events of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. In this universe, humans long ago fled an environmentally destroyed Earth in a fleet of enormous generational ships. This is by no means a new idea, […]Read more "REVIEWED: Record of a Spaceborn Few"
First up: My somewhat ancient laptop has been pronounced beyond repair and I’ll have a new one in a few days. Accordingly, I expect to be personally, if temporarily broke real soon now (despite the fact that my computer guy is cutting me a nice deal–Thanks, Chris!). Meanwhile, continuing to fall back on my local […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: August 9, 2018"
The Death of Truth by Michiko Kakutani (Political/Cultural Essays, 2018). The author, a well-known literary critic and astute cultural observer, here offers “Notes On Falsehood In The Age Of Trump” (to quote the 208-page book’s subtitle). The book is already a best-seller, and deservedly so. It’s a levelheaded look at how respect for the facts, upon […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Death of Truth"
They had a fine crowd at last night’s coffeehouse, which began trickling in even before the scheduled 7 PM opening (including yours truly, right after a quick pizza snack at nearby Bella’s). There was a mix of regulars, occasional drop-ins and brand new people. Live music was provided by 4 locals, beginning with The BirdDoggs, […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights, August 2, 2018"
Head On by John Scalzi (SF/Mystery Novel, April 2018). This novel takes place in Scalzi’s near-future universe introduced in his book Lock In. A strange plague called Haden’s Syndrome (after one of earliest, most famous victims) has left one percent of the world’s population physically and completely paralyzed, though they’re still mentally aware. Thus, Hadens are said […]Read more "REVIEWED: Head On"