First an apology: I fully intended to post this recap of last Thursday’s coffeehouse within 24 hours of the event. Other factors intervened, some writer related (like the June 1st deadline on my bimonthly column for the PennWriter newsletter) or other more general life issues. Anyway……. The first coffeehouse of 2019 was, on the whole, […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 30 May 2019"
Chaucer’s People by Liza Picard (Historical/Literary Nonfiction, American Edition 2019). Liza Picard has written a series of books on various aspects of English history. For her latest, published in England in 2017, with its American edition now out, she uses Geoffrey Chaucer’s best known work as a springboard into an entertaining and informative account of what […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Chaucer’s People"
The Falcon of Sparta by Conn Iggulden (Historical Fiction Novel, 2019). Conn Iggulden, one of the more popular historical novelists working today, based this novel on the memoir by the warrior Xenophon, published in English translation as The Persian Expedition. This ancient literary classic details his experiences from 401 B.C., also known as the March of the Ten-Thousand. […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Falcon of Sparta"
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo (Historical Fantasy Novel, October 2018). This involving novel takes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s classic short story of love, jealousy and the supernatural, and simultaneously expands and re-imagines it with Katrina as the central character. As in the original, Katrina becomes the unwitting focal point […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel"
With the rush of final preparations for Saturday’s Dracula Con extravaganza going great guns, I was again doing most of the hosting for the weekly coffeehouse. The massive and gorgeous white coffin that has been converted into a cooler for soft drinks was up on the bar for all to see. Attendance this time out […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights, October 11, 2018"
Hag-Seed by Margaret Attwood (Novel, 2016). Bestselling and much honored, multiple-award-winning Canadian author Margaret Attwood’s latest is (typically for her) something a bit off the beaten-path. Hag-Seed is both a simultaneous tribute to and a re-imagining of one of Will Shakespeare’s more funky works–The Tempest. Magic, revenge, love and redemption–all the aspects of the play are here. The […]Read more "REVIEWED: Hag-Seed"
The Shangri-La Coffee Lounge at Windber’s (haunted) Grand Mdiway Hotel opened as usual at 5 PM. Blair rearranged things slightly in the aftermath of the highly successful guided tours over the weekend (the coffee, tea, cocoa station is now just inside the main entrance with the wide screen moved to the side. And tonight’s first […]Read more "October 27 at the Grand Midway, Part 1"
A steamy night at the Grand Midway, so instead of hot coffee I’ve snagged a tall can of Arizona Fruit Punch juice cocktail to start with. First movie: Fast Times at Ridgemont High. If anybody’s crazy enough to want HOT drinks tonight, there’s Vanilla Hazlenut and Starbucks Regular Coffees, as well as hot water for various […]Read more "July 14 at the Grand Midway"
The first film version of DON QUOXOTE in the era of the talkies, G. W. Pabst’s multinational, multi-language, 1933 movie was an eccentric effort, indeed. It was, for its time, a big-budget affair burdened by an ever-changing script (reportedly rewritten on the fly, even as the thing was being shot–undoubtedly the reason that the film’s […]Read more "REVIEW OF PABST’S “DON QUIXOTE”"