January 2013 Archives

The Fifties

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Click for availability and more information The Fifties, by David Halberstam
 
When I was in college in the 1960s, I remember reading an article for a history class on how adolescents were rebelling against society since their predecessors had been forced to work in factories under terrible conditions, and they didn't want to perpetuate the "war cycle". When I saw David Halberstam's The Fifties, I thought this might give me further insight into the roots of the social unrest which marked the 1960s. So I downloaded this e-book to my iPad.

The book explains how the Depression and World War II impacted society. America started developing a social conscience. After the war, soldiers came home and the "Baby Generation" was born (literally and figuratively). Our standard of living improved as new technology - generated from war research - impacted the average American home. The advent of television provided a window on the world. We could see what was actually happening all over. Segregation, Senator McCarthy's red-baiting, Masters and Johnson's study on sex, the space race. Young people began questioning the status quo. The United States would never be the same.

This book is interesting as well as entertaining. It brings back a lot of great memories for those who grew up in this decade, and provides insight for those attempting to understand this chapter in our history. What's more, it chronicles an intellectual and social renaissance in America.
-Carl

Not Quite What I Was Planning

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Click for availability and more information Not Quite What I Was Planning, edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith
 
If you'd like to read something really different, then I suggest you take a look at Not Quite What I Was Planning. Famous and obscure writers were challenged to write a six-word memoir by Smith Magazine. Amateur and professional writers combined their work. As I began reading this book, I discovered some of the memoirs were self-explanatory, some required a bit of work to understand, and some were just plain weird! You could classify some of them as autobiographical, escapism or fantasy. Some address social issues. Many express human emotions: love, frustration, hope, disappointment. Be warned: you may find some to be risqué, explicit or profane. This is one way the writer communicates her / his emotions. The thing I like about this book the most is that it makes you think and use your imagination. I'm sure there will be subsequent books published on six-word memoirs. You should get in on the "ground floor"!
-Carl

Click for availability and more information Tales from the New England Patriots Sideline, by Mike Felger
 
It practically jumped off the shelf into my hands! I've been a New England Patriots fan ever since their inception in 1960. When I saw Tales from the New England Patriots Sideline, I just knew I had to read it. I wasn't disappointed! It covers team history from the days when it had no home, to its recent Super Bowl victories in Gillette Stadium. Not only were its players a cast of characters, but the owners, GMs, and coaches also had their quirks. There are also some interesting side stories, like the "Great Flush", which the Town of Foxboro required to make sure the sewage system could handle the extra waste on game days! I gained some insight into why Bill Parcells left the Stadium right after Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 without saying goodbye to the team! There are many other anecdotes that will give you a good understanding of how the team has evolved. This book is a great read for everyone from the novice to the diehard fan. You'll probably want to read it as this season winds down in preparation for the Super Bowl.
-Carl

The BFG

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Click for availability and more information The BFG, by Roald Dahl
 
Taken from her orphanage by the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), who spends his life blowing happy dreams to children, Sophie concocts with him a plan to save children from nine other man-gobbling giants.
-Deirdre

The Chocolate Touch

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Click for availability and more information The Chocolate Touch, by Patrick Skene Catling
 
John Midas is a normal boy, except that he has an abnormal love for candy, especially chocolate. But when he acquires a magical gift that turns everything his lips touch into chocolate, he finds out that too much of a good thing isn't so great.
-Deirdre

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