Monday, June 6, 2016

Five good reads for the Summer 2016

I have read several books over the past five months, and above all Donald Nicholson-Smith’s translation of Jean-Paul Clebert’s Paris Vagabond (F CLEB), is one of the best. With the intimacy of Jack Kerouac’s prose, Clebert’s mid-century Paris is filled with brilliant idiomatic revelations of the City of Lights, with the lights dimmed and characters recovering from the War. The gritty and raunchy side of city life is seen through a clear, poetic, and sensitive lens, revealing the lives of the inhabitants with a charming yet stark reality. 

Brian Kilmead and Don Yaeger’s, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates (973.47 KIL), stands as a refresher course in late 18th- to early 19th-century history, emphasizing the important role the United States played in opening the Mediterranean Sea trade to the Americas and Europe from the tight grasp of the Barbary Pirates. It is easy to read and brings forward historical truths often overlooked or forgotten. I recommend it for lovers of history and politics.

Andrew Kreig’s Presidential Puppetry (364.1323) attempts to clarify and review current political events and those who influence the selection and election of political candidates, including the underside of the process. Kreig’s thoroughness and rigor are impressive and speaks to realities not understood by most of us. I recommend this book as a thoughtful read.

If Presidential Puppetry grabbed your interest, Mark Landler’s Alter Egos, And The Twilight Struggle Over American Power (327.73 LAN) will further exercise your intelligence.    

Finally, Peggy Orenstein’s Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape (306.708 ORE) is a must-read for parents, grandparents and young girls. It is amazing that we still are having trouble talking to our children about sex and how some things never change.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Maker Space

For those who have not experienced Farmington’s Maker Space, please know  you are missing a visual and experiential treat. Whether you are interested in 3D printing, embroidery, learning how to use a sewing machine, how to use CAD, video editing, film transfer, bike repair, jewelry making, or many other skills including podcasting; as Sarah Mias is preparing a new podcast for the maker space blog you will be amazed and thrilled. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Reviews: Retrospective review on Hemmingway.

Retrospective review on Hemmingway

I read Hemmingway as a boy and was then particularly stricken by:  the Old Man, Kilimanjaro, the Killers and most of his short fiction. So, it came as no surprise that as a result of the United States’ renewed relationship with Cuba, I decided to check out a bunch of Hemmingway and wade through as many as possible. Jumping out of my chair, I ran down to the shelves and discovered a sparse collection of tattered and rebound mid-century bound books under the Hemmingway banner; alas, I carried The Snows of Kilimanjaro and other stories, The Old Man and the sea, To Have and Have Not and Men without Women home with me to read and ponder. Whew! Well, I was very surprised with the ripe language in To Have And Have Not and through much of those old crusty well-read books. However, I was soon captured by the prose and direct language he is so good at as I became a bullfighter, fisherman, charter boat captain… remembering my youth and times gone by.  Hemmingway isn’t for everyone, but he is great for me…

Friday, April 1, 2016

Cuba and Hemmingway

            New Cuban relations have taken me back to Hemingway’s Havana, Cuba and the Caribbean. Cuba and Hemmingway are inseparable with his affinity to its life style and people. I have decided to refresh my interest in him and read as many Hemmingway stories as possible. The last Hemingway I read was the Islands in the Stream; published posthumously by Mary Hemingway while I was in the Navy and the first Old Man and The Sea in middle school. I am excited to dig in…. Stay posted

   (1926) The Torrents of Spring
   (1926) The Sun Also Rises
   (1929) A Farewell to Arms
   (1937) To Have and Have Not
   (1940) For Whom the Bell Tolls
   (1952) The Old Man and the Sea
   (1970) Islands in the Stream
   (1986) The Garden of Eden
   (1932) Death in the Afternoon
   (1935) Green Hills of Africa
   (1964) A Moveable Feast
   (1985) The Dangerous Summer
   (1985) Dateline: Toronto
   (1999) True at First Light
   (2005) Under Kilimanjaro