Walter White writes a memoir

A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston Rating ***** The best films are those that have strong writing, directing, and acting. Of the three, my opinion is that the writing is the most important. A director can’t direct and an actor can’t act without someone first putting the story down on paper. The television series […]

Review of Apollo 8

Review of Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger Rating ***** As I write this review, the picture Earth Rise, taken on the Apollo 8 mission, hangs above my desk. I have had the framed picture for years. Now, after reading the excellent account of the flight […]

Review of Beyond the Call

Review of Beyond the Call: The true story of one WWII pilot’s covert mission to rescue POWs on the Easter Front written by Lee Trimble. Rating *** A good way to understand monumental events like WWII is by reading the personal stories of those who were there. This book tells the story of Robert Trimble, […]

Review of Janesville an American Story

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein Rating **** What happens to a community when a major employer leaves town? This is the basic premise of Janesville. The major employer is GM. The community is Janesville, Wisconsin. The book covers the years following the closing of the GM plant in December of 2008 to the […]

Review of Killers of the Flower Moon

Review of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Rating **** This is a story of greed, death, and evil. The book starts out slow as the author describes several mysterious deaths involving members of an Osage Indian family. Keeping track of the many characters and untimely deaths […]

An aging actor, the Hollywood Blacklist, and a film classic

Review of High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist, and the making of an American Classic Rating **** 1/2 When a film becomes successful, everyone involved in the making of the movie wants to take credit for its success. The truth is that every successful film owes its fortunes to just one person — the screenwriter. Without […]

Review of The Stranger in the Woods

Review of The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel Rating ***** When I first heard about this story of a man disappearing into the woods and not reappearing for twenty-seven years, I imagined someone living off the land. Hunting and fishing and growing crops. It never even donned on me that an individual could […]

A child prodigy, a violin virtuoso, and her stolen Stradivarius

Review of Gone: A Girl, a Violin, A Life Unstrung Rating ***** Gone is the story of a violin virtuoso and her stolen Stradivarius. I am listening to Min Kym’s Gone album as I write this review. I have also listened to other pieces mentioned in the book. There were many times as I was […]

Living, dying, and surviving life aboard a B-17

Review of Shot Down: The true story of Howard Snyder and the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth by Steve Snyder Rating *** Having just completed Indestructible about the air war in the Pacific during WWII, I thought it would be a good idea to read (and listen) about what was going on over the skies […]

Review of Indestructible

Review of Indestructible: One Man’s Rescue Mission That Changed the Course of WWII by John R. Bruning Rating ***** Indestructible is the remarkable story of the air campaign in the Philippines during WWII as told through the eyes of one family. Specifically, it is the story of Paul Irvin Gunn and his family after they […]

Review of When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Rating ***** It’s not  often that I call a book profound, but this book fits the bill. This is the story of a neurosurgeon, in his thirties, who learns that he has terminal cancer. It’s a memoir both about saving lives and loss of life. As a neurosurgeon, the author […]

Review of Adnan’s Story

Review of Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice after Serial by Rabia Chaudry Rating ***** Like anyone who paid any attention to the news a few years back, I heard about the podcast Serial. The podcast was downloaded over 150,000,000 times. The podcast told the story of a murder, conviction, and possible wrongful […]

Review of 23 7

Review of 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and The Rise of Solitary Confinement by Keramet Reiter Rating ***** Solitary confinement. Isolation. Supermax prisons. No matter what you call it, it’s inhumane to keep someone in total isolation for months, years, and decades with little or no human contact. This book provides a detailed history of how […]

Review of Who Killed These Girls?

Review of Who Killed These Girls? by Beverly Lowry Rating ***** How is it that so many supposed professionals can look at a confession that has every indication of being coerced continue with a prosecution? It’s unbelievable to me that so many detectives, prosecutors, district attorneys, judges, and jurors can be so incompetent that they […]

Review of Hillbilly Elegy

Review of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance Rating ***** In some ways, this memoir is a cautionary tale. Some might say that it is prescient in the way it accurately portrayed today’s political climate. I would recommend it to anyone who believes that the problems facing America were the fault of the current administration and […]