“A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.” ―Mignon McLaughlin, The Complete Neurotic's Notebook

Monday, October 31, 2016

And So It Goes by Charles J. Shields

Synopsis: Biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Writing Style: Professional Literary Journalism.

Pacing: Fast.

Premise: An Exclusive Exhaustive Expose about the life of a notable writer.

Personal Highlights: The ironies and contradictions in this tomb were rife. Towards the third quarter panel of this book Vonnegut’s story, as told by Shields, underscores the importance of writing passionately from the heart. Nothing *more*. Nothing less.

Other miens that struck me most; Kurt’s upbringing…his early education and writing for various newspapers and magazines before flailing and or failing and enlisting in the army to ‘end up’ in Dresden. This opening motivated me to read the moving frames carefully… and slowly, which Shields is no shamrod (aka apprentice) meticulously webbing an accidental paradox of knots. I wanted to CLEARLY understand Kurt’s views (before and after) about WWII.

Also, while laden packed with sarcasm, highly entertaining stuff not all attributable to Vonnegut, there none-the-less is really little to consider hilariously riotous, though tickled plenty I was. Niggling quips such as; Tralamadorian’s quote “…we all are bugs in amber” and Kurt’s musings about ‘the idea of a society in freefall because of its fascination with laborsaving devices…’and his proposing to write ‘a book called Clean Stories for Clean People in Drugstores and Bus Depots…’ and observing how ‘…almost all good writers are dropouts…’ along with ‘reading being the “greatest treasure at the core of our civilization…”’ were musings, among many, where I paused for serious reflection.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Synopsis: Memoir of a scholar researching and assessing low wage earners and workplace conditions...by proxy.

Writing Style: Journalistic memoir

Pacing: Fast.

Premise: A quadrilateral digest to invite (or incite) thought and conversation on low wage workers and workplaces in America.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Every Little Step by Bobby Brown


Synopsis: A Memoir of Bobby Brown’s Personal and Professional Musical Career.

Writing Style: 1st person Conversational.

Pacing: Fast. VERY Fast!

Premise: Getting to Know ‘the Real’ Bobby Brown.

My Road by Charles E. Williams

Synopsis: Memoir of (retired) Major General Charles E. Williams.

Writing Style: 1st person 2-piece suit, neck & tie writing voice.

Pacing: Fast.

Premise: A ‘solipsistic’ look back at one life journey paralleling a literal and figurative paving of roads.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd


Synopsis: A Memoir of a Marine Fighter Pilot’s view on Christian faith and belief.

Writing Style: Mix of autobiographical, personal introspection and journalistic biography.

Pacing: Moderate.