Wednesday, October 30, 2013
....but I finished reading "Tucker's Last Stand", a Vietnam-era thriller by William F. Buckley, Jr. This author, who passed away a couple of years ago, was a legendary writer of non-fiction, a political and social commentator, a TV personality and much more. Almost as a lark, it seems, he dashed off a series of spy thrillers of the Cold War period. A typical story of the genre, with attractive but one dimensional characters; I kept thinking the book would have made a fine adult-style comic book, with a nice graphic presentation. Set in 1964, with real life political figures among the cast of characters: there is an unforgettable image of Lyndon Johnson conducting a meeting with aides from the White House swimming pool.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Recently I mentioned I started reading "The Source", a 1960's saga by James A. Michener. Today I finished the first long chapter. The plot centers on an archaeology dig in Israel in the 1960's; and this author plays it pretty straight. No Indiana Jones stunts. Main characters are introduced, the dig has begun and artifacts are discovered. Presumably, these artifacts will figure later in the book as the history of the site is revealed in later chapters. Two things I'm not enjoying so far: the elementary level treatment of the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people, religion and culture; and the marginalization of women. Maybe because the book is somewhat dated. Truth is, I tried a Michener novel years ago (Alaska) and couldn't finish it. Why am I doing this to myself?
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Friday, October 11, 2013
...a vintage 1966 thriller by the late British novelist; the story reminded me of the antics of Indiana Jones in the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which came along much later. The hero is a British professor of archaeology who is about to start a major career advancement by developing a department at a new university. He is all but kidnapped (bribed, actually) by the young Israeli government (early 1960's) to come to Israel to interpret the meaning of a newly discovered scroll fragment; there is a chance that his help may lead to the discovery of the hidden location of one of the long-lost treasures of Jewish religion and culture. He goes, he helps, he thinks, he drinks, he smokes, he naturally seduces his young female driver(it's the 1960's after all). I forget how people smoked all the time in those days! There is danger, intrigue, rattling around in the Negev Dessert escaping Arab kidnappers and a rogue flash flood. I learned was a "tel" and a "wadi" are. The story had a witty, James Bond-like feel which seems a bit dated for current times. It got me interested in the subject of locating lost artifacts so I started "The Source" by James A. Michener this afternoon on the train on the ride home. Much better.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Lately, instead of eclectic patterns of selecting (usually fiction) books, I focused on works of American-centered history. "Wilde...
The venerable gentleman on the left, a life long resident of the Lexington area, has passed away. The senior family member, he was...
Halloween photo is not mine; borrowed from Facebook post of neighbor's daughter! Starting to read more non-fiction, I happened on a...
The Pacific waves were strong that day, the sound of water smashing and crashing, mixed with the fizzy noise of a trillion tiny bubbles bu...