Biography, Book Review, Culture, History, Plain Speaking, Relationships

Quote of the Day: On Narcissism and Truth

Whatever the cause, my memory is my memory, it does what it does, gathers and curates as it sees fit, and there's just as much truth in what I remember and how I remember it as there is in so-called objective facts.  Things like chronology and cause-and-effect are often just fables we tell ourselves about… Continue reading Quote of the Day: On Narcissism and Truth

Biography, Book Review, Culture, Travel

From Utmost East to Utmost West: A Very Preliminary Book Review

Cross-posted from Ricochet: And a conclusion:  If you only buy one book in 2023, make it this one. I hope I’m not alone in my annual habit of buying myself the occasional Christmas present, wrapping it up, and labeling it “with love from the dogs–we tried not to slobber on it” or “from the sheep–thanks for the hay!” or “affectionately,… Continue reading From Utmost East to Utmost West: A Very Preliminary Book Review

Animals, Book Review, Family, Quote of the Day

“The Gift of My Childhood”

My childhood in Corfu shaped my life. If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhood--Gerald Durrell I was a voracious reader as a child. If it came between endboards, I read it. Too young for me (I loved the Peter Rabbit tales for years longer than I should… Continue reading “The Gift of My Childhood”

Biography, Book Review, History, Travel

Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Gift for Adventure

A recent, and very enjoyable, perusal of a book review in the Daily Telegraph (apologies if you can't get behind the paywall, but it was of this book: From Utmost East to Utmost West--My Life of Exploration and Adventure, by Colonel John Blashford-Snell**), put me in mind of a post from almost exactly a year… Continue reading Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Gift for Adventure

Biography, Book Review, Literature, Poetry

Not A Book Review: William Blake Verus The World, by John Higgs

I can't review it, because I haven't read it yet.  But I'm charmed by a lengthy excerpt which the author himself has posted on Lapham's Quarterly. It's the story of an unlikely friendship that developed towards the end of Blake's life, and one which reminds me--as do so many biographies and vignettes of eighteenth century… Continue reading Not A Book Review: William Blake Verus The World, by John Higgs

Book Review, Guest Post, War

Book Review by Seawriter–Dreadnoughts at War

The dreadnought battleship was an iconic technology in the first half of the twentieth century. Nations poured millions into their construction. Despite – or perhaps because of – the money spent building them, they were rarely used. Clash of the Capital Ships: From the Yorkshire Raids to Jutland, by Eric Dorn Brose, presents one period… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter–Dreadnoughts at War

Book Review, Guest Post, War

Book Review by Seawriter: Adventure in the Persian Gulf

Jack “Rattler” Owen had a dream when he was growing up--to become a US Navy fighter pilot. He is now a Navy pilot in today’s US Navy, but he is flying the E-2C Hawkeye, not fighters. Treason Flight, a thriller by T. R. Matson opens with Owen discovering flying the Hawkeye can be every bit… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: Adventure in the Persian Gulf

Animals, Book Review, Guest Post, Literature

Book Review by Seawriter: Zoology as Seen Through Fable

We read Aesop’s Fables as children or re-read them aloud to our children. Their lessons resonate today. But how accurate are the depictions of the animals in the fables? Can crows add pebbles to a pitcher to raise the water level? Are wolves cruel and rapacious, foxes wily, or donkeys stubborn and stupid? Could a… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: Zoology as Seen Through Fable

Book Review, Guest Post, Science Fiction

Book Review by Seawriter: The Hunt for the Mesan Alignment

The sprawling science fiction series involving Honor Harrington started in 1993, with On Basilisk Station. Nearly thirty years later it is still going strong with nearly thirty novels and six anthologies in five different threads. To End in Fire by David Weber and Eric Flint is the Honorverse’s latest arrival. Part of the “Crown of… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: The Hunt for the Mesan Alignment

Book Review, Guest Post, Mystery

Book Review By Seawriter: A 1950s -Style Noir Mystery Set in 1950s New York

Jake August writes pulp fiction. He was a Navy Criminal Investigation Division officer, before he got shot in a brothel in Occupied Japan and was invalided out of the service. Now in 1952, he writes paperback novels for Rattlesnake Books. Deadline: New York, a mystery by Jim Lester, explores the emerging world of paperback publishing… Continue reading Book Review By Seawriter: A 1950s -Style Noir Mystery Set in 1950s New York