Profile for A. Wirkmaa > Reviews

Browse

A. Wirkmaa's Profile

Customer Reviews: 15
Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,196,512
Helpful Votes: 44


Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
A. Wirkmaa "Gentleman & Scholar" RSS Feed (Wyckoff, New Jersey)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
A Bowl Full of Memories: 100 Years of Football at the Yale Bowl
A Bowl Full of Memories: 100 Years of Football at the Yale Bowl
by Rich Marazzi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $33.51
33 used & new from $25.75

5.0 out of 5 stars A MARVELOUS BOOK!, October 14, 2014
Simply put, Rich Marazzi brings boundless and infectious enthusiasm to all his work, and "A Bowl Full of Memories: 100 Years of Football at the Yale Bowl" is no exception.

The pages fairly burst with an intense passion for the subject matter; a passion so strong that very few (if any) reading the book cannot help but be drawn into the fascinating and storied football history and lore that has had its home in New Haven for the last 100 years - and counting.

In short, all the praise that this book has received is unquestionably merited and richly (pun intended) deserved, and much of the reason why this tome is as enjoyable and impressive as it is comes from the author's ability to infuse his aforementioned enthusiasm into every page of this thoroughly marvelous book.


The Official Rules: 5,427 Laws, Principles, and Axioms to Help You Cope with Crises, Deadlines, Bad Luck, Rude Behavior, Red Tape, and Attacks by Inanimate Objects (Dover Humor)
The Official Rules: 5,427 Laws, Principles, and Axioms to Help You Cope with Crises, Deadlines, Bad Luck, Rude Behavior, Red Tape, and Attacks by Inanimate Objects (Dover Humor)
by Paul Dickson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.70
19 used & new from $13.04

5.0 out of 5 stars A TREASURE TROVE OF CLEVER QUIPS, April 2, 2014
Some people collect stamps. Others collect coins or butterflies or baseball cards, or whatever, and those who do derive pleasure for themselves in the process.

Paul Dickson (aside from being a prodigious, prolific and highly respected author) collects bon mots and maxims, and in doing so and laying them out between the covers of “The Official Rules”, he delivers pleasure to anyone and everyone who reads what he’s collected.

Every page of this splendid book is brimming with “laws, principles and axioms” that will make you laugh, or at least smile, and give you some insight – be it large or small – into the nature of the world in which we live.

Short of anyone who cannot read, or anyone who has no sense of humor whatsoever, there is no one that will not find Dickson’s latest to be a thoroughly delightful smorgasbord of wit that ranges from profoundly perceptive to just plain hilarious.


Journalese: A Dictionary for Deciphering the News
Journalese: A Dictionary for Deciphering the News
by Paul Dickson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.46
45 used & new from $8.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU'LL NEVER READ OR HEAR THE NEWS THE SAME WAY AGAIN., May 13, 2013
Paul Dickson and Robert Skole have pulled off something quite special.

They've written a book that defines and explains numerous words and phrases frequently used by journalists in print and on the air.

That sounds somewhat dry, but the book is absolutely hilarious. At the same time, it skillfully catalogs and exposes much of the balderdash that we're all bombarded with on a daily basis in the guise of "serious" news reporting.

BTY - What was the unit of measure employed to describe the size of hailstones before the invention of golf?

In any case, reading "Journalese: A Dictionary for Deciphering the News" brought me to the realization that there are countless trite cliches, euphemistic garbage and plain nonsense in the language of journalism that goes largely unnoticed, perhaps because it's repeated over and over again and the mind goes numb, but after reading Journalese, I - for one - will be far more tuned into the baloney that journalists serve up so much and so often.

Thank you Paul and Robert.


Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents
Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents
by Paul Dickson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.03
69 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars AN EYE OPENING BOOK, IF THERE EVER WAS ONE, March 5, 2013
America's presidents have all contributed to our country's progress, although some have done so much more than others, and some in ways that history has judged as not altogether positive. However, those contributions - be they good, bad or in between - have not been limited to official executive actions chronicled in traditional history texts.

As Mr. Dickson's latest proves, many words and phrases can be traced to the White House, which makes for a fascinating subject, and that is not a fluke in the case of "Words from the White House" inasmuch as every time Dickson drains a barrel of ink, the results are always interesting and engaging.

For instance, "sugar coated" goes back to Lincoln. "Pussy foot" is one of Teddy Roosevelt's many contributions, along with "loose cannon", "lunatic fringe" and "muckraker. Even a word as common as "administration" came from no one less than George Washington, and Jefferson came up with more than his fair share of contributions, like "belittle" (would you believe).

At the same time, "iffy" is a child of FDR, and "caucus" came from John Adams.

And then there's George W. Bush.

Regardless, there are many fascinating things to be learned from this delightful book, and it's a fun ride all the way from the founding fathers (thank you Mr. Harding for that one) down to Barrack Obama (whose consternation about D.C.'s current agitated state of mind being "wee-weed up" is shared by many).

So, with due credit given to the aforementioned TR, "Words from the White House" can be summed up in one word - BULLY!


Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick
Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick
by Paul Dickson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.96
66 used & new from $0.04

5.0 out of 5 stars A NEW CLASSIC!, June 5, 2012
Back in college, I was taught that James Boswell's biography of Samuel Johnson (first published in 1791) is the greatest biography ever written in the English language, being stirring, perceptive, insightful and thoroughly entertaining in chronicling the illustrious life of a truly great man.

Not having read Mr. Boswell's honored work cover to cover, I cannot honestly say that the unparalleled stature it has is not deserved, or that the praise that's been lavished upon it for over 200 years is overstated, and if I were to do so, it would be contrary to a virtually universal consensus about its quality and distinction.

On the other hand, having read Paul Dickson's latest - Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick - I can truthfully say (without hesitation and without equivocation) that what Boswell was to Samuel Johnson, Dickson is to Bill Veeck.

Simply put, Veeck is - and will be doubtless be considered to be in years to come - a classic, in every sense of the word.


Baseball Is . . .: Defining the National Pastime (Dover Baseball)
Baseball Is . . .: Defining the National Pastime (Dover Baseball)
by Paul Dickson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.95
42 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars - No Doubt About It!, May 31, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Beauty is truth, truth beauty, and happiness is a warm gun.

That's simple. That's easy.

Here's the tough one - what is baseball?

Paul Dickson has taken a very clever idea for a book (addressing that question by assembling a wealth of marvelous quotes, ranging from witty and light to deep and often thought provoking), and he's come though again with yet another baseball book in a long line of works he's written or otherwise assembled that examine the myriad aspects of the game in a fresh, fine and fun manner, giving the reader a major dose of enlightenment, along with considerable entertainment.

Recently, Mr. Dickson was awarded the 2011 Tony Salin Memorial Award by the Baseball Reliquary, a prestigious Southern California-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history.

It's a true honor, given the high caliber of the prior recipients of the award, but it comes as no surprise that Mr. Dickson would receive the award because this book, along with the many Dickson baseball tomes that have preceded it (like the three editions of his Baseball Dictionary - the definitive treatise on baseball's enormous and wildly varied lexicon - and so many other publications) constitute a significant and stellar contribution to the literature of baseball.

In short, Mr. Dickson seems to have a bottomless reservoir of always new and always unique approaches to writing about the national pastime - a well-spring of creative motifs from which he has drawn so many times over the course of his career to create works that are as amazing as they are amusing, delightful from start to finish, and "Baseball is..." is that.


162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season: A Game-by-Game Anaylsis of the Greatest Wins in Mets History
162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season: A Game-by-Game Anaylsis of the Greatest Wins in Mets History
by Howie Karpin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.25
55 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's more than one storied MLB franchise in NYC!, March 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Quite a few years ago, Billy Joel sang that "the Yankees get the headlines every time".

Not so.

The truth be told, the Mets have garnered more than their fair share of headlines over the course of the last 50 some odd years - Yankees be damned.

With that in mind, I read "162-0: Imagine a Mets Perfect Season", and it confirmed that Billy's assertion was not altogether accurate because "The Amazin's" have certainly played many memorable games.

In this book, which chronicles the most noteworthy games that the Mets have won since their incarnation in 1962, Howie Karpin has described a season's worth of competitions where the Mets have shined, and he has done so in an excellent fashion.

For starts, the range of games outlined is as wide as one could imagine, played in six different decades, and it spans from one of the most famous (and infamous) baseball games ever played, Game 6 of the 1986 World Series (do the names Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner ring a bell?) to a curious scorekeeping anomaly that same year when the Mets retired 27 Philadelphia Phillies batters without even one assist being logged - amazing!

Moreover, Mr. Karpin's book is an altogether enjoyable, very readable and quite edifying work because it is balanced in its approach and otherwise well written. In other words, the author does not take on the shrill tone of a rabid Mets fan, but at the same time, he does not hide a passion for one of baseball's most intriguing franchises, and the prose employed is direct and to the point, but far from being at all dry, dreary or boring.

In sum, Mr. Karpin has written a solid tome that every baseball fan - regardless of any team affiliation - will enjoy because it's a first-rate book that's not only an engagingly good read, but informative and fun as well.


162-0: Imagine a Yankees Perfect Season: The Greatest Wins!
162-0: Imagine a Yankees Perfect Season: The Greatest Wins!
by Martin Appel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.78
54 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And Now For Something Completely Different!, June 16, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Well, perhaps not completely different, but certainly fresh and inventive, and lots of fun to read.

Here's a book that employs a clever device, assembling a "season" of games - all Yankee victories - from contests going as far back as the first Yankees no-hitter in 1917, and the Yankees' home opener in 1923 (when Babe Ruth hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium, and committed the first error there as well), to as recently as A-Rod's walk-off home run in the bottom of the 15th inning in August of 2009 that knocked-off New York's arch rivals from Boston.

With as long and an illustrious past as the Bronx Bombers have, populated by so many Hall of Fame players, Hall of Fame players in waiting, household names (even if not officially enshrined in Cooperstown), and far more than it's fair share of bona fide baseball legends and gods, it would be virtually impossible to round up a full season of Yankee wins, recount them, and not conjure up countless Olympian feats achieved by individuals whose names are indelibly associated with baseball greatness. But this nifty little tome has the cream of the crop. Consequently, it's a terrific read - from start to finish - filled with remarkable accomplishments and exploits on every page.

In short, Mr. Appel has done a great job, and I have no doubt that the considerable help and assistance he received from fellow author Howie Karpin (sports reporter and official scorer for the aforementioned Yankees and their National League Metropolitan cousins in Queens) served Mr. A quite well (judging from the wealth of detail you'll find between the covers, and the quality of the end product).

And best of all, you don't have to be a Yankees fan to like and enjoy this book: it's simply baseball history at its best.


Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary
Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary
by Paul Dickson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.85
72 used & new from $0.01

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EAT, DRINK (NOT TOO MUCH) AND BE MERRY: READ, LEARN AND ENJOY., October 6, 2009
Did you ever have a teacher who made it fun to learn: a teacher who passed along knowledge and insight in a way that you wished ever teacher could/would?

Sadly, teachers like that are a rare breed, but they do exist, and when you have the good fortune to come across one, it's a delight (as anyone who has had such a teacher knows full well).

In any case, that's what comes to mind when you peruse Paul Dickson's latest contribution to the literature of lexicography: "Drunk".

Paul's like that teacher whose classes you actually look forward to, whose classes you would never even dream of cutting.

By compiling the seemingly endless euphemisms, surrogate words and phrases for perhaps the most human of all human conditions, Paul brings into focus and amply illustrates the wonderful richness of language - the endless capacity of humans to express themselves - and he does so in the most entertaining (and quite comprehensive) manner imaginable.

Simply put, there's a lot to learn - and laugh about - in this latest tome by perhaps the most prolific and astute author putting pen to ink to paper these days, and although the rather straight-forward title may not impart the full width and depth of what can be found between the covers, "Drunk" is a wonderful book that everyone who reads it will enjoy and learn from (on many levels) be they drunk, sober, or somewhere in-between.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 3, 2009 11:54 PM PST


The Unwritten Rules of Baseball: The Etiquette, Conventional Wisdom, and Axiomatic Codes of Our National Pastime
The Unwritten Rules of Baseball: The Etiquette, Conventional Wisdom, and Axiomatic Codes of Our National Pastime
by Paul Dickson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.04
63 used & new from $1.23

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE TOP THREE UNWRITTEN REASONS WHY I LOVE THIS BOOK, May 17, 2009
1). It's fun.

Dickson's latest foray into the national pastime looks at baseball's conventions and traditions (many of which are decidedly quirky) and its "culture" (far from straight and sober in so many ways), and in doing so reveals the underlying charm and seductiveness of baseball.

At the same time,

2). It's full of the wisdom that can only come from experience.

Dickson doesn't just string a bunch of bon mots you might overhear hanging around a sports bar and call it a book: far from it. Rather, he has exhaustively researched and gathered a staggering amount of insights and acumen from a virtual army of individuals with immeasurable experience in and understanding of baseball (from Yogi Berra to Don Zimmer, and all points in between).

Furthermore,

3). It's sharp, energetic and witty.

Some have said that a good sense of humor is a sign of intelligence. If that's so, Dickson is one smart guy, and he shows it with this book. Moreover, it's also obvious that many - if not most - of the players, coaches, managers and assorted baseball people quoted in the book have something more than air between their ears as well.

In short, no one who buys and reads this book will ever feel any remorse or regret in having made the investment of money and time to do so. It delivers what the title promises, in spades, and - like all the many other books that Dickson has penned over his long and prolific career - it's altogether sound, rock solid in its execution, and simply delightful in every respect.


Page: 1 | 2