I'm flattered so many people ask me to review their book, but please understand that I only review books I choose for myself. I do not reply to unsolicited requests. See my website for more about me, about my interests, and links to my personal and professional blogs.
Imagine starting your career as one of Abraham Lincoln's personal secretaries, ending it as Secretary of State to Theodore Roosevelt, and along the way editing a newspaper, managing a large business enterprise, serving as the United States' ambassador to the United Kingdom and being close to Presidents Garfield and McKinley. That was the life of John Milton Hay.
Genuinely erudite, Hay co-wrote a magnificent ten volume biography of Lincoln with the president's other private secretary John Nicolay. He also penned a decent novel, though he wasn't as gifted a writer as his close friend Henry James. Hay's poems were well received at the time.
With "Black Sun, Red Moon" first time author Rory Marron gives us part one of a fascinating episode of World War II. While it is a work of fiction, Marron relates factual events little known among Western readers and pushes us out of our moral comfort zone.
The story takes place in Java as the Pacific war is ending and there's no question Japanese forces committed atrocities. They interned European civilians under harsh conditions, they pressured women for their military brothels often under threat of violence, and they began it all by launching an aggressive war of imperial expansion.
But at the same time, the Europeans interned by the Japanese were Dutch colonial… Read more
Taken purely at face value, Dante has a lot to answer for; next to him, Hannibal Lecter is a choir boy. There isn't much to defend a literal reading of the Inferno: it's sadistic, sick, and vicious. Men stuck head first into a pit with their feet burning as a punishment for buying a bishopric. Others have waste (the human kind) pouring out of their mouths for having pandered and flattered their way to success. False prophets have their heads twisted around and must walk backwards to see where they are going. Others are stuck in boiling pitch with devils and demons pushing them back in if they try to climb out.
My project for 2012 is to write a short review for each play Shakespeare created. I'm listing them here as I go along. I won't presume to add anything to the academic corpus on Shakespeare, I'm just writing down fun thoughts about his works.
These are books, listed in no particular order, that I've read and never forgotten. I rate them all five stars but more than that, the experience they gave me stayed with me all my life. They are not necessarily important books or books that matter, whatever that means. They are well crafted books&hellip Read more