Category Archives: Re: Views

Reviews of books, music, films and whatever else seems worth reviewing.

The Goldfinch — A Review

Last night I finished listening to the audio recording of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which won a Pulitzer in 2014. Both before and after the award, it garnered a mixture of reviews, some praising it highly, some hating it. … Continue reading

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Words and Pictures — A Review

Words and Pictures, while perhaps not perfect, is a movie that is much better than its 6.6 user rating on IMDB would suggest, a rating earned probably because it’s not a Hollywoodish movie. It demands your close attention, and may … Continue reading

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Unbroken — Laura Hillenbrand

Recently, in part because of some books that have come my way as an editor, I’ve spent more time than I normally would have becoming acquainted with the experiences of men who have gone to war and returned from it. … Continue reading

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Doing Their Job?

A review of Redeployment by Paul Klay. Substantially the same text I posted on both Amazon and Goodreads. Five stars if you can handle it. I can’t conscientiously recommend this book for everyone. It’s a book for grown-ups. Its author, … Continue reading

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Passing on 43 on 41

I had pretty much a 100-percent-certain chance to meet George W. Bush today if I’d wanted to do it. I say “pretty much” only because nothing in life is absolutely certain. But I could have done it. Didn’t do it. … Continue reading

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Verizon’s Newbie Android Class Fail

Last night Suzy and I went to Verizon to take a “class” entitled “Beginning Android”. We were almost the youngest people there — and I’m seventy — I’ve arrived at the age where I want to tell people how old … Continue reading

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Sympathy Vote — A Review

Monsters exist in this world. They walk among us, and they sometimes hurt us and those we love. On September 18, 1966, twenty-one-year-old Valerie Jeanne Percy was brutally murdered in her bed in Kenilworth, Illinois. She was the daughter of … Continue reading

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A Late Quartet — a Review

It’s not often that I see a movie on subject matter that I think I know something about. But A Late Quartet in some respects touches very close to home. The story is about a famous string quartet struggling to … Continue reading

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Annie Leibovitz at Wexner Center

Tonight we went to the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University to see the magnificent new exhibit of Annie Leibovitz photos. The evening was highlighted by a conversation before a near capacity crowd (nearly 2500) in … Continue reading

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The Longest Race—Ed Ayres

Runner and writer Ed Ayres has written a new book about ultrarunning and the things ultrarunners think about: The Longest Race, lengthily subtitled A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance. I had the pleasure of … Continue reading

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Chronicles: Volume 1 — Bob Dylan

Contrary to implications from the title, and also to the customary method of presenting biography, Bob Dylan’s book Chronicles: Volume 1 is not a traditional “Born on a mountaintop in …” chronologically-told tale. We learn bits of the back story … Continue reading

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About Legacy Posts

As of July 25, 2011, I have migrated over 130 articles from my Neologistics blog, where since August 2005 I have posted many unsorted articles, including items unrelated to editing, writing, or literature. The articles copied from the old site … Continue reading

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A Former al-Qaeda Leader?

Recently I read a news story that referred to Osama Bin Laden as the “former leader of al-Qaeda”. Former? Ha! Perhaps so in the same way that Hitler is a former Nazi, or Ted Bundy a former serial murderer, if … Continue reading

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George Washington and Abraham Lincoln: Remedial Reading

Most reading for the purpose of taking in information is remedial — don’tcha think? After all, if you already know a subject, why read about it again? By the time a man gets to be my age, the scope of … Continue reading

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Keith Richards and Eric Clapton Autobiographies

In January 2011 I read Life by Keith Richards. In April I followed that with Eric Clapton’s earlier book: Clapton: The Autobiography. It was inevitable that readers who read both will see comparisons between these two icons of rock and … Continue reading

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Fry Street Quartet, Southern Theater

On Saturday night we had the pleasure of attending a concert by the Fry Street String Quartet at the Southern Theater in downtown Columbus, which we had not yet visited in our three-plus years of living in Ohio. The Southern … Continue reading

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Right Ho, Jeeves!

Among P.G. Wodehouse’s most popular novels is the 1934 work Right Ho, Jeeves!, featuring recurring luminaries, the young English gentleman Bertie Wooster and his ingenious and far-cleverer-than-his-boss valet Reginald Jeeves (whose first name is not given in this novel). One measure … Continue reading

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Keith Jarrett — Paris / London: Testament

Music reviews are typically descriptive, but because words never adequately describe music, I rarely review music recordings. Nonetheless, for Keith Jarrett’s 2008 album Paris / London: Testament I’ve made this exception. But first some background … People who know me … Continue reading

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Reading in Installments

At any given time I have between one and seven books in my Recent Reading stack marked as current. These are books that I really am reading at present. At this writing there are six on the stack: Washington: A … Continue reading

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The Creative Habit — Twyla Tharp

As a sometime composer and writer, I have always been fascinated by listening to creative people of all types discuss their work, especially how they go about doing it.  Therefore, when I recently bumped up against the title The Creative … Continue reading

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Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

Placeholder for a review soon to come.

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Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself

Image via Wikipedia I’ve just finished reading a new book (2010) by David Lipsky, the title of this post. It’s about a five-day road trip author David Foster Wallace took in 1995 at the behest of Wallace’s publisher Little, Brown … Continue reading

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Moby Dick

Never read it. Continue reading

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Jefferson the Neologist

Image via Wikipedia In answer to some people who stodgily protested certain Americanisms that had crept into the writing of Jefferson’s founding requirements regarding the University of Virginia, he defended himself by asserting that as new discoveries are made, new … Continue reading

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The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis — Columbus Museum of Art

We were present at the Columbus Museum of Art on October 7, 2010, for the members only opening of the exhibit “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis.” If you are unfamiliar with the world of comic book and … Continue reading

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Can You Guess How Oold I Am?

Have you ever noticed how some older people like to tell you their age? It seems I’ve reached that point in life where I’m anxious to tell people my age, sometimes looking for excuses to do so. It’s a pretty … Continue reading

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Metropolis — 2010 Restoration

Last night we saw the recently restored version of Franz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece silent film Metropolis, the progenitor of almost every later science fiction action film. The venue was one of my favorite places in Columbus, the Wexner Center for … Continue reading

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Julie & Julia

Last night we watched Julie & Julia. Yes, we’re behind everyone else. All the movies we watch are borrowed from the library, so we have to wait until they are available. We haven’t rented a movie in nearly three years. … Continue reading

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Bright Star

Last night we watched the movie Bright Star, about the (short) life of John Keats — or at least about the last part of it. It’s a good movie. The dialog is captivating, particularly the snippy repartee between Keats’s romantic … Continue reading

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Why Boys Fail — Richard Whitmire

Last week I stumbled across a newly published book displayed on a book stand next to a terminal in the Bexley library: Why Boys Fail, by education reporter Richard Whitmire. Intrigued, I snatched it up and read it in two … Continue reading

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Bone — Jeff Smith

Cover of Crown of Horns (Bone, Vol. 9) Exactly one year ago today Suzy and I attended the world premiere of a documentary about comic book artist Jeff Smith, who is from Columbus area, and a graduate of The Ohio … Continue reading

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House — Tracy Kidder

This morning I finished reading House, by literary non-fiction author Tracy Kidder, still most famous for his Pulitzer Prize winning book The Soul of a New Machine, written a couple of years before House. The book was published in 1985. … Continue reading

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Subtle Is the Lord — A Reflection

Cover via Amazon Albert Einstein is such an iconic personage that Time magazine named him Person of the Century in 2000. Despite this, few people can explain what it was this singularly independent, rumpled man did to earn the world’s … Continue reading

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Self Improvement

One day in 1972, while browsing in a book store in Manhattan, I stumbled across a 246-page, cartoon filled self-help pocket book with the eyebrow-raising title How to Develop Your Thinking Ability—A guide to sound decisions by Kenneth S. Keyes, … Continue reading

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Failed Diets

Some diet plans, notably Weighwatchers, depend on logging everything that is eaten, playing on the theory that if you have to log it, you may eat less. One reason some people fail miserably in all attempts to control weight is … Continue reading

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Streisand Does Phoenix

When Suzy and I have told people we went to hear Barbra Streisand in concert Thursday night (November 16th) the almost universal reaction has been a discreet, “Well, Barbra Streisand is not my cup of tea, but I’m glad you … Continue reading

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Balanchine Festival, Ballet Arizona

Saturday night we attended a Ballet Arizona performance that was billed as part of a George Balanchine festival. While the music, the dancing, and the choreography were all exquisite, the experience was not without eyebrow-raising issues. We bought tickets six … Continue reading

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Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman — Arizona Opera

Last night was the first time in 62 years of musical life that I ever attended a live production of a Wagner opera. At that rate I’ll be 124 before I see my next one. I can wait. The event … Continue reading

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Handel’s Semele — Arizona Opera Company

On January 30th Suzy and I attended the Arizona Opera Company’s performance of Semele by Handel. Some musicologists classify it as a “secular oratorio” rather than an opera, but all presentations of it I’ve found listed by Google have been … Continue reading

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Downtown Chamber Players Concert Review

Friday night Suzy and I attended an all contemporary chamber music concert. (Contemporary if you count Ysaÿe.) It’s been a long time since I did that. The venue was a huge space in downtown Phoenix called The Ice House, which … Continue reading

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Where’s the Beef?

Some time ago I learned that Billy Joel has been busy composing “classical music.” What this term means to composers of popular music is generally something quite different from what it means to modern, mainstream, “serious” composers. To most pop … Continue reading

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English As a Second Language for Native-Borns

There was a high school physics teacher who subscribed to a mail list I once belonged to. Everyone disliked him because he was an idiot and most of what he said was both ignorant and offensive. He was nearly illiterate … Continue reading

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Tatoos As Art?

Last year I read an article that began: The double Olympic champion didn’t know whether to laugh or cry after spotting Emma Fitch’s mis-spelt work of art [a tatoo] during a walkabout in Kent. I’ve seen tatoos justified as “art” … Continue reading

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Micro-Thoughts

Some people have things to say and some people have to say things. There are c. 6.5 billion people in the world. If the average person lives 76 years, 27740 days, It means that throughout the world an average of … Continue reading

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