Thursday, January 4, 2018

"A Gentleman in Moscow"

Thoroughly delightful book. I revolves a Russian Count who is placed under house arrest in a luxurious hotel in downtown Moscow, just after the Russian Revolution. At first he resides in a large suite but is soon banished into a closet-sized room in the attic of the hotel. He reminisces about his days on the family estate, painting a beautiful picture of pre-revolutionary Russia. The Count  befriends a young girl and the two of them explore the hotel together. As the story progresses, various friends stop by and they share stories of their times together. It's one of those charming books you just don't want to end.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Fugitive Pieces"

Absolutely one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. It unfolds like a beautiful poem. The book starts out with a young Jewish child, Jakob,  in WWII Poland hiding in the forest after his his family is murdered by the Nazis. He is rescued up by a Greek geologist who takes him back to Greece. The geologist raises him as if he was his own son. This is a wonderful story that you'll never forget. A warning: don't read the short blurb describing the story on the first two pages. It totally ruins the plot. I've actually torn it out before lending it to friends. It has been made into a movie which is pretty true to the book, however I enjoyed the book quite a bit more.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"The Nest"

An enjoyable read. Nothing too deep or complicated. It's about a family of eccentric New York swells who are counting on "The Nest Egg" which their parents are going to leave them when the youngest daughter hit 40. Well, things don't go according to plan, Without giving away any more of the plot, let's just say it's a good vacation or lounging by the pool book.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"The Arsenal of Democracy"

Absolutely fascinating book. The subtitle is: "FDR, Detroit, and an epic quest to arm an America at war." That really sums us what this book is about. It focuses on how Detroit's automotive companies shifted production from cars to planes and all manner of war production during WWII. A large part of the book is devoted to Ford Motor Company, with special attention given to the role Edsel Ford played in the war effort and converting Ford's plants to help with the war effort. The book is very readable, entertaining, and well researched.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"The New Yorker Book of War Pieces"

Before I begin my review of this remarkable book, let me just say that I feel the New Yorker is the finest magazine published in the English language. And has been since 1925. There. That said, this book gives one an incredible glimpse into the world of the Second World War, as experienced by the people who lived through it. Ordinary citizens, soldiers, and journalists. And the stories, while reported chronologically, cover the entire globe. The writing, as you'd expect from writers like A.J. Liebling, Rebecca West, Brendan Gill, and Phillip Hamburger is first rate. You feel you're right there in the thick of the action with them. It's one of those books you just don't want to end.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Second Hand"

I can't believe I've gone this long without reading this novel. It was written by a friend of a friend. It's a fictional account of the life of an owner of a second hand store. You'd think it would be pretty dry, but the guy has a great sense of humor. I'm about 3/4 of the way through and it's really well written.  I have his other two books on my nightstand and am anxious to launch into them.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

"The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared."

What a fun book. It starts just like the title say, when a 100-year-old man leaves the old folks home right before his birthday party. He shows up at the bus station where he steals a suitcase with millions of dollars of drug money. The story jumps back and forth from the present day to his whole, unbelievable and improbable life. Not a deep book, just a joy to read.