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Dan
A passionate reader of everything except gothic romances and fantasy serials.
Recent Activity
Fresh Air, the NPR interview show hosted by Terri Gross, is typically engaging and interesting, so I tend to listen in. Recently, they did an interview with Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With A Pearl Earring (which I have not... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
Often referred to as the prelude to World War II, the Spanish Civil War has been reported upon, debated, and discussed for years…but remains not that well known or understood in the US (or at least among my group). Romanticized... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
I am a sucker for the esoteric. I love Simon Winchester (The Professor and the Madman about the most prolific contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary, Krakatoa about, well Krakatoa); I adored Mark Kurlansky’s Salt: A World History and Philp... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel You get to books in all sorts of ways. I got to this book by running across a news story someone had posted about... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, A Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill I have always been a Winston Churchill fan. Perhaps this comes from the quotes my parents used to fling out at the dinner table,... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
I see a pattern here. The latest incidents are from United and include the kids refused flight boarding because of their leggings and the Asian doctor bloodied and forcibly removed from the plane because he was “randomly” selected to make... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
Before proceeding, you may want to peruse John Varley (2006) and/or Rolling Thunder by John Varley, my previous reviews of John Varley's work. Slow Apocalypse is John Varley's latest novel. As I have written before, Varley's short stories are among... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
I would have sworn I have reviewed Chelsea Cain before this but for the life of me I can not find the review online or in my archives. That’s scary because the whole idea of the Reading Journal was so... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
The story is not new. The characters are somewhat stereotypical. The location has been a key player in many novels. There are good guys and bad guys and very few folks in-between. This should have been a ho-hum experience. News... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
Anything Carl Hiaasen writes is worth reading and odds are you will be terrifically entertained and get a real opportunity to exercise your laughing out loud skills. As usual, you get a huge dose of what we are doing to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Dan's Reading Journal
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (modern Orthodox) from 1991 to 2013 before retiring to write and lecture. Not In God’s Name is his refutation of the claimed theological legitimacy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2016 at Dan's Reading Journal
Does getting old necessarily require one to get cranky and curmudgeonly? I only ask because I fear it may be true in my case. I just read “Prudence” by David Treuer and as I began to write my review I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2016 at Dan's Reading Journal
Sometimes it is a circuitous route that leads me to a book, or a series of books. I know, you took one look at the title and thought I was reviewing a new porn site. Sorry, nope. In truth, the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2016 at Dan's Reading Journal
If you follow The Reading Journal, you know that I am a fan of Walter Mosely. I have reviewed only one of Mosley’s “Easy Rawlins” novels (Blonde Faith), but all of them are terrific. Mosley writes with a burning anger... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Dan's Reading Journal
James Ellroy does noir, and does noir very well. LA Confidential, The Black Dahlia, and White Jazz (making up 3 of the 4 novels of the LA Quartet) are really, really good. The first two are truly terrific. And, to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Dan's Reading Journal
The reviewer at The New York Times loved this book. Calling it “extraordinary”, the reviewer went on to state that “Hold the Dark” is an unnerving and intimate portrayal of nature gone awry. It forces us to confront a menacing... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Dan's Reading Journal
You don't have to be a geek to love Ready Player One. Now, to be absolutely honest, it sure doesn't hurt. It would also be very, very helpful to have been a 14 year-old in 1975 so that you would... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2015 at Dan's Reading Journal
I just got back from a trip to New York (moving the college kid out of her apartment, seeing a show, walking the High-Line) and started to wonder what is happening to us as consumers. Point: One restaurant with which... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at Dan's Reading Journal
David Mitchell is a talent, no doubt about it. The first I heard of him was as the author of the book that the movie Cloud Atlas was based on (his fifth book - so much for how up-to-date I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Dan's Reading Journal
Another one of those. I saw the movie. Actually, I saw the last half of the movie, then TIVO'd the movie so I could watch the beginning and I would watch it again. Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Dan's Reading Journal
You might remember Michael Faber from The Crimson Petal and The White (click for my review), a marvelous piece of fiction if a bit confused at the end. Wonderfully written and meticulously researched. So, in my hunt for great stuff... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Dan's Reading Journal
This really is a first. I don’t think I have ever actually written three reviews of three books by the same author. I am not even sure how this happened. Many years ago (like 8), I read and reviewed Michael... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Dan's Reading Journal
It is November 17 and we have inches of wet, heavy snow on the ground. Time to snuggle down into the covers/couch/favorite chair and think of things other than winter. Here's a few things to keep you occupied other than... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2014 at Dan's Reading Journal
Few books have received such accolades as this one. His mother should be proud (that's a truly distaff joke if there ever was one). No, truly - Ari Shavit's "My Promised Land" has received praise from such diverse luminaries as... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Dan's Reading Journal
And, once the heavy non-fiction is complete -- the fun and junk reading.....here is some of the winners on Dan's summer fun and junk reading list! Galveston: A Novel by Nic Pizzolatto Did you happen to watch "True Dectective" on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at Dan's Reading Journal