Book reviews

Book reviews with a Boston bent. Be it a book that takes place in Boston, or was written by a writer from Boston. Or one on the history of Boston. From comic book to graphic novels to the strange and weird. If it is about Boston you will find it here

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sorry I have been gone so long

I kept reading, I just stopped writing!

I am currently reading A Great and Noble Scheme The story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their home land. Very well written book, each chapter covers a short sad history of a group of French settlers and their Native American allies. Reminding the reader how hard it was to be a Catholic in the early days of the colonization of what is now Canada and The United States. It is a hard read, but then it has to be. What happened was a terrible thing, some thing that very few people know about. This book is a little bit about my history too, as we trace our family roots to the expulsion. So if you have roots in the area, if any of your ancestors were involved, this is a must read! Not book tells this sad story in 480 pages, and is very well footnoted for anyone interested in getting deeper into the history. I finished reading a nice little book The Pledge At 188 pages this is a short book for me. It starts as a wonderful well researched history about Francis Bellamy the Bostonian former clergyman who in 1892 wrote the original much shorter Pledge of Allegiance. The remainder of the book looks at the changes that have been made in the Pledge; including an entire chapter dedicated to the 1954 decision to add "under god" during the Cold War. An interesting look at how the pledge came to be, and how it has changed over the years. I wonder what Mr. Bellamy would think of his pledge today? On my to read shelf, The Name of War" About King Phillips war in 1675 and what it meant for New England. Followed by Death of an Empire The rise and fall of Salem Massachusetts, which was once the richest city in America. I am always looking for suggestions of new books to read, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments section.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Catching up on my reading

Leave it to a book blogger to add books to her "to be read" pile instead of reading what she already has. I have been reading some great books, including "The life signs of Star Trek" written by Susan Jenkins MD and Robert Jenkins. I just finished reading Fenway 1912 and celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.

I plan on taking my Mom there this year. She has never been and is looking forward to going.

I am currently reading "Game Change" after watching the HBO movie, I was interested in reading the book. Since the movie was all about the McCain Palin team I thought the book would be as well. Much to my surprise the book is more about Obama than anyone else. At best McCain gets 3 chapters, and even those are more about his interaction with Obama than anything else.

Sarah Palin does not even get a mention until page 351!  Her story, so well told in the movie gets little mention in the book. I wonder if the selection of  Biden as Vice President gets more ink.

The majority of the book, pretty much the first 200 pages are about the primary battle between Obama and Clinton, the other candidates running in 2008 don't get a mention. Well except for quoting  Biden's gaff about Obama being well spoken. So Game Change confuses me, I was looking for a good book reviewing the historic 2008 election, instead I got a book mostly  about the primary. Which is a good book, just not the one I was expecting. I also don't like the way the Clintons are portrayed in the book.  I felt it was a bit unfortunate for the portral of both of them. From the way Heilemann and Halperin describe her it sounds as if Clinton was willing to watch the Democratic party self destruct instead of loosing what she felt (or at least the book version of her) she deserved.

One thing that did surprise me early on in the book is the idea that Obama was pushed to run for President by the leaders of the party.  I did kind of have a feeling that was true, but the book names the people pushing him. 

The 2008 Presidential campaign does deserve to have several books written about it. Maybe a few insiders on both sides of the election will some day provide more background.  This was an historic election, I would enjoy reading more.  Sadly, Game Change is not that book.

It's good, a real page turner, but it's not what I thought it would be. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fenway 1912

I have been reading this book for a while. Getting distracted by the 101st season in my beloved park.

That is where  I discovered an interesting bit right in the first chapter.  Boston was once a two team town. There was an American League team The Boston Red Sox and a second team that played on the National team side.  This less popular team had been given several different names as time went on. The Nationals, The Doves, or even The Rustlers....  

Well Glenn Stout says it better than I ever could

The Nationals  began to rouse from their slumber.   James Gaffney, a member of New York's Tammany hall political machine purchased the club.  Former player John Montgmery Ward was elected president and on December 21 the club made some changes.

First Ward announced that henceforth the team would no longer   be known as The Nationals, or the Doves or Rustlers ....They would be known as "The Braves" Ward explained that new owner James Gaffney is one of the grand sachems of Tammany in New York and is known as one of the "Braves"


Therefore Boston Braves would have the true fighting ring that the fans would take to.  --James Gaffney

He continues  -----
The Tammany Hall building was in fact named after a Native American  Chief Tammany, and so the political activists who meet there and  became New York's first political machine were  called "Braves"

The nickname continues to this day, used by the Atlanta Braves although few fan realize that the name originally referred to a machine politician, not a Native American

Back to me then

So if any from Atlanta is listening, your team was not named as a offence of your Native lands.  The Toma-hawk shot in the 7th inning is useless. 

The new mascot should be a guy in a poorly made suit demanding 10% of all earning

Now

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm not celebrating Saint Patricks day

Expecting any one with even a drop of Irish blood or a tiny bit of information about the Irish diaspora to be "celebrating" St Patrick's day is to suggest Native American's should be celebrating Columbus Day. For what St Patrick did to the Irish, is just as horrible as what Columbus did to the indigenous people he "discovered" Please before anyone drinks a drop of green beer do some research about what really happened to the Irish. I'll even start you off with some information and links. The reason the Irish did not return to Ireland had nothing to do with the famine, and everything to do with the English property owners. For many people they watched the "property owners" knock down their villages, dump them into open wagons with little more than the cloths on their back and dumped into "plague ships" Many Irish only spoke Galic, did not know how to read or write and had spent many years as the English slave class. The Irish were mistreated here but it was still better than living there. Check out these web pages Irish Diaspora The short over view of the reasons the Irish left (were forced out) of Ireland Great Famine Reasons behind the great famine. Little known fact, during the height of the famine Ireland was exporting food to England. Penal laws These laws made it illegal for the Irish to learn to read or own property. These laws were the base for the later Protestant Ascendancy which

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Been doing a lot of reading

Just not the kind of reading that fits in this blogs focus. I went to Boskone in February and picked up some new books, Life Signs - Biology of Star Trek and Religions of Star Trek Notice a theme there. During the convention I attended a panel on the life of two amazing female authors who passed last year. Anne McCaffrey and Diana Wynne Jones The discussion wandered as discussions often do to the lives of these woman and the childhood experiences that formed them. We started discussing Anne's time in a boarding school and her treatment there. She was teased and bullied for her religion and appearance. Something that to many of us in the room was a regular occurrence growing up. The one man on the panel found it hard to believe Anne or any one would get bullied for their skin color, after all to him Anne was "white". I suggested he might want to read the works of David R Roediger including two books I thought I had in my lbrary The Wages of Whiteness and Working toward Whiteness I could not find the Roediger books in my library, they were not even listed in my library thing, so I did something silly and I ordered the books. It has been a while since I read them so I started re-reading Wages of Whiteness. I also have been reading the second book in the Fire and Ice series for the upcoming season. I read them a long time ago, and I kind of like to have the new book residing in my short term memory as I watch. I got them as E-books since they are door stoppers in all the best ways. Speaking of which, if you have read the books they jump chapters between point of view characters. I would like to be able to read the books reading every characters chapters as a whole. I have also started tossing out some books!!! Well not really books, I tossed out many magazines, and baseball annuals (kind of a big magazine about baseball teams and players) Not really something worth keeping. So I have been doing a lot of reading, just not a lot of reading that fits into the theme of this blog. So many I will expand the theme of the blog, or at least make more posts like this one.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

So many things can end up being about Boston.

Sorry there has been not a single blog post from me since the beginning of December. Next week is the big Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention Arisia and my entire being mentally and physically has been all wrapped up in getting ready for the convention.  I hope to see many friends there and make a few more while I am at it. 

I happen to  be a fan of the blog 
 Unlikely Words  I like that he always finds new and interesting things for me to learn.  Wednesday's blog post was especially interesting because it talked about accents.  As a strongly non-rhotic "speaka" --- "er" I have always wondered how the Boston accent came to be.  Lucky me, Aaron Cohen was thinking about the very same thing.  Just unlike me he actually knew the answer. British people use to have American Accents

So with dropped R's to all and good reads I bid you not good bye but see you soon.  I will be attached to Byron, as always and having the time of our lives. Please remember when Byron is wearing his blue vest he is working and should not be bothered. That and my severe food allergies, I want to spend the weekend at the convention, not Mass General.