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The Books That (Part 3): The Hollywood History of the World

Posted by on Nov 16, 2013 in Articles, The Books That | Comments Off on The Books That (Part 3): The Hollywood History of the World

This would be a good place to acknowledge that Hollywood first turned me on to many of the historical persons and events that now fill some of my shelves.  Certainly my books on frontier icons Davy Crockett, George Custer, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, and Jesse James owe their shelf-feet to productions starring Fess Parker, John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Hugh O’Brian, Burt Lancaster, Clu Guluger, and Tyrone Power. My father did not talk much about his World War II experiences (which gave him a bomber-load of medals, including the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster). My interest in WW2 was stirred by the many postwar combat movies, but the footage that influenced me most was found on the weekly documentary series on CBS, The Twentieth Century, hosted by former front-line combat reporter Walter Cronkite. Another Walter, Disney by name,...

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The Books That… Part 2: Growing Up With Books

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Articles, News, The Books That | Comments Off on The Books That… Part 2: Growing Up With Books

For ten years until his retirement, my father was figuratively chained to the Minuteman missile. His evenings, apart from dinner with the family, were largely spent reading and writing technical memoranda and reports designed to help ensure that the United States’s strategic nuclear warhead missile remained a jump ahead of Russian defenses. For that reason, I rarely saw a book in his hand. My mother’s night stand supported the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harold Robbins, authors Mr. Spock undoubtedly will refer to in a future century as “the giants.” Both parents encouraged their children to read. Our home library did not reflect the widest of tastes, but did allow for a child’s “cultural literacy” before that term became popular. I spent countless hours poring through our Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, A-Z. I devoured selected portion...

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The Books That… (Part 1)

Posted by on Nov 2, 2013 in News, The Books That | Comments Off on The Books That… (Part 1)

I’m boxing my books in preparation for upgrading the basement, currently home to a very large desk, two file cabinets, and fifteen book cases, not counting the three DIY cheapies. My library has grown, or rather gotten out of control, since we moved in over a decade ago. For a while, I was a book aggregator. I didn’t collect books so much as amass them in vain efforts to be a “completist.” To be fair, I’m the guilty party. Karen reads virtually every book she buys, while I too often buy them for the day I hope to read them. In the case of hundreds, it ain’t never gonna happen. I’ve tried to be a little more sensible in recent years, with mixed success. We’re still buying books, but Karen has jumped with both eyes into the world of e-books. That makes shelving...

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