This brought back a lot of memories of the work of photographers I studied from the time I picked up a 35mm camera in high school till I graduated from college with a photojournalism degree in 1976. The photos are well chosen and nicely reproduced and the commentary is opinionated in a good way.
As with the songs of that era, there’s work in the book that I didn’t like then, but that I very much like now.
In this 1965 novel a president starts showing signs of paranoia and plans to subvert the Constitution to root out his enemies. One might call it prophetic. What’s disheartening is that, while Knebel could imagine a president going mad, he couldn’t foresee a day when the president’s own party would pretend the madness didn’t exist.
“Night of Camp David” is a solid political thriller, but very much of its era. By which I mean twenty-first century readers might be offended by the way gender and race are handled and surprised by its portrayal of a functioning federal government. It’s a good read, but sad.
This book is a discussion between a critic and Magnum photographer (and fellow Minnesotan) Alec Soth. I don’t always like Soth’s photos, but I almost always find them interesting (and often a bit mysterious). I enjoyed reading his thoughts on his own work.
I really like Julian Stockwin’s Kydd series. This one, however, was disappointing. Most of the book isn’t about Kydd as much as it is about the beginnings of the Peninsular War. It reads like a couple of novellas strung together to impersonate a novel.
The title of this book should be “Tolkien: A Biography Through World War I”, because it’s not just about his wartime experiences, but about his life up till about age 26. It focuses on his closest boyhood friends and their fates in the war.
Garth He goes into detail about the development of Tolkien’s languages and the associated world building.
He traces elements of Tolkiens legendarium to his experiences in the trenches, but it’s not a simplistic one-to-one mapping.
This is a great book that should be read by anyone interested in Tolkien. My only complaint is that it stops in 1918.
This is the ninth book in the Matthew Quinton series. I enjoyed it, but was disappointed that it was a story set in Quinton’s youth rather than a continuation of the previous book in the series, which closed with some tantalizing dangling plot threads.
This is a very short book on the non-financial aspects of retirement. It’s thought-provoking, but not as useful as Lowry’s excellent blog (happily active again after a hiatus) and its equally valuable comments section. I’d recommend reading the blog and Lowry’s previous book before reading this one.
I’ve read a lot about the Beat Generation. To some extent this book repeats what I’ve read elsewhere. The valuable thing about it is that it tracks all of the Beats through decades so the reader gets a good sense of who was where when and doing what with who. The “doing what with who” isn’t limited to literary efforts, thus the subtitles’s “uncensored”. It’s less salacious that it sounds; mostly the account proves that the Beats behaved pretty horribly towards the women in their lives.
Though the author (an archivist for Ginsberg and other Beats) doesn’t explicitly state it, he makes a good case for an argument that the Beat Generation is best defined as “friends of Allen Ginsberg”. It’s also clear from Morgan’s account that Ginsberg was a better friend to his friends than they often were to him.