book review

Book Review: Travels with Epicurus

Jul 12, 2016

Imagine that you are 73 years old and your dentist recommends that your rapidly deteriorating dental condition is going to require either a denture or a series of dental implants.  

Given those options, if you're a writer, a humorist and an observer of life like Daniel Klein, you opt instead for a trip to the Greek island of Hydra in hopes of enjoying life.

Mingus Ahem! New biography reviewed

Apr 8, 2016

In this new biography, Better Git It in Your Soul, author Krin Gabbard expresses gratitude for the Mingus biographers who supplied him with much source material—Brian Priestly (1982), Gene Santoro (2000), and Sue Graham Mingus (2002). And thank you to Charles Mingus, the author of maybe the most sensational jazz memoir ever, Beneath the Underdog: His World as Composed by Mingus (1971). Adding to the instrumental music and his novelistic memoir, Charles also wrote poetry—not well-known, but equally stirring.

In the Days of Naismith

Jan 4, 2016

The NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament is arguably the greatest sporting event in the country. Conducted in mid-March, the top 68 college teams compete at fourteen different sites over a three-week period to determine a national champion. In the book March 1939: Before the Madness, sportswriter Terry Frei of the Denver Post surveys the year 1939—the geopolitical events leading up to World War II, the major cultural events, and most exhaustively the first NCAA tournament; unmistakably, this book is about college hoops.

How About Never | Book Review

Nov 13, 2015

Robert Greer MD examines the memoir of Bob Mankoff - longtime cartoon editor of The New Yorker - titled How About Never - Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons.

Although cartooning might seem like a dream job,  and an easy one at that, Mankoff illustrates how the intelligent cartoon humor in demand by The New Yorker is hard to find. 

Mankoff seeks cartoons that provide insight into everyday life, contain side gags and puns, and - perhaps above all - mock contemporary American morays.

Weighing in at two and a half pounds, Otto Penzler's detective fiction anthology, The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories, is not for the faint of heart. 

This anthology is comprised of 50 stories originally published in The Black Mask Magazine, a pulp fiction publication running from 1920 to 1951. Mysteries run the gamut from robberies to murders to the supernatural. 

Featuring the best of the best, many of these stories were expanded into famous novels, screenplays or television series.