James Mustich, a former bookstore owner, once did a thought experiment: If he only had room for 1000 books in his store, which ones would they be? The result is 1000 Books to Read Before You Die. Mustich organizes the books alphabetically by author. This produces some weird juxtapositions. Bryan McGee’s Confessions of a Philosopher rests next to Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night. George Orwell’s Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters snuggles up to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. You get the idea. Clearly, 1000 Books to Read Before You Die is a browser’s delight. Plenty of covers and photos of authors to savor! If you have a book lover on your gift list, this book would make a perfect present! GRADE: A
For the first time in the 2018 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills are favored over an opponent. This week, the Bills (4-8) are 3 1/2 point favorites over the New York Jets (3-9). Neither of these teams are going anywhere this season so the only reason to watch this game is the play of rookie QBs Sam Darnold for the Jets and Josh Allen for the Bills. The weather will be cold (32 degrees) but sunny. No snow in the forecast. How will your favorite NFL team do today?
Yesterday I met with my urologist for my yearly physical. A week ago, I had some routine blood work that included a PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test that is still the best indicator of prostate cancer. My urologist told me my score was 1.0–the same score I had on my PSA test a year ago. “I’m consistent,” I told him. Scores above 5.0 can signal a problem. If you’re a guy over 50, you need to seriously consider getting a PSA test each year. If you’re with a guy you love, urge them to get a PSA test. It’s a lot easier to treat prostate cancer in its early stages. And, there’s also a sense of Relief when you get a good score!
One of the aspects that I really admire about The Great SF Stories series is Asimov and Greenberg’s inclusion of multiple stories by writers. In Volume 3, they selected FIVE Robert A. Heinlein stories as best stories of 1941 (I agree!). In this 1942 volume, Asimov and Greenberg chose three A. E. van Vogt stories: “Cooperate–Or Else!,” “Asylum,” and “The Weapon Shop.” And then there’s the classic “Foundation” novelette by Isaac Asimov that kicked off his legendary Foundation series. I’m fond of Lewis Padgett and C. L. Moore’s “The Twonky.” Once again, this series provides wonderful stories in a historical context. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
“The Star Mouse” by Fredric Brown 11
“The Wings of Night” by Lester del Rey 32
“Cooperate–Or Else!” by A. E. van Vogt 50
“Foundation” by Isaac Asimov 77
“The Push of a Finger” by Alfred Bester 110
“Asylum” by A. E. van Vogt 150
“Proof” by Hal Clement 205
“Nerves” by Lester del Rey 222
“Barrier” by Anthony Boucher 295
“The Twonkey” by Lewis Padgett and C. L. Moore 327
“QRM-Interplanetary” by George O. Smith 369
“The Weapons Shop” by A. E. van Vogt 403
“Mimic” by Donald A. Wollheim 442
Here’s the bargain of the seasons: a 2,000 page reference book complete with illustrations, bibliography, and index for…$4.99! Jim Davidson’s wonderful guide to Perry Mason can be downloaded from AMAZON for a pittance! Clearly, this ebook is a labor of love. Davidson includes detailed information about Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason pastiches. He even writes about Thomas Chastain’s Perry Mason novels. Davidson moves on to discuss Perry Mason movies, radio serials, as well as newspaper, magazine, and comic book appearances.
I wanted this ebook for its encyclopedic coverage of the Perry Mason TV series (1957-1966). There’s information on every episode’s actors, directors, writers, and producers. What a wealth of data! If you’re a fan of Perry Mason in any form, this reference book is a must-buy! So much costs so little! GRADE: A
If you’re in the mood for some jazzy Christmas songs, listen to Al Jarreau’s Christmas. Jarreau sings some of the traditional songs in his mellow voice and others with a more flamboyant style. There’s plenty of variety on Christmas. My favorite song on this CD is Jarreau’s rendition of “The Christmas Song (Chrestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire).” Jarreau and TAKE 6 do an cappella version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” Some people might find the upbeat style of “Gloria In Excelsis” a little over the top, but I liked it. This is a change-of-pace Christmas album and may not be for everyone. But if you like mellow jazz, you’l enjoy most of the songs on Al Jarreau’s Christmas. Do you have a favorite Christmas album or song? GRADE: B+
1: Winter Wonderland 4:19
2: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 3:22
3: White Christmas 5:49
4: INTERLUDE: By My Christmas Tree 0.29
5: Carol Of The Bells 4:22
6: O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) 4:17
7: The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) 4:55
8: I’ll Be Home For Christmas (featuring TAKE 6) 3:43
9: Gloria In Excelsis 4:34
10: Christmas Time Is Here 4:27
11: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 6:05
12: Some Children See Him 4:09
13: The Little Christmas Tree 2:59
14: Up On The Housetop 0.34
In this fourth and final season of Star Wars Rebels, the crew of the Ghost take on the forces of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Plenty of action and thrills! Here are 353 minutes of excellent animated adventures! In addition, there’s Ghosts of Legend, a extra that shows how these episodes came about with the creative staff that produced them. Also included is Force of Rebellion, an interview with Executive Producer Dave Filoni who discusses his insights into The Force and its impact on the Star Wars saga. In addition, there’s Kevin Kiner: The Rebel Symphony, a feature on the music of the Rebel series. If you’re a Star Wars fan, this is a must-buy. If you’re a casual fan, your local Public Library should have this set. Pure escapism. Are you a Star Wars fan? GRADE: A
Booze and Vinyl celebrates a past when people would actually get together and listen to a music LP while sipping on drinks. Andre and Tanya Darlington present 70 classic albums and for each selection suggest drinks that might make it sound better to the listener. For the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers (1971) the Darlingtons recommend a Tequila Sunrise or a Jack and Coke (and Coors). For Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours (1955), the recommendations are for a Manhattan or a Tuxedo Cocktail. Drink recipes are included. Booze and Vinyl is a fun book to browse through. Do you have a favorite drink? GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter 1 is Rock and features albums ranging from Led Zeppelin to the Beastie Boys.
Chapter 2 is Dance and opens with James Brown and closes with Lady Gaga.
Chapter 3 is Chill. And chill you will with everything from Elvis to Wilco.
Chapter 4 is Seduce and it opens with Frank Sinatra and finishes with Bon Iver.
The Buffalo Bills, fresh off an ugly win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, travel from snowy Buffalo to sunny Miami to take on the Dolphins. The Dolphins are favored by 3 1/2 points. These two teams are going nowhere, but I sure plenty of players on both teams are playing for their jobs. How will your favorite NFL team do today?