Monthly Archives: May 2010

ANTICANCER: A NEW WAY OF LIFE By David Servan-Schreiber

Andy Jaysnovitch recommend Anticancer and I want to thank him for alerting me to this new, 2010 edition of this book. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber is a survivor of brain cancer. After he was diagnosed, Dr. Servan-Schreiber did massive research on his disease and possible treatments. He discovered that many cancers responded to life-style and diet changes. That’s what this book presents: a series of life-style and dietary steps that will make your body resistant to cancer. Dr. Servan-Schreiber suggests a diet high in Omega-3 oils, turmeric, herbs, consumption of broccoli three times a week, extra virgin olive oil, garlic/onions/leeks, berries, stone fruit (like plums), green tea daily, and increased Vitamin-D. Of course, exercise and good mental health including meditation is recommended. And a glass of red wine each day. If you only read one book about cancer this year, it should be Anticancer. Highly recommended! For more information, you can go to the Anticancer web site here. GRADE: A


EAT THIS, NOT THAT and the EATTHIS.COM web site recommended these two brands of microwave popcorn. I confess I’m addicted to microwave popcorn, but I’d like to eat something that tastes good and is marginally healthy. Both of these recommendations fit the bill. If you like plain vanilla microwave popcorn, the SMART BALANCE LIGHT BUTTER is the option to choose. If you want something with more of a kick, then try the ORVILLE REDENBACHER’S GOURMET MICROVWAVABLE POPCORN WITH BUTTER, SALT & CRACKED PEPPER. Yummy!


There have been several series featuring hired killers. Lawrence Block’s Keller and Max Allan Collins’ Quarry series come to mind. However, Frank McAuliffe’s Augustus Mandrell series is my favorite. Mandrell narrates his “commissions” with a combination of Edgar Allan Poe and P. G. Wodehouse. His murders are stylized, comic, and clever. Most of the victims deserve their fate. Ballantine Books published the first three volumes over 40 years ago. And then, surprisingly, a fourth volume was just published a month ago. Bill Crider reviewed Shoot the President, Are You Mad! here. I recommend all of these wonderful books highly.

Augustus Mandrell Series
1. Of All the Bloody Cheek! (1965)
2. Rather a Vicious Gentleman (1968)
3. For Murder I Charge More (1971)
4. Shoot the President, Are You Mad? (2010)

Other FORGOTTEN BOOKS can be found by clicking on the links below. If I’ve inadvertently left you off the list, send me a comment and I’ll make it right. Patti will be doing the SUMMING UP sans the cheerleaders.

Paul Bishop
David Cranmer
Bill Crider
Martin Edwards
Ed Gorman
Randy Johnson
Irene Fleming
Evan Lewis
Steve Lewis
Todd Mason
James Reasoner
Richard Robinson
Kerrie Smith
Patti Abbott
BV Lawson
Paul D. Brazill
Terrie Farley Moran
Craig Clarke

FORGOTTEN MUSIC #5: EXILE ON MAIN STREET By The Rolling Stones (DELUXE Remastered Edition)

Back in 1972 when Exile on Main Street was first released, I heard my favorite Rolling Stones song, “Tumbling Dice.” The rest of the record was very good, but “Tumbling Dice” completely floored me. Now, decades later, Exile on Main Steet has been re-released in a new, remastered edition. It never sounded so good! And, in addition to the improved sound, more tracks have been added. Many critics consider Exile on Main Street one of the best rock & roll albums ever released. Now, with this new remastered version, it’s even better!
Disc 1
1 Rocks Off 4:32
2 Rip This Joint 2:23
3 Shake Your Hips 2:59
4 Casino Boogie 3:34
5 Tumbling Dice 3:47
6 Sweet Virginia 4:26
7 Torn and Frayed 4:17
8 Sweet Black Angel 2:57
9 Loving Cup 4:25
10 Happy 3:04
11 Turd On the Run 2:38
12 Ventilator Blues 3:24
13 I Just Want To See His Face 2:53
14 Let It Loose 5:18
15 All Down the Line 3:50
16 Stop Breaking Down 4:34
17 Shine a Light 4:16
18 Soul Survivor 3:48

Disc 2
1 Pass the Wine (Sophia Loren) Alternate Take 4:54
2 Plundered My Soul 3:59
3 I’m Not Signifying 3:54
4 Following the River 4:51
5 Dancing in the Light 4:21
6 So Divine (Aladdin Story) Alternate Take 4:32
7 Loving Cup Alternate Take 5:25
8 Soul Survivor Alternate Take 3:59
9 Good Time Women Alternate Take 3:21
10 Title 5 1:47


Queen Latifah plays a physical therapist who loves the New Jersey Nets. When her favorite Nets player is injured in an All-Star game, Queen Latifah works to get the superstar ready to perform in the playoffs. Of course, love enters the picture and romantic complications ensue. Just Wright is a routine, predictable romantic comedy. What lifts it above mediocrity is Queen Latifah’s radiant presence. If you like Queen Latifah (and I do), you’ll like this movie. GRADE: B


Torchlight is a video game (I have the PC version) cloned from DIABLO and DIABLO 2. Torchlight sends you on quests in the scary caverns. You can choose to be accompanied by a pet (I picked Spot, a dog). But by catching fish in the frequent fishing holes, you can feed the fish to your pet and they will take on new forms and abilities. Yes, this is just mindless fun. I find it very relaxing to play Torchlight about 20 minutes at a time. The game allows you to save anywhere at anytime (many games don’t). If you’re a gamer who wants a well designed game (2 of the guys who worked on DIABLO helped to design Torchlight) that provides plenty of entertainment, pick up a copy of Torchlight. Great game play and wonderful graphics. I love the guitar based soundtrack, too! I bought my copy at Sam’s Club for $15. A bargain! GRADE: B+


What a long, strange trip it’s been with 24. Eight years ago, in the wake of 9/11, FOX presented this novel program where each episode represented a hour in a day. The 24 episodes would concern a terrorist threat that would be thwarted by Jack Bauer of the Counter-Terrorist Unit (CTU). The show was an immediate success and Dave Barry started blogging about the unintentional humor of Bauer’s battle against the Bad Guys (and Dolls). However, after eight seasons, the innovation and spark are gone from the series. Right now, Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland) is on a murderous mission to avenge the assassination of his lover, Rene Walker. He’s left a long trail of dead bodies (literally!) behind him. The series finale will be broadcast in a two-hour episode tomorrow night, May 24, from 8:00 to 10:00 E.D.T. Check your local listings. This is the end of an era. The only suspense is whether they’ll kill Jack off. I’m guessing NO.


Diane and I wanted to see this story about the last days of Leo Tolstoy and his wife for months. Finally, we watched the movie and came away with mixed responses. There’s no doubt that Christopher Plummer (as Tolstoy) and Helen Mirren (as Countess Sofya Tolstoy) throw themselves into their roles. Their 48-year marriage is stormy and coming apart as Tolstoy cares less about his writing novels and more about his Utopian vision of Russia. Paul Giamatti plays the scheming Vladimir Chertkov who manipulates the ancient Tolstoy to build a commune. Kerry Condon as the sexy Masha steals every scene she’s in. Patrick Kennedy plays the naive secretary, Sergeyenko. Director Michael Hoffman’s pacing of this film is a bit slow. The story is sad. GRADE: B-