Author Archives: george


I’m a sucker for books like Remarkable Reads. J. Peder Zane collects 34 essays by a variety of writers about the books that most affected them. I enjoyed most of the accounts of the writers about the books they chose. I predict you will want to read (or reread) many of these books after you finish the essays about them. I was surprised at the range of books surveyed in this volume. Remarkable Reads is a browser’s (and reader’s) delight! GRADE: A
Introduction: Adventures in Reading by J. Peder Zane
Bebe Moore Campbell The Most Memorable Book I Read: THE CAT IN THE HAT by Dr. Seuss
Jonathan Lethem The Loneliest Book I Read: THE HAPPY VALLEY by Eric Berne
Betty Adock The Most Enchanting Book I Read: ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES
Denise Gess The Most Important Book I Read: THE STRANGER by Albert Camus
Lee K. Abbott The Most Daunting Book I Read: ABSALOM, ABSALOM! by William Faulkner
Scott Weidensaul The Most Resonant Book I Read: A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC by Aldo Leopold
Frederick Busch The Most Dangerous Book I Read: THE DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE & OTHER STORIES by William Saroyan
Robert Morgan The Wisest Book I Read: DOCTOR ZHIVAGO by Boris Pasternak
Eric Wright The Classiest Book I Read: HOWARD’S END by E. M. Forster
Anthony Walton The Most Eloquent Book I Read: ROCK SPRINGS by Richard Ford
Joan Barfoot The Maddest Book I Read: THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK by Doris Lessing
Marianne Gingher The Most Double-D-Daring Book I Read: THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM by Eudora Welty
J. Peder Zane The Most Hippest Book I Read: CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS by Sigmund Freud
Haven Kimmel The Most Familiar Book I Read: SOUTH OF THE BIG FOUR by Don Kurtz
H.W. Brands The Most Incomprehensible Book I Read: THE EDUCATION OF HENRY ADAMS by Henry Adams
Ben Marcus The Most Devastating Book I Read: THE EASTER PARADE by Richard Yates
Lydia Millet The Most Apocalyptic Book I Read: THE WAR WITH THE NEWTS by Karel Capek
Nasdijj The Saddest Book I Read: TO TAME A LAND by Louis L’Amour
Bret Lott The Most Fragile Book I Read: THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J. D. Salinger
Jill McCorkle The Most Beautiful Book I Read: SHOT IN THE HEART by Mikal Gilmore
Charles Frazier The Most Tempting Book I Read: THE TARAHUMARA by Antonin Artaud
Elizabeth Hay The Most Fearless Book I Read: 5001 NIGHTS AT THE MOVIES by Pauline Kael
Aimee Bender The Most Intuitive Book I Read: THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE by Haruki Murakami
Margot Livesey The Most Scottish Book I Read: SUNSET SONGS by Lewis Grassick Gibbon
Clyde Edgerton The Most Technically Elegant Book I Read: STICK AND RUDDER by Wolfgang Langwiesche
Peter Cameron The Queerest Book I Read: THE SCAPEGOAT by Jocelyn Brooke
Fred Chappell The Most Exotic Book I Read: THE WORM OUROBOROS by E. R. Eddison
Sven Birkerts The Most Smokin’ Book I Read: CONFESSIONS OF ZENO by Italo Svevo
Peggy Payne The Most Seductive Books I Read: LITERATURE FROM INDIA
Howard Bahr The Most Elegant Book I Read: LANTERNS ON THE LEVEE by William Alexander Percy
Peter Gay The Most Surprising Book I Read: I BEAR WITNESS: A DIARY OF THE NAZI YEARS by Victor Klemperer
Marvin Hunt The Most Disappointing Book I Read: HOTEL HONOLULU by Paul Theroux
Doris Betts The Most Unpleasant Book I Read: AMERICAN PSYCHO by Bret Easton Ellis
Lee Smith The Most Luminous Book I Read: THE LITTLE LOCKSMITH by Katharine Butler Hathaway


Usually I get my flu shot in October. But doctors are warning that the flu season is starting early this year and are urging everyone (but especially “Senior Citizens”) to get their flu shots RIGHT NOW!

For those of you over 65, you should request the “high dose vaccine” which is designed specifically for people 65 and older and contains 4 times the amount of antigen as the regular flu shot. The adjuvanted flu vaccine, Fluad, is made with MF59 adjuvant which is designed to help create a stronger immune response to vaccination if you’re older.

My flu shot cost me nothing (insurance paid 100%). Most health insurance will cover part or all of the cost of a flu shot. I got my flu shot at my neighborhood Rite-Aid. Have you gotten your flu shot yet? Do you plan to get a flu shot?


Diane loves romantic comedies so I was dragged to Home Again despite the terrible reviews (the things we do for Love). Reese Witherspoon plays a wife and mother with two cute daughters. Reese is separated from her husband (played by Michael Sheen) and trying to restart her life. She’s moved from New York City to Los Angles. She’s starting an interior decorating business. Hallie Meyers-Shyer wrote and directed this mess. Lake Bell is wasted. Candice Bergen is wasted. Reese gets to go to bed with young Pico Alexander to show us her Cougar side. No suspense, no surprises, no romance, no comedy. Avoid this turkey! GRADE: C-

WHAT HAPPENED By Hillary Rodham Clinton

Writing What Happened helped purge Hillary Clinton of her frustration and disappointment. She was supposed to win (and win Big!) while making History as the First Woman President of the United States. But, it was not to be. A series of gaffes, mistakes, and miscalculations (along with Russian hacking and Fake News) produced the unlikely Trump Presidency. After reading What Happened it’s clear that Hillary Clinton doesn’t know what happened. What do you think really happened? GRADE: B

Ch. 1: A Life in Public Service

Ch. 2: My Turn After Obama

Ch. 3: Campaign Kickoff: A Running Start (But No Visits to Wisconsin!)

Ch. 4: A Woman in the Lion’s Den (How I Bluffed Biden)

Ch. 5: A Better America or Making America Great Again?

Ch. 6: Hollywood Nights: George, Amal, Meryl and I

Ch. 7: Bill’s Baggage

Ch. 8: I Never Liked that Man, Jeffrey Epstein

Ch. 9: Things Start to Go Wrong

Ch. 10: John Podesta: Friend, Art Connoisseur, Pizza Lover

Ch. 11: Passing Out

Ch. 12: Bernie Sanders: Marxist

Ch. 13: A Strong Wall Street is a Strong America

Ch. 14: Comey Drops the Investigation

Ch. 15: We Kill Seth Rich

Ch. 16: Bleaching Emails to Protect National Security

Ch. 17: I Need to Remember to Stay Hydrated

Ch. 18: The Russian Hack Idea

Ch. 19: Donald Trump and Rape Culture

Ch. 20: How I Almost Killed Huma

Ch. 21: The Final Stretch: Fake News and Comey Returns!

Ch. 22: Our Misogynist Racist Working Class

Ch. 23: Whose Fault Was It?
The FBI, Vladimir Putin, the Obamas, the New York Times, James Comey, Huma, Suburban Women, Bernie Sanders, Julian Assange, John Podesta, Corporate Media, Misogyny, My Campaign Staff, Aspartame, Macedonia, Our Misogynist Racist Working Class, Alexandre Dumas, Facebook, Pollsters, Harambe, Meryl, El niño, Anthony Weiner, Ohio’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Twitter, Chipotle, White Supremacists, Nazis, Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

Ch. 24: We Kill Klaus Eberwein

Ch. 25: Looking Ahead: 2020?


Author’s Note
Showing Up 3
Grit and Gratitude 17

Get Caught Trying 39
Getting Started 59
A Day in the Life 83

On Being a Woman in Politics 111
Motherhood, Wifehood, Daughterhood, Sisterhood 147
Turning Mourning into a Moment 173

Change Makers 195
Sweating the Details 217
Making History 243

Country Roads 263
Those Damn Emails 289
Trolls, Bots, Fake News, and Real Russians 325
Election Night 377
Why 391

Love and Kindness 429
Onward Together 447
Acknowledgements 465
Index 471


With the Buffalo Bills defeating the Jets 21-12, the Bills surprisingly find themselves in First Place in the AFC East. Reality sets in this week as the Bills travel to Carolina to face the Panthers. The Bills are 7 1/2 point underdogs (which is about right). New Head Coach Sean McDermott was the Defensive Coordinator of the Carolina Panthers for six seasons so he knows the ordeal he has in front of him this week. How will your favorite NFL team do this week?


I don’t know how Robin, The Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years slipped past my radar back in 2015. I’ve always been a Batman fan. I started reading comic books back in the 1950s. I loved the style and stories of DC Comics in the early 1960s. But, by the 1970s, I pretty much stopped reading comic books and switched almost exclusively to paperbacks. That’s one reason why Robin, The Boy Wonder, in full color, provides so much fun! Most of the stories in this collection are new to me. Robin has gone through several metamorphoses. DC Comics finally allowed Robin to “grow up” in the 1980s and he became NIGHTWING. For a character to stay viable and interesting over 75 years is quite a feat. A Celebration of 75 Years series includes volumes on Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, The Joker, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow. It’s an impressive series! If you’re a fan of Batman and Robin, you’ll find hours of enjoyment between these covers! GRADE: A
Detective Comics #38 – “Robin, the Boy Wonder” (1940) 9
Batman #20 – “Bruce Wayne Loses the Guardianship of Dick Grayson!” (1943) 22
Star-Spangled Comics #82 – “The Boy Who Hated Robin!” (1948) 34
Star-Spangled Comics #86 – “The Barton Brothers!” (1948) 44
Star-Spangled Comics #103 – “Roberta, the Girl Wonder!” (1950) 54
Batman #107 – “The Grown-Up Boy Wonder” (1957) 64
Batman #156 – “Robin Dies at Dawn” (1963) 73
Detective Comics #342 – “The Midnight Raid of the Robin Gang!” (1965) 91
Batman Family #1 – “The Invader from Hell!” (1975) 106
Nightwing (Volume 2) #101 – “Nightwing: Year One – Chapter One: Only Robins Have Wings” (2005) 125
Batman #408 – “Did Robin Die Tonight?” (1987) 150
Batman #424 – “The Diplomat’s Son” (1988) 160
Batman #428 – “A Death in the Family Chapter 5” (1988) 183
Batman #442 – “A Lonely Place of Dying Chapter Five: Rebirth” (1989) 208
Robin (Volume 4) #46 – “Dark at Dawn” (1997) 231
Nightwing (Volume 2) #25 – “The Boys” (1998) 255
Superman/Batman #7 – “Protege” (2004) 278
Batman #657 – “Batman & Son Part 3: Wonderboys” (2006) 304
Superman/Batman #77 – “Fright Knight” (2010) 327
Batman and Robin Annual (Volume 2) #1 – “Batman Impossible” (2013) 351
Justice League of America #55 – “The Super-Crisis That Struck Earth-Two!” (1967) 392
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 – “Dark Knight Triumphant” (1986) 416
DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1000000 – “Head Games” (1999) 445
Robin (Volume 4) #126 – “A Life More Ordinary” (2004) 456


Volume Two of the complete Polesotechnic League novels and stories that Poul Anderson wrote over four decades focuses on David Falkayn, a younger version of galactic trader Nicholas van Rijn. Falkayn has his own personality and goals (which sometimes conflict with his boss, van Rijn). Falkayn and his team–Adzel, a large, armored dragon-like being who practices Buddhism, and Chee-Lan, a brilliant cat-like extraterrestrial with Anger Management issues–explore deep space for trading opportunities. Of course, they run into plenty of adventure and peril. Once again, BAEN Books offers a wonderful book at a bargain price! Hank Davis puts the Falkayn stories into the context of the Polesotehcnic League saga. If you’re looking for SF adventure stories with a Sense of Wonder, you’ll find them in David Falkayn, Star Trader. GRADE: A-
Introduction: High Profits and High Adventure By Hank Davis vii
1. Territory 1
2. Trouble Twisters 77
3. Day of Burning 209
5. The Master Key 275
6. Satan’s World 329
7. A Little Knowledge 599
8. Lodestar 633
9. Chronology of the Technic Civilization Compiled by Sandra Miesel 683

YES By Sam Feldt featuring Akon

Every Summer, there seems to be a song that captures the spirit of the season. A few years ago Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” could be heard on the sun-kissed streets of Western New York. A couple years ago, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” dominated the airwaves and downloads. I suppose it started back in 1966 with the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City.”

My nomination for Summer Song 2017 is “Yes” by Sam Feldt featuring Akon. Happy, bouncy, merry music! Do you have a favorite Summer Song?

SHAKESPEARE VS. CTHULHU Edited by Jonathan Green

Shakespeare vs. Cthulhu is a Kickstarter project that gets some things Right and some things Wrong. My favorite stories in this uneven anthology blend elements from Shakespeare’s plays and some Lovecraftean menace. I liked “Once More Unto the Breach” by C. L. Werner that features Henry V at Agincourt. Henry is vastly outnumbered by the French forces, but the appearance of one of Cthulhu’s minions changes everything. Guy Haley’s “A Reckoning” reveals the dark bargain between the Lovecraftean dwellers of the sea and evil humans. James Lovegrove’s “Exit, Pursed By…?” captures some of the style of Lovecraft in his tale. The best realization of Shakespeare as a character can be found in Josh Reynolds’s “A Tiger’s Heart, A Player’s Hide.” The other stories either didn’t capture the essence of Lovecraft or Shakespeare. GRADE: B
Introduction: That Way Madness Lies, by Mr Jonathan Green 1
Prologue: Star-Crossed, by Mr Jonathan Oliver 3
Act One
A Madness Most Discreet, by Mr Michael Carroll 33
Something Rotten, by Mr Adrian Tchaikovsky 57
Once More Unto the Breach, by Mr C L Werner 69
A Tiger’s Heart, A Player’s Hide, by Mr Josh Reynolds 93
Interlude: What Dreams May Come, by Mistress Nimue Brown 117
Act Two
The Ia’s of March, by Mr Andrew Lane 121
The Undiscovered Country, by Mr Ian Edginton 147
The Suns of York, by Mr Adrian Chamberlin 161
A Reckoning, by Mr Guy Haley 191
Interlude: The Green-Ey’d Monster, by Mistress Danie Ware 215
Act Three
Exit, pursued by…?, by Mr James Lovegrove 219
The King in Yellow Stockings, by Mr Ed Fortune 245
The Terrors of the Earth, by Mr Pat Kelleher 251
Exeunt, by Mr John Reppion 277
Epilogue: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Mr Graham McNeill 303
Curtain: #Tempest, by Mistress Jan Siegel 331
Dramatis Personae
About the Authors
About the Illustrators
About the Editor
Kickstarter Backers


This set of The Killers includes two movie versions of Ernest Hemingway’s famous short story. Robert Siodmak’s 1946 version of The Killers features Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, and William Conrad. Woody Bredell’s luminous black & white cinematography accentuates the starkness of this bleak film.

Don Siegel’s 1964 film was made for television. I love the cast: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes…and Ronald Reagan! This new Criterion Collection edition looks great on a 4K HDTV! If you’re in the mood for noir, here are two excellent versions of Hemingway’s noirish short story. Do you have a favorite work by Ernest Hemingway? GRADE: A (for both)