THE JUNGLE BOOK By Rudyard Kipling

the jungle book
I plan to see the new Disney version of The Jungle Book so I reread The Jungle Book. I first read The Jungle Book as a kid and had some vague memories of Mowgli, the baby raised by wolves. I did remember my favorite character in these stories: Kaa the python (the star of my favorite story in this collection, “Kaa’s Hunting:). If you’re a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan tales, you’ll see where ERB might have gotten his inspiration in these stories. Have you read The Jungle Book?
Table of Contents:
•Mowgli’s brothers
• Hunting song of the Seeonee Pack
• Kaa’s hunting
• Road song of the bandard-log
• How fear came
• The law of the jungle
• “Tiger-Tiger!”
• Mowglie’s song
• Letting in the jungle
• Mowglie’s song gainst people
• The king’s ankus
• THe song of the little hunter – Red dog
• Chil’s song
• The spring running
• The outsong
• “Rikki-tikki-tavi”
• Darzee’s chant.

A MOST DANGEROUS BOOK By Christopher B. Krebs

a most dangerous book
Christopher B. Krebs A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s GERMANIA From the Roman Empire to the Third Reich tells the involving tale of a classic book that the Nazis chased during World War II. Krebs, a classical scholar at Stanford University, gives the history of Tacitus’s classic book over the ages and shows how its presence in Germany created a cult seeking the valuable copy. If you liked The Monuments Men, you’ll like this book. GRADE: B
Table of Contents:
•The Roman conquest of the germanic myth
• Survival and rescue
• The birth of the German ancestors
• Formative years
• Heroes’ songs
• The volk of free-spirited northerners
• White blood
• A bible for national socialists.

ROOKIE By Vonda Shepard

vonda shepard rookie
vonda shepard rookie list
I just caught up with this 2015 CD. Vonda Shepard is one of my favorite singers so factor that into this review. I liked “I Just Don’t Get It” and “Roll In the Dirt” best. Check out the video below for a sample. If you’re looking to listen to some mellow music, Vonda Shepard supplies it on this CD. GRADE: B+
1. Need Your Love 3:22
2. Turn It Up 3:14
3. I Just Don’t Get It 3:50
4. Saturday 3:15
5. Long for the Days 2:43
6. Walk on the Water 3:12
7. Rookie 2:58
8. Train to Inverness 3:18
9. Tell My Body 2:41
10. Roll in the Dirt (Live) 4:10
11. Downtown, Dirtytown (Live) 3:15


color out of time
H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space” is one of my favorite Lovecraft tales (Lovecraft stated “The Colour Out of Space” was his favorite story). A meteorite falls in a field near a farm outside of Arkham, Massachusetts. Scientists investigate the weirdly colored goo but are baffled by its alien properties. Back on the farm, the crops grow in a wild fashion. But when people try to eat the vegetables, a terrible taste renders them uneatable. The farmer and his family degenerate from drinking the well water where the “colour” resides (sounds like a precursor to Flint, Michigan). Lovecraft ratchets up the dread with each page as the alien presence works its lethal effects. Michael Shea updates Lovecraft’s classic story by setting it in 1984. Two scientists find the “color” is active again and growing stronger. The Park rangers are the first to fall under the color’s creepy effects. Then even more dreadful events occur. If you’re a fan of H. P. Lovecraft, you’ll enjoy this updated version of a menacing alien encounter.


the frandidate
Lesley Stahl, the CBS reporter, recommended The Frandidate by Jim Benton in the Wall Street Journal. Stahl says she reads the Frannie K. Stein books to her grandchildren and they love the wacky humor. Frannie K. Stein is a genius kid. In The Frandidate, Frannie is running for class president. But, in typical Frannie fashion, she invents a “skin” that she wears that can determine what her classmates want. And, of course, Frannie can then “promise” them whatever they want in return for their vote. Clever critique of the political process! The drawings are a little crude, but the story resonates. GRADE: B


Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston. Clinton Clinton pulled out a victory in Nevada's caucuses on Saturday. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
donald trump wins
Big wins by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump clarify the race for the White House. Hillary has pretty much locked up the Democratic nomination. Donald Trump will win more delegates next week in North Eastern states like Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland. Cruz will probably be in third place in all of these states. Kasich seems to be an insignificant factor. I can’t wait for the Trump vs. Hillary Presidential Debates!

THE NIGHT MANAGER [AMC 6-Episode Mini-series Begins]

the night manager amc
When The Night Manager aired in the UK, it drew a big audience. Whether AMC will see a huge ratings boost with this mini-series is an open question. But, I’ll be watching Tom Hiddleston (famous for his role as the evil Loki in the Thor and Avenger movies) and Hugh Laurie (famous for his grumpy, opioid-popping role as Dr. House). The novel had Laurie’s character selling guns to the Colombian drug loards. This updated version has the gunrunning happening with the Egyptians during the “Arab Spring.” I’m curious to see what other changes this TV version of The Night Manager will surprise its audience with. Will you be watching?


trump buffalo
Donald Trump will speak tonight at the First Niagara Center which holds aobut 18,000 people. All the seats will be filled. And, outside the First Niagara Center, as many as a 1,000 protesters could show up. There’s rain in the forecast so the numbers may decline. The local political talk radio programs are split between supporting Trump and supporting Cruz. However, Western NY is heavily Democratic so tomorrow’s New York State primary will feature a big win for HIllary–and an equally big win for Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders spoke to the Pope over the weekend but I don’t think that will help him here.


bassett kitchen set
Diane wanted a new kitchen set so we shopped around and settled on this Bassett Studio B table and chairs. We went with the Guilford (a warm sandy color) instead of this Safari color so just imagine the picture above with those alterations. The chairs will be a Java (coffee color) hue. The top contender was the Paula Deen River House table and chairs. The price for both sets were about the same, but Baasett gave us more options and I preferred the cleaner design. Bassett was also having a sale so we saved a couple hundred dollars. Are you in the market for new furniture?


the night manager
Tuesday night on AMC the mini-series based on The Night Manager begins. I figured I’d read The Night Manager first since it’s one of the few John le Carre novels I haven’t read. When The Night Manager was published in 1993, it generated plenty of speculation. What was le Carre going to write about since the Cold War was over? Critics claimed the spy novel was dead. Le Carre cleverly saw that terrorism and gunrunning and drug-smuggling, the next growth industries, provided plenty of material for future novels. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Le Carre’s classic spy novels from the Sixties–The spy Who Came in From the Cold and A Small Town in Germany–were a fraction of the length of The Night Manager (429 pages!). The shorter books were better books. Are you a fan of John le Carre? What’s your favorite le Carre book? GRADE: B