books

August 29, 2019

The Saddest Little Bookstore (DOG EAR)

f course, you’d think I’d love finding a bookstore that offered old favorites I loved to read, just hundreds of them, at the low low price of nothing. Sure. Except that in this case, I’m cleaning out the dozens of boxes of old paperbacks and comics I’ve accumulated over the years. Mission One of retirement is to clean out the garage and make room for Mission Two, cleaning out the storage unit. And that means pulling down all those boxes I’ve dragged from place to place with the expectation that someday I’d have a full spare room with dozens of […]
September 19, 2019

The Big Book of Effort (DOG EAR)

‘ve mentioned that I’m reading a true monster of a book. The story itself is 981 pages. This is dense, small type. The notes in the back are another 100 pages (even more dense and small). But that’s not the long of it. The writer in this case (I don’t want to spoil it a few weeks from now when I review it) loves to describe everything. Every thought that every character has, every description that can be made, he writes it. Sometimes the writing doesn’t even seem to serve a purpose – like when two brothers chat on the […]
November 21, 2019

Collectables (DOG EAR)

s a member of a train club, about every couple of weeks someone comes in with a loved-one’s trains (usually stuff from the 80s or 90s) and asks if we are interested. And we usually aren’t (unless it’s free, and even then). Things (and technologies) change. Owning something old from a hobby isn’t necessarily better. That’s how it is. Still, this turned and bit me the other day. In the eighties I used to read comic books. I remember living in York PA at the time, and of walking over to the comic shop before swinging past the farmer’s market. […]
February 27, 2020

Best of 2019

t hit me a few weeks back that I had completely forgotten to do my best books of 2019 (something I’ve been doing for a few years now). Well, better late than never, I suppose. I will add this generic comment that, looking back, outside of enjoying The Expanse and suffering through (in, in retrospect, appreciating Infinite Jest), there wasn’t anything that really blew me away (or made me tear up or fob onto friends) last year. So, without any particular order, here’s my faves from 2019. Don Quixote – this includes both books. I really did enjoy the adventures […]
July 9, 2020

Juniors (DOG EAR)

hen I was working, we’d walk over to Juniors on Sunday mornings to have our omelets. And being readers, we’d settle into that crowded, muggy background and prop open our books and read. The waitress (who was used to this bookworm way of breakfast) would keep the ice-teas filled and bring us the check when we closed our books. Once I retired, we shifted to Thursday. Now seating was always available, the mood was slower and more casual. There wasn’t the Churchie rush at 11pm that packed the joint. We’d sit by the huge plate glass window, look out on […]
September 10, 2020

Juniors Diner (DOG EAR)

e used to love going to Juniors Diner, a little hole-in-the-wall place just around the corner from us. When I was working, we’d go in on Sunday and try to time it between the church rushes. Still, once it got discovered by the swells of Baldwin Park it really crowded up – there could be a forty-five minute wait for a table. Still worth it. We loved eating omelets slowly, drinking coffee and reading our books. Once I retired, we shifted to Thursday mornings. That made it a walk in for us, right over to our favorite booth. With lighter […]
December 31, 2020

Best of 2020 (DOG EAR)

rankly, it’s been a rotten year. Covid. Politics. Domestic stupidity. Really, these are the times that try mens’ souls (if they even have them – and given the mask-dodgers, I’m not so sure). As far as reading over my first full year or retirement, there were only a handful of books that really shook me (and another one just missed the cut because I just finished it today and it won’t post until next Sunday). As it stood out, I actually read only five books that really hit home (there were some other good ones but not as good as […]
February 11, 2021

Lost and Found (mostly lost) (DOG EAR)

was good friends with an executive at a former company. My service for him was sterling as he rose through the ranks. But then I made the mistake of loaning him The Great Race (that wonderful movie with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon). And that was the last I saw of it. It’s always a pain to corner someone, to trap them, to offer them a great movie they never knew about which you wish to share, to have them in your power and place it in their hands, only to have them turn the tables and lose it. Part […]
September 23, 2021

Backlogged (DOG EAR)

es, usually I’m behind on books and reviewing late. Sometimes I’m saved when I beg a guest writer to blog a book for me. All it takes is a massive slow-read and I’m behind the eight ball again. But that isn’t the problem now. First, I was on vacation for a week, listening to a book a day on CDs while driving. And then I came home to find my computer’s wifi down. I couldn’t fix it for a week since I needed to get a newsletter shipped. And then there was the couple of days the repairs took. And […]