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Book: ”Gaters, Skeeters, and Malary: Recollections of a Pioneer Florida Judge’ by Judge E. C. May – February 4th, 2018

by on Feb.04, 2018, under Books

'Gaters, Skeeters, and Malary: Recollections of a Pioneer Florida Judge‘Gaters, Skeeters, and Malary: Recollections of a Pioneer Florida Judge by Judge E. C. May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

E.C. May’s book of his life is a wonderful view of life, specifically in the last half of the 19th century in the South. Unlike the fantasy conjured up today via radical political winds, May knows nothing of what will become and wrote what was. What was, as May illustrates, counters so much posted in the headlines of Southern history.

His writing leaves a lot to be desired. Considering he assembled this without aid of editors and the like, it is still a remarkable book. The layout of stories is linear, which makes following each much easier. Dates are also well placed.

Of course, this book is for someone wanting to learn south Georgia or Florida history. Others would become very lost about what he wrote about and it’s significance. As usual, a map would’ve been nice to have included somewhere for all to follow.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 7 out of ten points.

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A funny thing happened on the way to the 38th Brooksville Raid Reenactment.

by on Jan.20, 2018, under Books, What's New?

I stopped at the Sheriffs Ranches Thrift Store to peek at the books quickly.

While looking I learned they were having trouble finding room to place two carts of books and organize them. I told them not to worry, I’d like to look through them anyway.

Almost two hours later, a lot of cardio flexing and meeting other book lovers, the carts are clear, books put away and I got some exercise in!

Maybe go to the Raid tomorrow. Right now, I have a gig to perform at!

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Book: ‘Hard lines’ by Ogden Nash – January 16th, 2017

by on Jan.16, 2018, under Books

Hard lines,Hard lines, by Ogden Nash
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nash was just turning 30 when this book came out and had already interacted with some of the greatest American writers. That interaction became part of Nash’s little ditties. Dorothy Parker, Marc Connelly, Bertrand Russell, etc. all get mention and a bit of skewering. Nash even challenges the great and powerful Mencken.

Most of these are great fun. a very few from this collection have become part of the American lexicon. Nash took the rules of poetry, twisted them like saltwater taffy and created his own style. I like his work a lot, but I’m not one who likes recreating words. Still it’s a fun set.

I should add, this is part of a library I have of friends of my great uncle, who knew so many in the literary world.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 8 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Osceola and the Great Seminole War’ by Thom Hatch – January 14th, 2018

by on Jan.14, 2018, under Books

Osceola and the Great Seminole War: A Struggle for Justice and FreedomOsceola and the Great Seminole War: A Struggle for Justice and Freedom by Thom Hatch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a terrific history of Osceola, the plight of the Creeks and the Seminole Wars. The research shines through, including the many pages of bibliography.

Unlike too many history books, author, Hatch does what should be done: Not be afraid to state you don’t know. Most histories state “facts” with little consideration of other viewpoints or counter “facts”. Hatch throughout his book presents different views and then gives some reasoning for various sides, leaving conclusions to the reader. Something else that Hatch does is an excellent job of including the year events are happening every page or so. Why on earth most don’t do that or leave years out entirely is beyond me.

Hatch obviously works to create a readable book and not one drowning in mundane facts. I like those mundane facts, but that’s what footnotes and a bibliography is for. A book that is harder to read defeat the purpose. I noticed another reviewer, here, complaining that Hatch didn’t only present the reviewer’s viewpoint. Unfortunately, I’m noticing contemporary history books being carved out with an axe to grind. Hatch’s is not one of those and kudos to him for being open minded.

There are a few angles Hatch deviat3es from. One if the well, & over, told story of Osceola’s head used to scare the doctor’s children. Not a word about it. There are a few other instances of this also. i wonder why.

Nevertheless, this is an excellent history and ….

Bottom line: I highly recommend it. 10 out of 10 points.

A post note: I started this book in August of 2017. During the fracas created by hurricane Irma for a few weeks, my copy of this book vanished. I found it much later while extremely busy. That is why there is so much time between start and finish.

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Book: ‘The Wahoo Bobcat’ by Joseph Wharton Lippincott – January 8th, 2018

by on Jan.08, 2018, under Books

The Wahoo BobcatThe Wahoo Bobcat by Joseph Wharton Lippincott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an extraordinary tale that dives deep into a narrative of natural Florida. Few books have gone to the length that, author, Lippincott accomplishes with this book. Adding to the amazement is that this book is part of a series that tend to feature natural areas in different parts of America. Lippincott would seem to be a native that is intimate with natural Florida, not just an author researching and learning about our Florida flora and fauna.

The story is more of a chronicle of the life of a bobcat. Lippincott does an excellent job of writing of the very real Wahoo Swamp and the people that lived in the area at the setting of the late 1800s. Lippincott well depicts the methods of hunting, farming and the drainage and flooding of the swamp.

To make this work Lippincott humanizes the bobcat, and other critters, a bit with tacked on emotions and reason. The effort works well and well presents the animals included lives. The writing of the dogs involved is very well done as canines with one tract minds. The panther’s presentation is perfect as nearly a mystical force that slips as a shadow in and out of the swamp until cornered.

There are a tiny, few concerns of accuracy of water flow and techy stuff that only someone like me would pick up on. Have to set that aside to look at the whole.

Bottom line: I highly recommend this book. 10 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Mike Shayne’s 50th Case’ by Brett Halliday

by on Jan.02, 2018, under Books

Mike Shayne's 50th CaseMike Shayne’s 50th Case by Brett Halliday
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Imagine walking into a bookstore, seeing a Mike Shayne book and something about a 50th case. Then the book is opened, Mike Shayne can hardly be found and there’s no other reference to a 50th case. You’d have to wonder if the wrong cover was attached to the book or the publisher is desperate to milk a series for it’s every dime by sticking any story written and placing a Mike Shayne cover around it. The latter would best explain this book.

Making matters worse, the style of writing in this book is so much like so many authors use today. Extreme over writing. Especially involving descriptions of characters. As the book starts and goes on and on and on about a character that by 10 pages in of this short novel, I knew I was in trouble. More than half way in and a call is placed to Shayne asking for help. Shayne is written to accept, with no mention of Shayne’s obsession with financial exchange. As Shayne is plugged in the last sixth of the book, the ending is as obvious as it was within the first ten pages.

The story is badly plotted and thought out. The writing is strongest of the book. But how it is all put together. It is all too obvious.

About Florida setting: This ghost writer knows little of Florida and so keeps setting details to a minimum.

Bottom line : I Don’t recommend this book. 3 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘The Robot Rocket’ by Carey Rockwell – December 28th, 2017

by on Dec.31, 2017, under Books

The Robot RocketThe Robot Rocket by Carey Rockwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This last in the Tom Corbett series of books is a nicely written book with a great deal of science fiction technical know-how. Though all fiction mumbo-jumbo, it reads in a believable manner. The core plot seems complicated to me for young people, but excellently handled by the author in narrative and dialogue.

The characters are very well presented as are the sci-fi surroundings. I really like the interaction of the young people with conflcit and cooperation. Very well written.

All of the science fiction I see today, which I admit is little, should follow the lead of this book to present a story and not silly special effects. The latest mess of Star Wars is a perfect example.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 8 out of ten points.

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Book #100 for 2017: ‘Laugh-In Mod Mod World’ by Roy Doty – December 31st 2017

by on Dec.31, 2017, under Books

In the past couple of years, I’ve ended the year with cartoon books. This year I wrapped up with two. This is #2 –

Laugh-In Mod Mod World (#2)Laugh-In Mod Mod World by Roy Doty
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Roy Doty was a friend and I love his artwork. This is a great collection of his cartooning. The writing is another thing entirely. I wasn’t a fan of Laugh-In due to the awful humor and this reflects that. So, Doty did a great job aping the television program. It’s just the whole thing is hard to take in as being funny.

My rating for the artwork: 8 out of 10 points.
My rating for the writing: 2 out of 10 points.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book: 5 out of ten points.

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Book: ‘From Here to Maternity’ by Phil Hirsch

by on Dec.31, 2017, under Books

From Here to MaternityFrom Here to Maternity by Phil Hirsch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a hilarious collection of gag cartoons of the maternity process.

There are tons of cartoon collection books. Most are so-so. This is solid and includes less known gag cartoons. Well known cartoonists like Earl Engleman and Don Orehek are included, too.

This is a dated set. All from the 1960s and reflects the hippie generation and the influx of birth control.

This is a perfect example of cartoons not being for children. This book is definitely not for children. Not one word of bad language or nudity. It’s the inference and subject matter that would lose the kiddie set.

Bottom line: I recommend this book (If you can find it): 10 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Three’s a Shroud’ by Richard S. Prather

by on Dec.31, 2017, under Books

Three's a ShroudThree’s a Shroud by Richard S. Prather
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Prather was brilliant with packing a solid story in few pages. Usually those numbered over 150 pages. This is 3 stories with in that number. All three excellent plots, great narrative and great endings.

Each story is more focused on the damsel in distress. Scott’s inability to think straight is well drawn in all three stories. That’s a highlight. As is that each and all damsels are not the same. Even the bad guys are depicted differently. How Prather does all this is quite a feat. A typical crutch to series writers and even to Prather is to have repeat characters. Scott’s pal, Chief Samson merely peeks into one of the three tales.

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 10 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘How Full Is Your Bucket?’ by Tom Rath – December 28th, 2017

by on Dec.28, 2017, under Books

How Full Is Your Bucket?How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is a mighty simple book to have such a long winded introduction. Basically all presented here has been spun into the “Gratitude” racket that is popular today. There’s a lot of needless exposition, additions to cut out, etc in the book, but it really comes down to the very simple idea of “Do Unto Others as they would do unto you”. Just keep repeating and live this phrase and skip this book.

Bottom line: i don’t recommend this book. 2 out of 10 points.

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