I'd like to take a minute to say goodbye and thanks to Kim; Schuler's webmaster for many years. Kim has been the other half of this newsletter since it began - the guy who takes my ramblings and makes them email-able to all of you every week. No small task, and very much appreciated.
Guilty pleasure confession: Once I picked up a copy of The Obits: The New York Times Annual 2012 I couldn't put it down. The literary equivalent of a bag of cashews. It's exactly what you think it is - the yearly round-up of the best of the New York Times obituaries. The past year saw the passing of performers, sports legends, heroes, villains and statesmen; all given the capsule bio treatment read by millions. Put together in a single volume, the profiles of personalities like Owsley Stanley, Abbey Lincoln, Elizabeth Taylor and our own Sparky Anderson create a unique kaleidoscope of American history.
I'm assuming you all know by now how much I love a great example of historical writing. Antony Beevor's The Second World War is exactly what I'm talking about. What makes or breaks a work like this is always the research, and Beevor's renown as a historian is well deserved by the obvious care and effort that went into creating his one-volume overview of the war. That he's also a writer with a fine sense of detail, perspective and character turns the book from valuable to compulsively readable. One of the few historians who can match the sheer drama of Barbara Tuchman's brilliant prose.
And lastly, there's the MOST ESSENTIAL REFERENCE BOOK OF ALL TIME. Too much? Maybe, but being from the U.P. and having mis-spent a large part of my youth there, when the new travel guide Yooper Bars landed on my desk, I was delighted. For me, flipping through was a nostalgic look back at places where my friends, family and I had some great times. Any native Yooper will point out the omission of a favorite (where's The Hunter's Bar in Ralph?), but overall it's a great guide to some of the most interesting spots that really could only exist UP there. Throw a copy in your glovebox on your next trip above the bridge and you're sure to find great times, unique drinking and dining experiences and very welcoming people.
This was a very exciting week for new paperbacks. Here's a sampling:
Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg (Google eBook)
The Drop by Michael Connelly (Google eBook)
The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman (Google eBook)
Untold Story by Monica Ali (Google eBook)
Ready Player One by Ernest Kline (Google eBook)
God, No by Penn Jillette (Google eBook)
Thanks to all who stopped in to say hello last weekend during Festival! It's always fun to be at the center of the great downtown GR happenings.
Until next week,
firstname.lastname@example.org * 459-7750 * fax: 459-7778