Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Most of These Stories are Somewhat True - Jeff Mackwood

The 2015 soft-cover book titled Most of These Stories are Somewhat True (Naughty and Nice), by Ottawa's Jeff Mackwood, is pure delight in 228 pages. Okay, some of it is a little annoying, but then I'm pretty sure that doesn't bother the author, who I only met after the book was published. It could be called an autobiography in 101 vignettes, which together draw the picture of a man who - though he claims to be secretly introverted - comes across as highly confident, mentally healthy, physically strong and tall, extremely smart, competent, articulate, funny, well-travelled, tough and athletic, a guy with a terrific family and an interesting, humorous way of interpreting his own unique experiences. But because of the title, the reader is frequently left asking: Is this true or is it a somewhat bold-faced lie?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America 1933 - 1972 - William Manchester

Talk about a trip down memory lane. Every famous and notorious occurrence that took place from the Depression until Watergate -- as well as some not-so-famous events -- is recounted in The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America 1932 - 1972. William Manchester's 1400-page tome, which made the New York Times best seller list in 1975, begins with a long reach back to the darkest days of the darkest decade. It moves forward one excruciating, exciting -- and yes, even the odd boring -- year at a time until, some 40 chapters later, it finishes at the beginning of Richard Nixon's second term as president.