Login Register Our Team Submission Guidelines Contact FAQs Terms of Use

Real Coffee with Scott Adams: A Review

Nothing about Scott Adams’ daily news and analysis show, Real Coffee with Scott Adams, should work.

Not especially telegenic (said the pot to the kettle), Adams would blend right in at an Upper Midwest accountant’s convention. His lilting voice – something he lost for a number of years – isn’t remarkable, and he is incapable of pronouncing some names. His show features no production value or set design to speak of. Bare wooden home office shelves adorned only with copies of his books form his backdrop.

And yet, once you start listening, it’s hard to stop.

Ken Burns Presents Hemingway as Bull

PBS offered a three part series last week that my husband recorded so that we could sit in bed each night hoping to learn more about Hemingway’s freshwater fishing exploits in Michigan, now that we are living only minutes away from those very same Holy Waters.

After we put the four kiddos to bed, he poured us a glass of Oban Little Bay Scotch (less peat and therefore more to my liking). We got comfy in a mess of bedding and pillows with our two German hunting dogs piled on top like a sundae. We simply don’t have much time to watch TV together and are almost never interested in the same programs. But, “Hemingway,” a new PBS documentary by Ken Burns, was something we had both been anticipating for months.

Book Review: Disarmingly Great

According to Publishers Weekly, somewhere between 1.5 million and 18 quadrillion books are self-published every year. Technology (read: Amazon) has so lowered the publishing bar that anyone with some spare time and a Pinot-fueled hallucination can see their book listed for sale within a day or two. I’ve sampled my fair share. My Kindle library is littered with self-published stories sold at a steep discount – or free – as authors fight for eyeballs and struggle to make a name for themselves.

The overwhelming majority of these are either awful (but not in a satisfying Showgirls way) or forgettable (but not in a compelling Clive Cussler way). If I finish one, it’s out of curiosity and not the result of a compelling narrative. And I never, ever find myself thinking about one of these novels over a year later.

Enter Disarming.

A Faith-Drenched View of the South

American Masters’ Flannery O’Connor documentary sheds light on the Georgia author’s unique view of life.

Growing up on the outskirts of metro Atlanta, the city of Milledgeville was the punch line to jokes for a long time. For many years, the Central State Hospital was probably Milledgeville’s claim to fame (even though the town was the state capitol before Atlanta was), and the line was that if you were crazy enough, someone would take you to Milledgeville.

The funny thing is that Milledgeville has so much more going for it than a mental institution. It’s a college town, with Georgia College & State University responsible for much of the town’s social life, and one of Georgia’s greatest writers called it home.

I’ve cherished Flannery O’Connor’s work for decades, and her name even made its way into my book (which will soon see new life) back in 2015. Her short stories, novels, letters, and published prayer journals have gripped me for their Southernness as well as her emphasis on faith, though her Catholic upbringing and my Christian Church/non-denominational background give us different approaches to Christianity.

Why Bridgerton Is the Most Subversive Show on Television

This review contains spoilers for Bridgerton Season 1

I wasn’t looking forward to watching Bridgerton, a new Netflix series which debuted on Christmas Day last year. I hadn’t read the novels – the show is based on Julia Quinn’s eponymous series – and was not familiar with Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes, who signed a $100 million contract with Netflix in 2017, even though everybody on the planet knows her work.

However, even if I had I been exposed to either of those things, I still wouldn’t have cared. There is no shortage of stories about priviledged British royals and their straphangers, and after a while the characters and plot lines all tend to blend together in my head. For me to want to be invested, I have to know I’m going to see something unique.

Downton Abbey accomplished this by focusing on the straphangers as much as the royals. That was interesting, and the entire series held my attention.

Bridgerton held my attention in perhaps the most subversive way possible in this day and age.

NEW BOOK REVIEW: Not Okay, Boomer

Helen Andrews displays the Baby Boomers’ failures for the world to see.

For years I’ve lamented the Baby Boomers’ hold on politics and culture. I was arguing for my generation – Generation X – to have a shot at the presidency before the 2012 election, and it’s easy to look back at the last five presidential terms to see what Baby Boomers in power have given us.

The Boomers have also given us the sexual revolution, rebellion for its own sake, and declining church attendance and religious adherence. The “do what makes you happy” ethos of the Boomer generation has led to countless ruined lives in the pursuit of selfishness.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want to paint all Boomers with too broad a brush. My mom is a Baby Boomer who didn’t fall into the trap that Boomers in power seemed to (I just found out that my late father doesn’t qualify as a Boomer because he was born one year too early), and I have plenty of family members and friends who seem to have their heads on straight.

For years, the Baby Boom generation was the most idealistic group of people. Think of the hippies and the earnest middle-aged politicians who sought to transform the world. Did they? Yes, but not in ways that you’d think.

Writer Helen Andrews eviscerates the liberal Boomers in her new book Boomers: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster. It’s a quick read – or listen, in my case, since I bought the Audible edition. Andrews takes the tack of Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians and profiled a set of prominent Boomers to peek into the legacy that this generation left on the world.

Another Disappointing Disney Biography

Hourly History’s short bio of Walt Disney lets readers down, but not for the typical reasons.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been a fan of the Hourly History book series. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re short histories or biographies that are written to be read in an hour or less. I love finding an Hourly History book about an era or person with whom I’m not familiar and getting a quick education.

I signed up for the Hourly History newsletter a few months back because they offer several free e-books every week. Not long ago, one of the free books was a bio of Walt Disney. As a Disney fanatic – and somewhat of an amateur Disney historian – I was intrigued to see what the Hourly History treatment would bring to the long list of Walt Disney biographies.

You Should Binge Watch Schitt’s Creek Now

The first 5 seasons are on Netflix

I very much agree with my former PJM colleague Stephen Kruiser. The Canadian comedy show Schitt’s Creek is something special.

Book Review: The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom

One of my earliest memories is of the massive science fiction laden bookcase in my childhood home. I read John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, A. E. van Vogt, Ray Bradbury, Larry Niven and other classic sci-fi authors before I was in middle school. That’s understandable given that I’m named for a character in a Robert Heinlein novel. This means I’m unusually familiar with both the art and stories of Golden Age sci-fi. This is why I chose to read and review “The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom: Part 1”. Part 1 is devoted to the 1930s and came out in hardback in February, 2020.

Book Review: “Fantastic Schools, Volume 1”

Fantastic Schools, Volume 1” was edited by Jagi Lamplighter and Chris Nuttall. I’d previously read and reviewed his novel “The Zero Blessing”. “The Zero Blessing” is the first novel in his “Schooled in Magic” universe. It is a world very different from Harry Potter, yet his first book is compared to that because that’s become the default comparison for any “preteens sent to magic school” unless they’re vampires. One of the short stories in “Fantastic Schools” is by Mr. Nuttall, but there are more than a dozen short stories in the collection.

Older Posts