Books and Bibelots….



Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News

One commentator call this Dan Rather’s “last hurrah” and at eighty years old it just might be.  His chronicling of the news should be quite a history as he covered everything from the Vietnam war to Iraq and Afghanistan; at home he reported on elections and hurricanes.  I was rather sad (pun unintended) to see him step down from CBS in 2004 for his reporting on George W. Bush’s time in the Texas Air National Guard.  From what I read in an interview Rather thinks he was correct in his statements about the Bush’s record and I suspect he will address that in his book.  I have read his book, “I Remember” that tells of his early years growing up in the Heights neighborhood of Houston and how he got started in journalism.  I think I will read this one. 



I confess that I have never read one of his novels, and I am a little guilty and ashamed to have ignored such a prolific writer.  I saw the movie “Cujo” and regretted it.  Yet I did see “Needful Things” and deemed it tolorable.  I did start one of his books – can’t even remember the title – but soon abandoned it.  It is part of his Dark Tower fantasy sagas and I don’t read fantasy.  Sorry, Mr. King, I will pass on this one but I know it will do well as usual.


I saw an interview with the author of this one on Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN.   It appears current to today’s economics and political debates so I probably should read it. Some havedescribed it as “balm for the 1%” and “a defense of the rich.”   However, there seems to be plenty of discussions and controversy about the 1% in this election year.  Since I am not in the 1% yet I think I will pass on reading this one.    

                          “THE BOOK WHISPERER” by Donalyn Miller                                                 

The title of this one caught my attention.  This book was written by a teacher and appears to be more of a guide for teachers on how to  encourage children to love to read.  All teachers should do that.  When my daughter and son were small I joined a children’s book club (yes, that dates me) for them.  I still have all of their children’s books and read those to my grandson when he was small.  Today we still share a love for books and give each other books for gifts.  I even give books as gifts for newborns.  Maybe I did something right!  I may not have the opportunity to read this one but I hope many teachers do.



This is the fifth and final volume of Caro’s series, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson.”   Long ago I read one of Caro’s earlier volumes on LBJ but I can’t remember which one.  I think I passed it on to my daughter.  Having lived through the Johnson years I know it will be informative.  With all of the bickering and power struggles in Washington  in an election year, I am not sure I am ready to read this one.  Perhaps I will save it for another year.

“Extra Virginity:  The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil” by Tom Mueller

This book I found on the Tin Man’s blog.  He read it and deemed it “marvelous and a must  for anyone who likes to cook.”   Recently I have been using extra virgin olive more and more.  A friend has an olive farm in Tuscany and last year I purchased six bottles of his liquid Italian sunshine.  It was outstanding!  (I confess to adding  his olive oil to a bowl of red beans and rice but I would never tell him!)  Last year I wrote a post called “Crude Oil vs. Olive Oil” that was about the production of olive oil in Texas.  Yes, most definitely I will read this one!

“Death Comes to Pemberly” by P.D. James

This one I have already read as I was able to pick it up at the local library book sale in hardcover for $1.00.  I have read all of the novels of P.D. James and was excited when I saw that she had a new mystery out as I needed a London fix.  Her novels are generally set in and around London in modern ties, but this one borrows from Jane Austin’s “Price and Prejudice.”  James takes up the lives Austin’s characters a few years after “Pride and Prejudice” ends and throws in a murder in typical James style.  I did get my British fix but it was a 19th century fix.  I also enjoyed her book, “Time to Be in Ernest:  A Fragment of Autobiography” that was a memoir in the form for a personal diary.  P. D. James will celebrate her 92nd birthday in August of this year.

“You Have No Idea” by Vanessa Williams & Helen Williams

Often a celebrity will write about  how he or she was treated unfairly by a parent.  Remember “Mommy Dearest”?  Here is a celebrity teaming up with her mother to tell all about childhood secrets, beauty pagents, lost love and Hollywood glitz.  One has to  admire the comeback Vanessa Williams has made since she gave up her Miss America title when her photos for Penthouse surfaced.  Instead of slinking off to oblivion, she launched a career as a singer and actress.  Probably her best know role was in the television series Desperate Housewives.  I wish them literary succes but I  don’t think I will be reading this one.

Right now I am reading “A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare” by James Shapiro.

Next from my stack of books to read will be “Growing Up a Sullen Baptist and Other Lies” by Robert Flynn.