Here we will post our musings on a wide variety of titles. You can comment on our posts and find the titles in our catalog.

Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey By Frances Wilson

Despite being a school dropout, a lifelong deadbeat and drug addict, Thomas De Quincey was also an influential writer and critic ahead of his time.  He was a personal friend of several of the English Romantic poets and author Frances Wilson displays a deft understanding and descriptive style in recounting his virtues, his failings, and [...]

Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman

“There’s a fire and a fury raging in that little woman and scorching her heart,” author William Makepeace Thackeray observed of Charlotte Brontë. “She has a story and a great grief that has gone badly with her.” Bronte did have a sad life, albeit one of magnificent creativity. Losing her mother in childhood and all [...]

Van Halen Rising by Greg Renoff

When I grew up in the 1980s, I didn’t like dance/pop music like Prince and Madonna I liked music like Motley Crue and Van Halen.  Every guy I knew wanted to play guitar like Eddie Van Halen.  Unfortunately, they also wanted to do a lot of other things and as Greg Renoff’s new book Van [...]

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson

Rosemary Kennedy (1918-2005) eldest daughter of Joseph P. & Rose, spent her life paying for the mistakes of others, starting with a birth botched by an attendant that resulted in intellectual disability, and later a fateful decision by her father to use experimental surgery to “correct” his eldest daughter’s unpredictable mood swings and behavior.  The [...]

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery, by Henry Marsh

I don’t usually like to think about medical things since I’m a bit squeamish in nature. However, I was eager to read Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, because to me, those who perform surgery on the brain are great explorers on the same level as astronauts. Brain surgeons operate on people knowing they are [...]

American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus

Readers who enjoy American and family history will appreciate this account of the author’s great-great grandmother Julia Schuster Staab and her descendants, who were among the early settlers of Santa Fe, New Mexico and who built the home that is still in use as the La Posada hotel — and is reputedly haunted.   The luxury [...]

Mad Women by Jane Maas

Are you a fan of the T.V. series, Mad Men?  If you are, and wonder about what it was really like for women in advertising in the 1960s, Jane Maas’ light biography, Mad Women, is right for you.  Maas began as a copywriter at Ogilvie & Mather in the 1960s and ultimately became President of [...]

Clint: a retrospective by Richard Schickel

I enjoy TCPL’s collection of ‘adult picture books’– those coffee table and oversize books for adult audiences that the library occasionally purchases.  They are great reading when you need visual stimulation, as they are often full of remarkable art/photography and most are amenable to being read/browsed in small bites.  I used several recently with and [...]

Half a Life By Darin Strauss

In general I am not a reader of non-fiction.  Oh sure, I use cookbooks for recipes and look at the pictures in art books, and my yard might be a wasteland if not for our expansive collection of gardening books.  The parameters of reading non-fiction, for me, have always been defined by pure function. Half [...]

Birthright by A. Roger Ekirch

A. Roger Ekirch’s Birthright is the true story of James Annesley who was the heir to many Irish and English estates and aristocratic titles in the 18th century. He was kidnapped at age 12 by an evil uncle, shipped to America, and sold as a servant. His father had died 6 months before and even [...]

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