Category Archives: shawverv

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin

In The Bully Pulpit, Doris Kearns Goodwin discusses the Progressive Movement through the eyes of three principal actors—Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Samuel S. McClure—along with the remarkable contributors to McClure’s Magazine, notably Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William … Continue reading

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One Man’s Dream: My Town, My Team, My Time by Frank White with Bill Althaus

This is the autobiography of Frank White, the 8-time Gold Glove second baseman for the Kansas City Royals. White describes his childhood and the loving support of his family while growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, his high school days … Continue reading

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Wild Tales: a Rock & Roll Life by Graham Nash

Graham Nash’s autobiography captures the inner workings of three significant bands of the Sixties and Seventies: The Hollies; Crosby, Stills, & Nash; and Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. It’s well worth the read. Musical harmony was a trademark of the three … Continue reading

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Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert Proctor

Proctor pulls no punches in his 600 page depiction of the cigarette industry. He paints cigarette manufacturing as an industry that addicts over 80 percent of its users, kills half the people who use the product as directed, kills 400,000 … Continue reading

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Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by Peter Evans

Biographer Peter Evans might have published the definitive biography of Ava Gardner around the time of her death in 1990, but Gardner backed out after learning that former husband, Frank Sinatra, sued Evans about an earlier manuscript suggesting that Sinatra … Continue reading

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The Language of Fiction: a writer’s stylebook by Brian Shawver

I confess a bias. Brian, the author, is my nephew. This is his third publication following two novels, a baseball story entitled The Cuban Prospect and the introspective Aftermath. This latest offering is a book about grammar, but it doesn’t read … Continue reading

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The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain (1934)

The Postman Always Rings Twice is the first of Cain’s pulp detective novels. A drifter, Frank, pulls into a diner/gas station along the highway and meets Cora, the young, beautiful wife of the Greek immigrant owner. They fall for one … Continue reading

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Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year by David Von Drehle

According to a recent review in The Kansas City Star, reading Rise to Greatness is a great way to prepare for watching Steven Spielberg’s movie, Lincoln, so I read it.  The movie concentrates on the President’s efforts to pass the … Continue reading

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Destiny of the Republic: a Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

Destiny of the Republic is a fascinating study of the life and presidency of James A. Garfield, his assassination, and the controversial medical efforts to save his life from a gunshot wound. The pages seem to turn themselves, and one … Continue reading

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How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

The author, a journalist, reviews psychological, sociological, educational, and medical literature and makes conclusions about what is needed to close the gap in educational gains between poor and rich children. His most compelling assertion is that a nurturing relationship between … Continue reading

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