Favorite Quotes

"If you would understand your own age, read the works of fiction produced in it. People in disguise speak freely. "


— Arthur Helps

Reader's Link


Browsing all staff pick reviews written by 'pollockl'

Think Local, Read Local!

Surf.com

Title: Surf.com
By: Fred Reiss

Funniest book I've read in a long time, and it takes place in Santa Cruz! You'll recognize many of the character types within our beach town: surfing locals, college students, Silicon Valley transplants, and the people who hang out around the Pacific Garden Mall. Enough zingers to make you laugh ... [Read more]


fiction
1 Comment

But Wait! There's More!

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1.

Title: Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1.
By: Harriet Elinor Smith, Editor.

Dear Mr. Clemens, So nice to hear from you! As always, I enjoyed reading your recollections of work as a cub pilot on the Mississippi, and the amusing stories of life on the never ending lecture circuit. I’m so sorry about your daughter Suzy passing away; she sounds like such ... [Read more]


fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, travel
0 Comments

Get walking!

The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture.

Title: The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture.
By: John Leighton Chase

There's definitely a lot of "here" here in Santa Cruz. With its easy to read maps and charming photographs, "The Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture" has been satisfying the curiosity of thousands of gawkers and walkers since first published in 1975. The 3rd edition (published in 2005) is edited ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, photography, travel
0 Comments

Outstanding!

Maisie Dobbs

Title: Maisie Dobbs
By: Jacqueline Winspear

Aren’t you glad when a book is narrated well? It makes such a difference. I listened to the first book in the popular “Maisie Dobbs” mystery series by Jacqueline Winspear with the actress Rita Barrington reading aloud as I leisurely puttered in the backyard. I enjoyed getting to know the ... [Read more]


mystery, audiobook
2 Comments

A Softer Side of Patti

Just Kids

Title: Just Kids
By: Patti Smith

What do artists mean when they refer to having “a breakthrough” and from that point, go on to create their own unique style of expression? This autobiography describes the working conditions of the poet and punk rock star Patti Smith, and her friend, the late avant garde photographer Robert Mapplethorpe ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography, poetry, photography, art
0 Comments

From a newsman's point of view

Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City

Title: Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City
By: Jed Horne

Like Goya's signature remark "Yo lo vi, I saw it…," Jed Horne, the metro editor of New Orleans' own excellent newspaper, 'The Times-Picayune', tells it like it really was, firsthand. He and his fellow news staff continued to report the news and serve the city residents in the middle of ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history
0 Comments

The Making of Modern Paris, or, the demolition of prime real estate?

Haussmann, His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris

Title: Haussmann, His Life and Times, and the Making of Modern Paris
By: Michel Carmona

This is a critical biography of the ultimate urban planner, Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann. A re-evaluation of the controversial urbanization of Paris, Dr. Carmona (professor of Urban Studies at the Sorbonne) does a fantastic job of laying out the truly hideous public hygiene problem, famously described as "a choleric swamp", and ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography, art, travel
0 Comments

The cookbook classic: Why it is still the best reference.

Mastering The Art of French Cooking:

Title: Mastering The Art of French Cooking:
By: Julia Child

Do we only consult this book when faced with a special occasion? Or can we read it, un-rushed, for sheer pleasure? I highly recommend adding to your nightstand, the classic cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. Written with her co-authors, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, Volume One was first ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history
1 Comment

I can't wait to visit a salt mine!

Salt: A World History.

Title: Salt: A World History.
By: Mark Kurlansky

Thanks to Mark Kurlansky, who always makes history come alive - I learned that simple salt has not always been simple, in fact, man's need for salt and its manufacturing process helped shape civilization. He writes about how salt influenced trade routes, dynasties, and empires, from ancient Egypt, to China, ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history
0 Comments

It's A Long Drive Down Interstate 5, or that's a lot of cotton!

The King of California, J.G. Boswell and The Making of A Secret American Empire.

Title: The King of California, J.G. Boswell and The Making of A Secret American Empire.
By: Mark Arax

This book dovetails perfectly if you happen to be reading John Steinbeck, or studying the photographs of Dorothea Lange. A biography which examines the life of a very powerful farmer (at one point owning over 200,000 acres of rich farmland) used to driving bargains across bar stools and shaking down ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
0 Comments

Endearing biography of Doris Day

Doris Day: the untold story of the girl next door

Title: Doris Day: the untold story of the girl next door
By: David Kaufman

Are you a "Dayniac" too? This biography is so much more than just the usual tell-all book about America's sweetheart Doris Day with the superb voice and acting career. This book will give you the real low-down on her smarmy manager/husband, Marty Melcher. Miss Day was one of the biggest ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
1 Comment

Watching The Oscars Will Never Be The Same.

The Big Show : High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards

Title: The Big Show : High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards
By: Steve Pond

All the in-fighting and back-stabbing and shocking shenanigans of Hollywood and the behind-the-scenes gossip of the biggest show we all love to watch! Written by an observer extraordinaire who loves juicy gossip as much as we do. Now I know just how quirky the hosts can be, and it's the ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history
0 Comments

French wine makers in WWII: an inspiring story!

Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure.

Title: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure.
By: Don and Petrie Kladstrup

The authors interviewed several members of five prominent wine making families in France. Very interesting stories of how they personally hid Jewish refugees in wine caves and smuggled members of the Resistance in wine barrels! We read of grape harvests ruined because of the shortage of horses, sulfur dust and ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history
1 Comment

Friends in the Kitchen

M.F.K. Fisher and Me: A memoir of Food and Friendship

Title: M.F.K. Fisher and Me: A memoir of Food and Friendship
By: Jeannette Ferrary

If only it were my kitchen! I would prove to both Jeannette and Mary Frances that when I scramble eggs, or sear a pork chop, it was their advice that helped me make them turn out so "right." What serendipity! Jeannette is a cookbook writer and writes M.F.K. a fan ... [Read more]


non-fiction, history, biography
0 Comments

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