Book Review: Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff


I learned about Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (2008) by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff from the HBR IdeaCast Episode 91: Be a Social Technology Provocateur.  I was intrigued enough to check it out from the library that employs me but it was quickly recalled.  Luckily, I had gotten far enough…

Book Review: Simplexity by Jeffrey Kluger


Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple) (2008) by Jeffrey Kluger is my first foray into reviewing a Advance Reading Copy of a book by of the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.  Or maybe not since I saw this book last week in the window at Harvard Book…

Boston By Foot Tour of the Month: Tory Row


Boston by Foot’s Tour of the Month took us to Cambridge and the venerable neighborhood of mansions along Brattle Street known as Tory Row.  The name is due to the number of wealthy Loyalists who either sold their houses before departing the rebellious colony or had their property seized.  Of course, Cambridge moved on so…

Book Review: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa


Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977) by Mario Vargas Llosa represents Peru in my ongoing effort to read a work of fiction by an author from every nation on the Earth called Around the World for a Good Book. The supposedly autobiographical novel is told from the point of view of Marito a law student…

Book Review: This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust


About 625,000 people, probably more, died as a direct result of the American Civil war from 1861-65.  Death is such an overpowering element of the Civil War that one could write a whole book just about it. This Republic of Suffering (2008) is that book, written by Drew Gilpin Faust, noted historian and now President…

Book Review: The Declaration of Independence: A Global History by David Armitage


The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (2007) by David Armitage takes a different approach to studying the Declaration of Independence of the United States by showing how it’s been received around the world and how it’s affected history and politics globally since it’s publication.  Even Americans need a review of what exactly the Declaration…

Book Review: Bleak House by Charles Dickens


I don’t know what it is with me and Charles Dickens.  I read a book by Dickens and while my eyes scan the words and my fingers turn the pages, my brain comprehends nothing.  In the eyes and out the ears!  In college I was assigned to read Hard Times for two different classes, and…

Movie Round-Up


The Science of Sleep (2006) A young man named Stephane lives in his dreams, vividly animated in the film and produced from a cardboard tv studio that represents his dreaming mind.  In waking life, he’s drawn to France from his native Mexico on a promise from his mother of a good job, which proves to…

Book Review: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan


In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008) is Michael Pollan‘s follow-up to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in which he answers the question the most readers of that earlier book have when finished “Ok, so what should I eat?” Pollan’s simple answer is: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  A simple phrase, but it requires…