Cities with Mountains


I’m a man of extremes.  I love urban living, but when I want to get out of the city I want to get way out of the city, skipping over all those suburbs.  Ideally my best vacation spot is on a remote trail hiking up a mountain.  Too bad that the best of both worlds…

100 Favorite Albums of All-Time (60-51)


Part five of my top 100 albums of all time. Previously: 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 100-91. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 90-81. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 80-71. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 70-61. 60. The Remix Album…Diamonds Are Forever by Shirley Bassey (2000) If this list of favorite albums confirms anything it’s that…

Book Review: Rex Libris: I, Librarian


Author: James Turner Title: Rex Libris: I, Librarian Publication Info: San Jose, Calif. : SLG Pub., [2007] ISBN: 9781593620622 Summary/Review: Rex Libris is a tough-as-nail librarian now several eons old fighting to protect knowledge and make sure books are returned on time, even when they’re held by intergalactic space creatures.  This comic book/graphic novel is…

Book Review: FREE: the future of a radical price by Chris Anderson


Author: Chris Anderson Title:FREE: the future of a radical price Publication Info: New York : Hyperion, 2009. ISBN: 9781401322908 Previously read by same author: The Long Tail Summary/Review: I downloaded Chris Anderson’s latest book as an audiobook from iTunes.  The price I paid was … FREE!  The entire book is based on the concept that…

Book Review: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields


Around The World For a Good Book selection for: Canada Author:  Carol Shields Title: The Stone Diaries Publication Info: New York : Viking, 1994. ISBN: 0670853097 Summary/Review: First impression:  This author has a predilection for unsettling, detailed descriptions of human flesh in order to get the point across that a woman in overweight. Second impression: …

A Day in the Life of a Librarian


Librarians everywhere are signing up for the Library Day in the Life project as a way of showing what we do to fellow librarians, library school students, and anyone curious.  I missed out on this the last time it occurred so I definitely wanted to participate this year, especially since I’ve been looking for ways…

Beer Review: Rogue Shakespeare Stout


Beer: Shakespeare Stout Brewer: Rogue Brewery Source: 22 oz. bottle Rating: **** (8.9 of 10) Comments: Rogue Brewery is one of the most creative and competent craft breweries out there, one which I had the delight of visiting way back in 1997.  I hadn’t had a Shakespeare Stout in a while and decided it would…

Beer Review: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy


Beer: Summer Shandy Brewer: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company Source: On-tap Rating: ** (6.8 of 10) Comments:  I’ve reviewed a couple of Leinenkugel beers before and found them a bit too sweet for my tastes.  Yet on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon I was drawn to the Summer Shandy.  Shandy is basically lemonade mixed with beer…

Beer Review: Redhook Long Hammer IPA


Beer: Long Hammer IPA Brewer: Redhook Source: On-tap Rating: ** (6.5 of 10) Comments: I always think Redhook beers should come from Brooklyn, but in reality they are brewed in Seattle.  I don’t generally like IPA’s but the Grand Canal was out of pretty much everything on tap, so I gave it a try.  Luckily,…

100 Favorite Albums of All-Time (70-61)


Part four of my top 100 albums of all time. Previously: 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 100-91. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 90-81. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 80-71. 70. Hot by Squirrel Nut Zippers (1996) The swing revival was a fun addition to the Nineties’ music scene, and SNZ stand out as a band…

Charles River Basin Walking Tour


I promote a lot of tours on this blog, but if there’s one tour you must take this summer it’s the Exploring the Charles River Basin tour offered by Boston By Foot guides (including myself).  The tour steps off at 2 pm on Sunday, July 26th from Nashua Street Park just opposite the exit from…

Book Review: A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman


Author:  Barbara Tuchman Title: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century Publication Info: [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audiobooks, 2005. (Originally published in 1978) ISBN: 9780786152940 Other Books Read by This Author: Practicing History, The Guns of August Summary/Review: The same historian who wrote an entire book – The Guns of August – about just one…

Book Review: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe


Around The World For a Good Book selection for: Nigeria Author:  Chinua Achebe Title: Things Fall Apart Publication Info: Heinemann Educational Publishers (1971) [Originally published in 1958] ISBN: 0435121626 Summary/Review: Achebe’s novel depicts the traditional culture of the Igbo people in the late 19th century as a complex society unlike many European/American views of Africa…

Beer Review: Samuel Adams Boston Brick Red


Beer: Samuel Adams Brick Red Brewer: Boston Beer Company Source: On-tap Rating: * (5.4 of 10) Comments: This is a special release just for the Boston area.  Unfortunately, it’s not that special a beer. I got a pint at the Union Oyster House.  It’s color is obviously a deep brownish-red, with not much head nor…

Old MacDonald’s Farm


I often find myself idly surfing the net and making discoveries of something from my past. Recently, I became reacquainted with Old Macdonald’s Farm, a place in Norwalk, CT that I loved to visit when I was very young.  Before being closed and replaced by a corporate office park, Old Macdonald’s Farm had: an old-fashioned…

Forest Hills Cemetery Lantern Festival


Tonight we attended the 11th Annual Lantern Festival at Forest Hills Cemetery right here in Jamaica Plain.  This is the first time we’ve attended since moving to JP as last year I was violently ill at the time the festival occurred.  This year we had just as good a reason not to go and that…

100 Favorite Albums of All-Time (80-71)


Part three of my top 100 albums of all time. Previously: 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 100-91. 100 Favorite Albums of All-Time 90-81. 80. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Nanci Griffith (1993) Another good example of the artist-as-interpreter with Griffith covering folk classics and obscure nuggets will the help of an all-star cast of collaborating…

Book Review: An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie


Around The World For a Good Book selection for: Togo Author: Tété-Michel Kpomassie Title: An African in Greenland Publication Info: New York : New York Review Books, [2001] (Originally published in 1981) ISBN: 9780940322882 Summary/Review: Kpomassie, who grew up in a traditional society in Togo, writes a charming, insightful and very human account about his…

Book Review: The Fortune of War by Patrick O’Brian


Author: Patrick O’Brian Title: The Fortune of War Publication Info: W.W. Norton & Co. (1991) (Originally published in 1979) ISBN: 0393308138 Summary/Review: Patrick O’Brian wrote 21 books of naval adventure set in the early 1800’s featuring the rough but amiable Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend the ship’s surgeon and spy Stephen Maturin.  I like…