Book Review: The Way of Boys by Anthony Rao


Author:  Anthony Rao Title: The way of boys : raising healthy boys in a challenging and complex world Publication Info: New York : William Morrow, c2009. ISBN: 9780061707827 Summary/Review: I read this book as part of the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.  As a parent of a boy I found it interesting to see a…

The Best Dam Walking Tour in Boston


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, June 27th from Nashua Street Park just opposite the exit from…

Book Reviews: The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle


Author: Roddy Doyle Title: The Dead Republic Publication Info: New York : Viking, c2010. ISBN: 9780670021772 By the same author: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha A Star Called Henry The Woman Who Walked into Doors The Commitments The Snapper The Van Oh, Play That Thing Paula Spencer The Deportees: and Other Stories Summary/Review: Doyle completes…

FREE Tour of Jamaica Pond on Saturday!


Saturday June 19th at 11 am, meet at the Jamaica Pond Bandstand near the intersection of Pond Street and Jamaicaway for a 90-minute tour around Jamaica Pond.   Yours truly will be one of the guides for this Jamaica Plain Historical Society walking tour. Official description of the tour from the JPHS website: Once a gathering…

Book Review: I’jaam by Sinan Antoon


Author: Sinan Antoon Title: I’jaam : an Iraqi rhapsody Publication Info: San Francisco : City Lights, c2007. ISBN: 9780872864573 Summary/Review: This short book is set in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and purports to be the memoir of a student who ends up as a political prisoner.  The conceit of the novel is that the i’jaam –…

Book Review: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann


Author: Colum McCann Title: Let the Great World Spin Publication Info: ISBN:9780812973990 Summary/Review: I can’t say enough good things about this novel.  Each chapter tells the story of one person in New York on and around the day that Phillipe Petit crosses the gap between the Twin Towers on a wire.  McCann really brings the…

The Swinger (via Music Machinery)


Trying out the new WordPress reblog feature. This is a fun post in which several popular songs have been modified to have a swing beat. I especially like “White Rabbit.”  One of my favorite hacks at last weekend's Music Hack Day is Tristan's Swinger.  The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any…

Book Review: Pedal Power by J. Harry Wray


Author: J. Harry Wray Title: Pedal power : the quiet rise of the bicycle in American public life Publication Info: Boulder, Colo. : Paradigm Publishers, c2008. ISBN: 9781594514623 Summary/Review: Wray writes in a dry, professorial tone about bicycle culture in the United States through a political science approach.  While not the best written book it…

Book Review: Treason’s Harbor by Patrick O’Brian


Author: Patrick O’Brian Title: Treason’s Harbor Publication Info: [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audiobooks, 2005. ISBN: 0786137215 Summary/Review: The nautical adventures of Aubrey and Maturin continue.  This is an average story that includes some interesting spying intrigue, Stephen Maturin in a diving bell, a mission to Egypt, and a blessedly complete absence of Diana Villiers.  Other…

Audubon Nature Festival


Today we attended the 13th Annual Audubon Nature Festival at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA.  It was a great family event with a great number of activities for young children.  Not that my young child took much interest in a lot of the activities, but that’s okay.  Sometimes it’s just as fun to…

Rules for Moving in Massachusetts


After helping a friend move from Waltham to Arlington yesterday, it occurred to me that there are certain things that happen every time somebody moves around here. The person moving provides a Box O’ Joe and Munchkins for the people helping out. The weather will be hot and humid (don’t try to outsmart this rule…