2011 Year in Review: Panorama of the Mountains Blog Report


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many…

2011 Year in Review: Favorite Books


Here’s my annual list of my ten favorite books read in the year.  As always, this is merely the best books I read this year not books published in 2011.  For previous years see 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006. You may also want to check out My Favorite Books of All Time or see Every Book I’ve Ever Read cataloged in Library Thing. In…

Book Review: The lost art of walking by Geoff Nicholson


Author: Geoff  Nicholson Title: The lost art of walking : the history, science, philosophy, and literature of pedestrianism Publication Info: New York : Riverhead Books, 2008 ISBN: 9781594489983 Summary/Review:   Geoff  Nicholson takes on the quotidian topic of walking, something just about everyone can do, although there who some who can who fail to exercise the ability regularly….

Book Review: Maphead by Ken Jennings


Author:  Ken Jennings Title: Maphead : charting the wide, weird world of geography Publication Info: New York : Scribner, c2011. ISBN: 9781439167175 Summary/Review: Ken Jennings is a person I like merely because he became a celebrity by being intelligent.  Now I know he shares a common passion for maps.  As a child I used to lay out…

Book Review: All Clear by Connie Willis


Author: Connie Willis Title: All Clear Publication Info: New York : Spectra, 2010. ISBN: 9780553807677 Previous Works By Same Author: Lincoln’s Dreams Doomsday Book Bellwether To Say Nothing of the Dog Passage Inside Job Blackout Summary/Review: As noted in my review of Blackout this book is less of a sequel and more of a direct continuation of one lengthy work about three…

Book Review: Blackout by Connie Willis


Author: Connie Willis Title: Blackout Publication Info: ISBN: 9780553803198 Previous Works By Same Author: Lincoln’s Dreams Doomsday Book Bellwether To Say Nothing of the Dog Passage Inside Job Summary/Review: Connie Willis is one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy authors and I particularly enjoy her take on time travel fiction in works such as Doomsday Book and To Say…

Book Review: Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg


Author: Simon Pegg Title:  Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid  Publication Info: Gotham (2011) ISBN: 9781592406814 Summary/Review: Pegg’s autobiography is another celebrity biography (an unusual genre for me although I read two in the same month) that thankfully transcends the genre.  Pegg is witty and humorous as a reflects on…

Book Review: Dancing in the Dark by Morris Dickstein


Author: Morris Dickstein Title: Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression Publication Info: Blackstone Audio, Inc. (2010) ASIN: B004227WFS Summary/Review: I’ll start off by saying that this wasn’t this book I was expecting as I was looking for more of the experience of everyday life in the Great Depression.  Upon reflection that would probably be…

The 41st Annual Christmas Revels


This afternoon my family and I took in the annual performance of The Christmas Revels at Sanders Theater in Cambridge.  The Revels is a family tradition and this marks the tenth Christmas Revels production I’ve attended (including a Washington Revels performance in 1995 and performing as a cast member in the 2009 Christmas Revels).  This…