Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
You don’t have to be a machinist or woodworker or craftsman of any kind to appreciate Archie’s Way. Archie was a master of machines and tools, a throwback to an earlier age when people (men mostly) knew the innards of everyday devices. But Archie knew more than most; he was the northern Wisconsin go-to guy for that tricky lathe operation or a .00001 inch tolerance in an engine part. The author, Richard Probert was a music teacher with a yearning to be a part of that old way of being, when he met Archie. This is the story of a developing friendship between the two men and in it an homage to fine craftsmanship. [If you like the book, and are interested in the fate of craftsmanship in the 21st century, try also Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford or The Craftsman by Richard Sennett.}
Monday, November 23, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Why the Allies Won
In hindsight many feel that the Allies victory in World War II was inevitable. There is a commonly held assumption that the Axis states were beaten in World War II by the sheer weight of Allied material strength. Another assumption, that Germany, Japan and Italy, made fundamental mistakes in the war, not the least of which was biting off more than they could chew in fighting Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union together.
Overy disputes these assumptions about the war and shows readers how the Allied victory over Germany in 1945 was not inevitable. He recounts how the Allies managed to regain military superiority only after a series of extremely decisive military campaigns. Overy demonstrates that the outcome of the war had not just a material explanation but also important moral and political causes.
Monday, November 9, 2009
In addition to the fantastic actors, the writing duo of David Simon and Ed Burns is what makes this show so great. David Simon is a journalist and author, having written two books about crime in Baltimore. The first book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, was written while Simon was embedded with the Baltimore homicide detective unit, and turned into a show by the same name on NBC. His second book, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, was co-authored with Ed Burns (a 20-year veteran of the homicide unit and later public school teacher) and followed a family of four in West Baltimore whose promising lives had been devastated by heroin addiction and trade. The Corner was also picked up by HBO and turned into a miniseries, directed by Charles S. Dutton and is every bit as heartbreaking as the book. It might be best to watch it after The Wire, because you'll get a kick out of watching the same actors who portrayed hardcore police detectives from The Wire playing junkies in The Corner.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
George Gerfaut is a disaffected executive salesman, distanced from his wife and children, with a fondness only for his nightly glasses of scotch. He's certainly not the most lovable of men, but not the kind of guy who would have hitmen on his trail--at least not until he helps a wounded motorist he finds in a car wreck. This is another fantastic example of the crime noir genre that's popping up in graphic novels; others include Parker: The Hunter, Miss Don't Touch Me, and Sin City. West Coast Blues is written and drawn by two individuals considered the top of their field in France: Jacques Tardi has won every major European cartooning award, and Jean-Patrick Manchette was considered one of the best crime novelists.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Not only is that stereotype completely false but what if I told you there is much more to Warcraft than being a highly successful Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game. It has its own mythology of heroes and villains, victory and defeat, romance and heartache.
Legends is the first of a new series sharing these stories. It picks up where the Sunwell Trilogy left off and then continues in new directions.
The separate stories in this manga provide a glimpse into the greater world of Azeroth and serves as a nice starting point for anyone wanting to get their feet wet in the pantheon of Warcraft tales.
The black and white artwork matches the look and feel from the game and other Warcraft properties (comics, collectible card game, and collectible miniatures game) while allowing the artists to shine.
It is a fun read appropriate for older teens and above.