Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese


"Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese would definitely not be a book I would choose to read given my own choices. Which is not to say I didn't have a choice, at least in the literal sense of the phrase.

I have a choice whether or not to belong to my book club and the member whose turn it was to choose the book chose, tada, this book.

First, this is not a small book. Tis not a read to be done on the beach as children play in the sand and surfs roar. I'd hardly call it a tome but it's a substantial piece of literature both in terms of heft and the quality of the writing. The vocabulary is not small is what I'm saying here.

Abraham Verghese is quite the wordsmith.

Further, if someone were to tell me I'd be reading a largish book about Ethiopia I'd for sure squint eyes and pout the mouth. You could take everything I know about Ethiopia and shove it up the behind of a flea. Where it would, still, rattle around like a beebee in a box car.

Verghese sure knew Ethiopia, however, from its politics to its flower and fauna. The book's tale takes place somewhere in the sixties and seventies. I recall a Haile Selassie of that era and he seemed to be nothing but a trouble maker in the region.

The book is the story of a set of identical twins born in Ethiopia of a nun and an esteemed surgeon of the region. The boys' mother died in childbirth and they were raised by another doctor in the missionary hospital of their birth. Their father disappeared on the day of their birth.

There are many characters interwoven into this tale. Genet was a child also born in the missionary hospital and was the love of Marion Stone, brother of Shiva Stone and one of the identical twins.

Dr. Ghosh was the boys' stepfather, a man of great tendersness who, along with their stepmother Ema, raised them with great love and tradition.

It's a saga of sorts. The reader tracks the lives of Marion and Shiva Stone, Shiva being the somewhat autistic twin with Marion being the surgeon of the two. Genet's story goes off in a direction that surprises to eventually meet Marion again in America.

This was a riveting and fantastic book, filled with medical facts and procedures that intrigue. I must now end the detail of the story lest I give it away. I was spellbound by the excellent writing, the intriguing and foreign tale, the saga of the characters as they grew in love, sometimes hatred.

The relationship of the twins was the center of the story. Shiva and Marion do almost come to blows over the beloved Genet.

The ending is shocking, almost torture. The reader wants to reach inside the author's head and beg to please not let it end this way.

It's a good read, written with a knowledge of the geography, an insight into the characters, the stories of a confused and poor nation struggling to survive a killing regime with a takeover by the army that only made things worse.

Read it. And do not ever think a story placed in Ethiopia would ever be boring.


The XFactor's 2011 Top Twelve. There's Good, Bad and Really Ugly

I’m thinking maybe The XFactor is sponsored by Pepsi, just throwing it out there. Could be the Pepsis so obvious in front of the judges that they might as well poke us in the eye. Or maybe it’s the shout that the winner of this contest will be in a Pepsi commercial as if such an honor is solidly equal to winning the five million dollars that would clue us in. Whatever the case, Pepsi is the sponsor of The XFactor, I figured it out.

Which might not be a good marketing idea for Pepsi because as I see it, The XFactor comes in a distant third when up against American Idol, America’s Got Talent and the recent reality TV competitive entry, The Voice. First thing, and I never thought I’d be typing these words or entertaining this concept, but there is only so much talent to go around! As it is, American Idol pretty much taps out the younger talent at this time. The last two American Idol final two were very young, both just passing the minimum age of 16. Scott McCreery and Lauren were probably counting the days for several years for their chance to enter and zoom to the top as they likely expected. For those older, or younger, than the limits of American Idol, there is always America’s Got Talent and no mind the wide variety of acts in these shows, the singers win more often than not. I think of the very young Jackie Evancho who came in second on America’s Got Talent after entering via YouTube at age 11 or so and going on to a very lucrative singing career already.

The recent reality TV offering, The Voice, had a similar setup as The XFactor in that the wanna-be singing sensations were assigned mentors in the form of the judges. Thus any left over contenders from American Idol, America’s Got Talent or The Voice go to The XFactor and of the final twelve, hand to God I only think one of them has what it takes to be a star.

I suppose there’s some notion that with the help of the star mentor, in the form of Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger, the singer(s) get better, prettier, more appealing. What is a fact and will always be a fact is that no mind the input of mighty Simon Cowell, the raw talent’s got to be there or it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. As the saying goes.

L.A. Reid is in charge of the boys and his final three consist of an arrogant, totally unlikeable rapper calls himself Astro, real name Brian Bradley. He’s just a kid and he’s got to put his hand on his crotch? I understand that his over-confidence is part of his schtick but on one so young it irritates more than delights. Kid does a decent rap but I don’t like rap, a rapper has never gone anywhere on American Idol, America’s Got Talent or The Voice for that matter. Which is probably because most Americans don’t much care for rap, so shoot them all. I predict a rapper will go nowhere on The XFactor either.

Reid’s second choice Chris Rene who just sounded horrible. Which is not to say Rene is a horrible singer,
it’s more that the sound system of wherever these folks were singing was purchased at Radio Shack and put together by The Pep Boys. The XFactor episode that narrowed down the top twelve was a live show and I am surprised that Cowell allowed this show to go on with that awful sound system.

While I’m at it, dear Lord, that announcer, Steve Jones. Where did they dig him up at, some funeral parlor?
He’s mono-toned, doesn’t smile, forget any kind of banter.

Reid’s final choice was Marcus Canty, ok, he was ok. He’d perhaps make the top 20 in American Idol but no more.

Paula Abdul is mentoring the groups and Paula is such a drama queen, we all know it. Though for this series she’s rivaled by Nicole but more on this later.

Paula chose a group called Stereo Hogzz, not so good.

For Paula’s other two groups, it’s just the strangest thing. For the group Lakoda Rayne and InTENsity are creations of rejected single entrants from The XFactor tryouts.

Lakoda Rayne is a group of four very, very pretty female singers, very, very pretty. They sing ok but if anybody doesn’t think their greater talent lies in their looks combined with passable voices I got a bridge to sell, cheap.

InTENsity, with the big TEN because, duh, there are TEN singers, also sing okay. Simon remarked that they were kind of like a modern day Glee chorus and I’m thinking that exactly what is trying to be created here.

Nicole Scherzinger is mentoring the over 30 crowd and I don’t know why as she’s one of the most immature judges up there though it’s kind of a tie between her and Paula.

Nicole chose a singer who I’d give a very high rating, Josh Krajcik . Way I figure Josh missed the tryouts
for America’s Got Talent because he’s exactly the sort of singer that show would propel on to stardom. Josh has a very good voice and could win the thing, definitely top five as I see it. The only problem with Josh is he really needs to shampoo his hair and clean himself up a bit. Yes it’s part of it’s charm I suppose and he is a bit of a Bruce Springsteen sort, a video of Josh below.

Stacy Francis, goodness, here’s a boo-hoo for the boo-hoo in all of us. Stacy is in her 40’s somewhere,
she does have a good voice though she would not make the top ten in American Idol. On her first audition we got tears all over the place, a single mother, abused and put down by her lover as talentless and worthless, boo-hoo, tears, boo-hoo, Paula and Nicole join in . Now there’s Youtubes all over the place of Francis singing for Tom Cruise at some Scientology boat cruise. I mean how demeaned could she have been having been involved in cruise singing for over ten years?

Finally there’s LeRoy Bell, who also has a very good voice, top five material possibly. It was a hoot in that Simon gave Nicole a hard time for her mentoring of Bell in terms of song choice. There’s contention between the judges but I see some scripting going on and not sure how serious to take it.

Simon Cowell is mentoring the females and for some reason he had five finalists when the others had four. There was some scuffle about Simon’s insistence on keeping a loser named Tiah Tolliver. After Tiah sang
L.A. went on a rant, berating Simon for keeping this talentless hag, all this in front of the singer, well maybe not those EXACT words but it was pretty bad. Simon responded that Tiah worked her nuts off, never mind that Tiah is a female, but what the hell, Simon didn’t choose her. I wonder if all of this wasn’t some kind of scripting to drum up audience interest. Which isn’t, in terms of ratings, doing all that well as I am to understand.

Simon chose Rachel Crow, a 12 year old who has a good voice but by me she’s not really ready for
primetime. All of the judges loved her.

In keeping with his teeny-bopper bent, Drew Ryniewicz, all of 14 years of age, was chosen by Simon. She is a very pretty young lady with a decent voice. Not good enough to win this thing but pretty good.

Finally, the one who I think will win this thing, Melanie Amaro. I don’t know why Melanie missed the
American Idol, America’s Got Talent or The Voice tryouts but she was probably the only talent in America left in this age range with the voice power to go over the top.

So there you have, The XFactor’s top twelve. For now I don’t see how Melanie can’t win this thing, with Josh a possibility for the win as well.

The XFactor airs on Fox, Tuesday nights, 8p/7p.


ABC’s The Chew: So Much Wrong About It, So Much Right

So okay, it was from boredom that I tuned in, with a touch of ever present disdain for that awful other daytime viewing option, The View.

The world needs less of Whoopi Goldberg’s absurd political views and Joy Behar really needs to get laid. No wait! Behar did show up on ABC’s The Chew, my bad. If nothing else, is it a coincidence that The Chew rhymes with The View?

The Chew
features a crew of odd folks working as a kind of group host. Clinton Kelly is a co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, Carla Hall is a former Bravo Top Chef contender, Michael Symon is a Food Network Iron Chef, Mario Batali is a seasoned Food Network cooking show guru and Daphne Oz is the daughter of famed TV medico, Dr. Oz. Clinton works as a sort of
narrator in that he does not cook. At times Clinton will do a spot on effective d├ęcor for the swami of style that he is. Daphne, goodness she looks just like her father, is there to tell us how to eat well though it’s a hoot for some of the most decadent food that would have Moochelle Obama storming the bastille in gastronomy righteousness is cooked and served on this show. Not that there’s anything wrong with this.

This brings to mind one big problem with this show though it’s a left-handed compliment. Never watch this show when even slightly hungry. In fact, this show is best enjoyed while actually EATING a meal!

Mario really needs to get a fashion consult, God Bless, this man always looks like he got dressed with clothes found in a dumpster. A good episode would have Clinton giving Batali a makeover but don’t tell as this is rightly my idea. And that hideous ponytail Mario sports, please, Mario, go bald as is inevitable and get dignified.

Carla Hall is a real delight and speaking of Michelle Obama, I understand that Carla has been signed on as a White House Chef. Michael Symon is the most normal of the bunch for all the weirdness cooked on Iron Chef.

The show does occasionally feature guests. This becomes a difficult matter in that if the guest isn’t famed for cooking their presence is pretty much in the way. Joy Behar comes to mind, an awful woman who should keep her hateful self on The View and forget telling us how to cook lasagna.

As new shows do, this series got off to kind of a rough start. The show premiered at the time of the great cantaloupe scare. Clinton Kelly gets up and gives us lectures on what to do when there is a food scare, good advice mostly, such as washing suspect foods thoroughly, checking locale of the suspect food and, finally, just avoid the foods for a while, Kelly said.


Well a producer somewhere must have whispered in Michael Symon’s ear to quick deny avoiding foods, who knows, someday a cantaloupe combine might want to advertise on The Chew. Symon interrupts Kelly with an admonition not to avoid cantaloupe, goodness no, cantaloupe is good for you!

With a few episodes under its belt, The Chew finally settles down to a pleasant afternoon gab fest of cooks, a happy audience, and featured foods that do not nauseate. Even Daphne the health guru will indulge in such as fried macaroni, all the while cautioning everything in moderation.

I tape the show and watch it in the evenings with my dinner. It’s light fare, can be watched without undue concentration and there really are some great ideas for food preparation presented. Clinton revealed that he was a homosexual in an early episode, not that this was any surprise. Still, there’s a bit of drama for the spice.

The Chew airs on ABC at 1pm on weekdays.


Dancing With the Stars 10/2011, Heartbreak and Surprises

It seems as if every year some of the most promising contenders are eliminated early on. In this season’s Dancing With the Stars, as of this writing, there are eight contenders left. Chynna Phillips and Kristin Cavallari have been eliminated and let us now bow our heads and ask ourselves, seriously, Nancy Grace or Chaz Bono are better than those two? In mid-September both Cavallari and Phillips were consistently in the top three and four, well above Grace and Bono. Sure Phillips messed up her Tango on the performance show of 10/10/11 but she’d been at the top of the scoring all the performance rounds before this mishap.

Kristin was fourth in the overall scoring the night she was sent home, that’s four out of ten contenders at the time. Kristin’s to date score the night of her elimination was 65 while Chaz’ was 52 and Grace’s was 58. Yet she was voted out?

It’s kind of like the election primaries. It begins more on strength, or lack of, personality, rather than the talent for the job. Chaz Bono has the weird thing going on that had her born a female and now dancing Rumbas and Sambas as a male. Nancy Grace has a reputation as a hard-as-nails prosecutor and the scripting has her working the dance floor both in practice and performance with that same persona.

Americans voting for elimination across the fruited plains voted more for a desire to see more of certain contenders for their persona or compelling story rather than the strength of their dance.

With the Republican primary, for example, we had Texas Governor Rick Perry coming out of nowhere to beguile and bedazzle and dominate the headlines. Polled voters, way before any primaries will eliminate or nominate, said in droves that Rick Perry was their man. Same with Godfather Herman Cain. He’s intrigued with his common sense speaking style, the novelty of a possible presidential election with two black men as the contenders, the concept of Cain’s non-political-ness.

Which is not to say that Cain or Perry won’t go on to win the Republican nomination, goodness, as voter polling doesn’t actually eliminate a contender as with Dancing With the Stars. Everybody with any political sense knows Romney’s going to get the nod, but I digress. But it’s how it is with Americans. They wrap their minds around something new, or unique, and for a while it is all the rage.

Chaz Bono and Nancy Grace are unique. Chynna and Kristin were stock models. The voting reflected America’s temporary fascination with the un-ordinary.

Rick Perry and Herman Cain are unique, new to the national political scene, objects of intrigue. The polling reflects America’s temporary fascination with the un-ordinary.

Mitt Romney, God Bless, is such a political fixture, Lord the hair, the affable smile, the glib speech, the constant change in political stands as is a perfect politico’s wont, he’ll get the nod.

Understanding that I don’t necessarily want it that way but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Dancing With the Stars and the Republican Presidential Nominating Process, who knew they were so similar?

As the field tightens, Americans get serious about it all. Too bad Chynna and Kristin got the boot before American’s got bored with the dancing man/girl and the ever-mad TV prosecutor.

This past elimination round Carson Kressley got the boot. Kressley should have preceded Cavallari and Phillips out the door, no doubt, but Carson too had an allure. He’s an out of the closet homosexual, a dancer America wanted to see have a go at it for a few more rounds. But Carson had three left feet that eventually overtook his whacky sense of humor.

So with eight left, let us make some soft predictions. I stand firm on my prediction that J.R. Martinez will win this thing. I think that Hope Solo will improve geometrically to possibly snag second place. Ricki Lake, for now with my God-given right to change my mind, is my choice for third place.

Dancing With the Stars performance show airs on ABC, Monday nights-8p/7c, with the elimination show the following night, 9p/8c.


Movie Reviews

Some thoughts on the upgrade

We thought our country was protected.  It was not.

Alvin and the Chipmunks-Chip-Wrecked- The Chipmunks Cute Us Out Again. Are we done with CUTE? ================================
Ice Age-Continental Drift

-Pro Forma Perhaps, but Still a Delight for Children and Weary Parents
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

The Lorax-A Review-The Only Bad Thing Was It Needed MORE of One Thing;
Happy Feet 2

Great Music, Great Animation, Murky Moral

"African Cats"-Teaching About Life in the Wild

We have a review of the Disney documentary “African Cats”. Marvelous camera work but not for every 7 year old.

Here's a movie review of RIO, an animated film as pretty to watch as too the joyful plot. With an amusing story of a "Blue" bird that visited my own modest backyard
Gnomeo and Juliet

For movies we’ve got a peek into that cuter than cute “Gnomeo and Juliet”. Yes it’s an adorable animated story for the young ones but what about this movie so offended me? ================================
Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear the movie"-cute, finally, a REAL villain

Gulliver's Travels

"Gulliver's Travel's"-disgusting with the worst movie scene...ever.

-"MegaMind" is a story about good versus evil. Nothing new about this.
Except in MegaMind, it gets confusing as to who is evil and who is the good guy.

Despicable Me

Here’s a review of the latest hit movie of the summer of 2010. It’s “Despicable Me” and it’s perfect for a 6 year old granddaughter. We’ve got stolen moons, cute orphans, nasty turning nice and, of course, a happy ending.

He's Just Not That Into You

So I watched this chick flick…"He's Really Not That Into You" and I saw myself as a young lass, I saw young women across the fruited plains.

To my surprise, I liked the movie!
How To Train Your Dragon

It's a great movie, if formulaic. Kids from four to fourteen will love it, as will their adult companions for its action, 3-D effects and colorful characters.

A review and a few complaints.
Planet 51
Planet 51-a big yawn. Here’s a review of this okay kind of movie, rated on the wiggle meter at about a c+ or b-.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua

We look at the drama of dogs in “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”. It’s totally not believable but it’s a good watch.

Juno” brings a special pang to the heart of this reviewer as I once found myself in a very similar situation to Juno. But I would never have made the same choice as the quirky Juno. Read the rave review and the personal story that had me and mine going such a different route.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Sure it's kid-oriented formulaic and it's no "Up" but it's an entertaining film that adults and children will quite enjoy.
Mama Mia

"Mama Mia" is an okay musical, probably not for our heterosexual brethren. It does feature pop music from my era, has beautiful scenery, great acting, intriguing characters.

Two things, "Dancing Queen" will roll around in your head for a month after seeing it and the plot line, folks, it's really, really uncomfortable.
Incredible Hulk

"Incredible Hulk" brings back the comic book character in an action packed film worth every second.
Perfect Stranger

"Perfect Stranger" has a smashing ending and good acting by Haille Berry.
The Brady Bunch Movie

The Brady Bunch Movie" is packed with satire that had me smiling for every second. Loved the Monkees!
Ice Age/Dawn of the Dinosaurs

"Ice Age/Dawn of the Dinosaurs"- a terrific animated movie, a great story that children will love.

It's no "UP" but adults will like it too.

Pixar's "UP" has everything, charm, adventure, laughs, insight, truth and an appeal to all ages. Scratch that. "UP" does seem to be missing curse words and sex scenes and still it entertains.
Love Actually

Recommended to me by, I'm not making this up...RUSH LIMBAUGH. I thought I would hate it. It's now my favorite move of all time.
Baby Mama

Tina Fey is an angry woman and it shows, unfortunately, in her acting in the film “Baby Mama”, reviewed in this Blog post.
Sex in the City

It was not planned that a 1989 old-fashioned film about parenting and the travails of same would air the seem weekend that I dutifully taped the very hip and modern "Sex in the City" but so it was.

So The Wise I gives a review of both movies, the similarities (few), the differences ( times change) and attempts to draw a moral from it all.

With pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.


It was not planned that a 1989 old-fashioned film about parenting and the travails of same would air the seem weekend that I dutifully taped the very hip and modern "Sex in the City" but so it was.

So The Wise I gives a review of both movies, the similarities (few), the differences ( times change) and attempts to draw a moral from it all.

With pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

He was a rat. Yet he wanted to be a chef.

It’s an animated movie and when I first read the details in terms of starting times and film length, I noted the movie’s running time was 110.

Brokeback Mountain

A review of "Brokeback Mountain", yes, I watched it and unlike other reviewers, this heterosexual female noticed something not written about in the many reviews of the movie I've read.
Little Shop of Horrors

It's campy and kookie and I loved the Broadway show. Here's a review of the MOVIE "Little Shop of Horrors".

The best thing about the movie "The Thing About My Folks" is a certain actor's acting.
First Daughter

A review of "First Daughter", a cotton candy confection of a movie featuring Tom Cruise's love, Katie Holmes.

We've got a movie review of "Monster-in-Law", starring that famous anti-war kook who's at it again…Jane Fonda. As for Jennifer Lopez, that girl needs to stick to singing.
The Producers

A Musical For ...well, PRODUCERS
Chicken Little

a review of the animated film "Chicken Little". Which I saw three times in total and let me tell you why.

a review of the movie "PRIME" starring Meryl Streep. It's got a clever and laughable plot yet Streep brings an element of fine acting to this tale of a Psychologist whose patient is having an affair with her son.
Space Chimps

"Space Chimps" - it was fun, it was neat, it was just the ticket for a hot summer day.
Alvin and the Chipmunks

We then went to see "Alvin and the Chipmonks" and we have a review. Talk about your generation gap.
The Bee Movie

A review of "The Bee Movie", a cartoon film that will enchant the little ones but also delivers an amazing lesson any gardener would love. ===========================

Also, a movie review of the TWO movies depicting the sinking of the mighty ship known as the Poseidon.

Hint...the newer version "POSEIDON" not as good as the older "The Poseidon Adventure", even with newer and improved special effects of our day.
Clone Wars

Here's a movie to consider carefully before viewing.

For "The Clone Wars" is a strange creature, an animated "prequel" to the original Star Wars movie.

Two problems with this movie and they are major ones.
Nim's Island and Kung Fu Panda

Both are movies involving the weaker as they strive to become stronger. One has a little girl trying to save her island and the other involves an overweight panda trying to save his land.

"Kung Fu Panda" is a Dreamworks animated movie that challenges the imagination and "Nim's Island" is a charmer. Both movies are geared to children but this adult enjoyed them as well.

Book Reviews

Saturday, January 21, 2012
The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese
You Better Like Tennis Before the Read
Fatal Friends and Deadly Neighbors by Ann Rule
Ann Rule Digs Deep Into the Tragedy of the Susan Powell Case-A Book Review

Deadly Little Secrets by Kathryn Casey

An Evil Minister Kills Wife & Possibly Child-A Story ThatShocks With Each Page Turn.
"The Emperor of Ocean Park" by Stephen L. Carter

"The Emperor of Ocean Park" by Stephen L. Carter'-Being a Conservative Black Man in America


"I Hate Everybody, Beginning With Me" by Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers All Over the Place, Including the Gutter, in Her Book "I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me "

:"A Love That Multiplies" by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

They're to be Admired but Most Humans Won't Measure Up.
"Elizabeth the Queen-The Life of a Modern Monarch" by Sally Bedell Smith


In My Time by Dick Cheney

Book Review: "In My Time" by Dick Cheney. Who Knew Cheney Was So Liberal?

"Portrait of a Monster"...Joran Van Der Sloot by Pulitizer

Book Review- "Portrait of a Monster"-Joran Van Der Sloot, a Murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery-This Kid Should Have Been Jailed Long Ago. What the Heck Was Aruba Thinking?
The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Colleagues Solve a Murder
"Lady Blue Eyes by Barbara Sinatra

He wasn't such a nice guy, SHE covered for him.
The Devil Himself by Eric Dezenhall

When the Bad Guys Become the Good Guys
Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

A Riveting Account of Abduction, Fear, Theft of a Childhood
Turn Right at Machu Pichu by Mark Adams

Mule Whisperers and stolen treasures just some things learned by this very readable book of exploration.
Bringing Adam Home " by Les Standiford

Why didn't "America's Most Wanted" Find Adam Walsh's Murderer? ================================
Unbrokenby Laura Hillenbrand

… this story of Louis Zemperini was a tale that grabs the reader by both the heart and the guts and keeps a clenched fist on both throughout the read. ================================
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

-A story of medicine, identical twins, Ethiopia that will mesmerize.

If I Am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus

Here's a book as much about the author and the author's family as it is about the murdered woman.

Who Named the Knife by Linda Spaulding

Two Book reviews: “Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt and “Who Named the Knife” by Linda Spalding. One a study of murder and life in Savannah, Georgia, the other, also a true crime genre, is a lesson in just how silly liberals can get.

Devil in the White City by Erik L:arson
We’ve got a book review of a book that tells a most amazing story. It might be a tale of a famous world’s fair or it might be a shocking story of a serial killer. It mesmerizes, it teaches, it leaves the reader with so much to ponder. It’s “Devil in the White City”.
A Thousand Chestnut Trees by Mira Stout

A novel about Korea.
Men At Work by George Will
We've got a book review for Baseball Fans-George Will's "Men At Work". Yes the man's a Conservative Pundit but he knows a thing or two about baseball. Or a thousand, or a million, things or two.
Hair by Eric Groce
Got a book review on the 60’s musical “HAIR”. Yes it’s a musical that defined a generation. This book, titled, appropriately, “Hair” by Eric Groce is chock full of history, pictures, lyrics and memories of this former ersatz hippie.
Pirate's Latitude by Michael Crichton

The It was the last book written before his death, Michael Crichton’s “Pirate Latitudes” is full of action, color and a true history or pirates and Jamaica. ================================

The Murder Room by Mike Capuzzo

We’ve got a book review of a book that’s nebulous as to weather it’s fiction or non-fiction. It’s True Crime, the story of a cabal of murder investigators of the highest merit. They solve the unsolved crimes of the era and they’re quite a group. It’s “The Murder Room” by Mike Capuzzo. ================================
The Great Deluge by David Brinnkley

Book Review "The Great Deluge" by David Brinkley. Took me two months to read this book. Bus as a Hurricane Katrina aficionado I had to do it. The book made me realize the REAL reason the aftermath of Katrina was so chaotic. AND it changed my mind on how George W. Bush handled it all. ================================
Going Rogue by Sarah Palin

a book review of Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue”, it’s a great book that the liberal critics hated as much as they hate her TLC program showcasing Alaska. ================================
Brayn Food by Gary Bray

If you’re a Conservative, If you’re a Tea Partier, here’s a book that you have GOT to read ================================
Robot Hearts by various contributors

Robot Hearts" is a well-written compilation of online dating adventures, the good, the bad and the ugly. ================================
Hiow to Find a Woman by Gary Morgenstein

Gary Morgenstein’s “How To Find a Woman…Or Not” is about the funniest thing I’ve read this year even though the man is wrong about so much. ================================
Burning Bed by Faith McNulty

It’s an old story, a movie was made of it with Farrah Fawcett famously playing abused Francine Hughes.
"JUSTICE"...Crimes, Trials, and Punishments”. by Dominick Dunne

It’s a great read whether you’re a True Crime aficionado or not. Crimes and trials covered include his daughter’s murderer’s trial, OJ Simpson, Martha Bulow, the Menendez Brothers, a little known Delaware Blue Blood murder of Diana Hironaga from here in the swamps, Martha Moxley and others. ================================
"Reasonable Doubt" by Steve Vogel

Dave Handricks was a religious man, yet he brutally murdered his wife and three children. ================================
Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule

Pat Taylor Allanson liked to cook for folks but she had a heavy hand with the arsenic. Her story is shocking, a story of a woman who wanted so much that she'd kill with no compunction to get it. A riveting read. ================================
Unexpected Treasures by Dr. Mikel Brown

”Unexpected Treasures” by Dr. Mikel Brown is full of bromides and homilies but they’re all true and the book is worth the read.

May God Have Mercy-A True Story of Crime and Punishment by John Tucker

a heartfelt very sincere story of a guilty lying murderer who convinced a whole bunch of liberals that he was innocent. ================================
"In His Sights by Kate Brennan

Here’s a splendidly written and insightful story of one woman, stalked by an obsessed nut case. ================================
Men In Black by Mark Levin

It’s the story of the Surpreme Court, its terrible rulings, and how this once vaunted branch of our government is ruled by not only politics but by FOREIGN LAW! ================================
Beyond the Veilby Seymour Grey M.D,.

It’s an older book, to be sure, but even in its 1983 publishing date Saudi Arabia was centuries behind the times.

The Restless Sleep-Inside New York City's Cold Case Squad by Stacy Horn

It takes dedication and concentration to read this intriguing and spell-binding tale of old crimes, the investigations, the victories, the defeats, as well as the politics of a cold case unit that explains so much. ================================
Jesse's Girl by gary Morgenstein

>A movie in a book will keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

Google Bomb. Free Speech Run Amok by Sue Scheff

What you don't know about Google, search engines, laws on free speech and how to defend reputation and business could ruin your life. ================================
"Bringing Elizabeth Home"- Review of Parent's Story on the Abduction of Elizabeth Smart by Ed and Lois Smart

Ed and Lois Smart tell the harrowing tale of the search for their abducted daughter Elizabeth. ================================
Beyond the Body Farm by Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson

At the body farm dead bodies are studied, rates of decay and other nasty stuff, to help solve crimes, identify the long dead or just so people like myself can read some really interesting stuff about it.Not for the squeamish.
Guilty by Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter informs us and entertains us with her latest blockbuster…"Guilty". A review of this book and reasons why you should read this book even if you think you already know everything.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Gary Morgenstein

"Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is a book that combines sports, politics in a page-turning thriller

Deadly Greed by Joe Sharkey

He claimed a black man carjacked him and his pregnant wife. The carjacker then shot his wife and almost killed him. His name is Charles Stuart and while he might be unknown today, several years ago he had the entire country in the grip of his terrifying story.
Mean Justice by Edward Humes

The author tries to make a case that Pat Dunn was wrongfully convicted of killing his wife Sandy via a "mean justice" that includes lying witnesses, runaway prosecutors and a right-wing public with little patience to get at the truth. Only there's gaping holes in the author's arguments and I take them on in this book review.
The Pursuit of Something Better by David Esler and Myra Kruger

"The Pursuit of Something Better" is a story of a small cellular service company that rockets from the bottom of the pile when a new and visionary CEO joins the team.

A Rip in Heaven by Jeanine Cummins

Here’s a Book Review on a book that will keep you awake at night.It’s short, beautifully written, a true crime story that will have you tossing and turning and maybe crying a little bit.
Red Zone by Aphrodite Jones

Marjorie Knoller is an idiot, married to an idiot, and when idiots raise killer dogs, innocent people like Diane Whipple die horrific deaths

;Murder in the Heartland by M. William Phelps

it was this Blogger who originally was scheduled to write the story of the very troubled Lisa Montgomery, a woman who cold-bloodedly killed a young mother and ripped her unborn baby from her body
Never Enough by Joe McGinnis

Rob Kissel was murdered. Only we know who murdered him; it was that nut of a wife of his. Seems she wanted the local blue collar cable guy who must have been dragging the ground if you get my drift. But who killed Andrew, Rob's brother?
A Fever In the Heart by Ann Rule

And as you read one "Gabby" Moore burns in agony in the fires of hell. For this man, a nut who actually taught discipline in the form of sports for the young, got himself so obsessed with a woman that all rationality left the man. The result is one death of a father of two, a kind, gentle Morris Blankenberger, as well as the death of Gabby himself. But THAT couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow
Too Late To Say Goodbye by Ann Rule

Barton Corbin had the worst luck of most any man on earth. He fell in love, even married, women who seemed to commit suicide all around him

Missing: The Oregon City Girls by Linda O'Neal, Philip Tennyson and Rick Watson

"Missing: The Oregon City Girls" tells the sad story of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, two happy young teens who should be alive and planning their weddings today. The book is by one woman and her struggle to move the investigation in the right direction against all odds.

Magical Mystery Tour by Tony Bramwell

For as a teenager I adored this Fab Five. I never heard of author Tony Bramwell but his book "Magical Mystery Tour" contained details about the Beatles, their business and private lives, their failures and pluses, in a detail that could be only be known by someone who knew the Beatles well
WITNESS-Amber Frey's story by Amber Frey

She did the right thing in turning in the fine Scott Peterson.


A Deadly Game…the untold story of the Scott Peterson Investigation by Catherine Crier

It was a very big book, Crier’s story of the case of Scott Peterson, a murder that captivated the nation. For Scott Peterson, a fine man whose parents are STILL very proud of him, killed his wife Laci while she was eight months along bearing his son, Conner.
Last Chance, Last Dance by Ann Rule

This book by Ann Rule is unique out of all her novels in that Rule actually got to interview the victim who almost died at the hands of the idiot around who the story is based.

Kiss Him Goodbye by Eric Francis

I can understand that Susan didn’t like her husband anymore and wanted him gone from her life. But I’ve always divorced those husbands I didn’t like and that’s the generally accepted protocol. We normally don’t get a free pass to murder inconvenient spouses.
Unfinished Murder-the Capture of a Serial Rapist by James Neff

The book title is indicative of a True Crime that is considered by many to be a killing crime not quite complete. He's a serial rapist and this is a story of his life and how he got caught.

Missing Beauty by Teresa Carpenter

-"Missing Beauty" by Teresa Carpenter, tells the story of a very intelligent scientist who gets caught up in the world of prostitution, drugs...and murder.
The Michigan Murders by Edward Keyes

Aa book review "The Michigan Murders" by Edward Keyes. The young man was an all-American type of fellow beloved by his family. But he was a vicious murderer and his mother was so proud of him.

Unspeakable Acts by Jan Hollingsworth

a True Crime Book Review of "Unspeakable Acts". This book is more accurately a tome. Half of it could have been deleted. For this tale of two hippie doctors eliciting tales of abuse in a daycare center in the hysteria of the mid-80's is almost entirely fiction.
Shattered by Debra Pugliosi

Debra Puglisi was busy planting roses one morning in her home in Delaware. Nearby, as fate would have it, one Donald Flagg just got a paycheck from the local Chrysler plant and used the funds to purchase some fine crack.

The Doctor, The Murder, The Mystery by Barbara Damato

I think he killed his wife, the author thinks he did not. I do not think the state had near enough evidence to convict. Many of you will remember this case.
Fatal Analysis by
Dr. Martin Obler and Thomas Clavin

There was only one thing wrong with this True Crime non-fiction book: the entire thing was totally not believable and, as expected, I didn’t believe a single word of it.
No, Regrets by Ann Rule

He piloted mighty boats and lived past 80 years but his own wife ended it all for him.

TV Links

Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Pad 2012-All Over the Place. Fans Competing? What's With Jillian's Ed? Why All the Love for Emily's Chris?

Love Blooms in the Bachelor Pad 2012. Let's Discuss Who Will Last and Who's Fake.


Project Runway 2012-Taking a Up Close Look At the Contenders Now That the Dust Has Settled


-JennyMcCarthy, 7 Men and 7 Women Seek Love in the Wild for 2012

Love in the Wild 2012-Bring in More Men, Bring in More Women. It Gets Complicated

Wrapping Up 2012's Design Star, Food Network Star, Bachelorette, Duets and Love In the Wild. Insights into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


Food Network Star 2012 Begins; Let's Take a Look At How It Begins

Food Network Star 2012-Giada Still Gorgeous, Flay Still Nasty, Alton Still Snobby. The contenders are great.

 Food Network Star 2012 "Dish".  Current Contender Fan Fave, Meanest Mentor,More Gossip.

Next Food Network Star 2012-Next Food Network Star 2012-Is This Oprah Winfrey or a Cooking Contest?

Next Food NetworkStar 2012-Paula Deen's Everywhere, and Now She's Bringing Her Husband andKids...More.

Wrapping Up 2012's Design Star, Food Network Star, Bachelorette, Duets and Love In the Wild. Insights into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.



 Duets 2012-New Singing Reality Competition Show.  How Does It Compare to the Many Others of the Genre?

Duets 2012 Goes To America for the Vote

Wrapping Up 2012's Design Star, Food Network Star, Bachelorette, Duets and Love In the Wild. Insights into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


MasterChef 2012-Bull Testicles? Really?

MasterChief 2012-She's Baaaaaaaack! Paula Deen, She's Always There! Another Contender Returns...Then Leaves...Updates and Predictions

MasterChef 2012 Roars Ahead. Can Becky Pull It Off? Guest Michelle Update on Dog and Loving Husband

There's ReallySomething Odd About Joshua, His Sudden Return, and Now He's One of the Top 2 onMasterChef 2012?


12Interior Designers Begin the Competition for HGTV's Design Star 2012

Design Star 2012-Interior Decorating by Talent in This Most Under-Rated of Competitive Reality Shows

Wrapping Up 2012's Design Star, Food Network Star, Bachelorette, Duets and Love In the Wild. Insights into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

America's Got Talent:

America's Got Talent 2012 Begins-Howard Stern An Interesting Addition. Gossip, Thoughts, Snark

America's Got Talent 2012, from Tampa to Austin, Weirdness Prevails; Acts to Watch

America's Got Talent 2012 Finally Gets Down to Business

America's Got Talent" 2012 Heads to a Winner.  Let's Catch Up.

America's Got Talent 2012 Now Roaring Towards the Finals; A More Diverse Field of Talent As Never Before Found Across the Fruited Plains


The Bachelorette 2012-Emily Dumps Brad, Seeks New Partner

Bachelorette 2012 Emily Maynard Used to the Finer Things In Life

The Bachelorette 2012-Four Left. Winner Obvious, One's a Wild Man

Bachelorette Emily 2012-Let the Home Town Dates Begin

Bachelorette EmilyTakes Final Three to Curacao; Soon We Meet Emily's Family

Wrapping Up 2012's Design Star, Food Network Star, Bachelorette, Duets and Love In the Wild. Insights into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


Can "American Idol" 2012 Outshine The "X Factor", "The Voice" and "America's Got Talent"? Some Gossip & Snark

American Idol 2012 Top 24 Announced, 13 Final, Lists, Photos, Some Predictions

American Idol 2012-Critiques and Already Some Predictions

American Idol 2012 Catch Up As Top Ten Begins Going Down

American Idol 2012 Continues With Eight Left; Top Five Predictions

Duets and Songs of the Eighties; More Randy Jackson Fashion
Songs from 2010 Till Current-Top 7 American Idol 2012 Singing Home Town Hearts Out

American Idol 2012 Contenders Sing Old and New; Thank God Jessica Is Saved

American Idol2012-Queen Songs and It's Down to the Top Five

American Idol2012-The Top Five Sing for the British

American Idol 2012-3 Left After California Dreaming and Lots of rowling

American Idol 2012 Hometown Visit, Finale This Week. Judges Demand Jessica Win. WE HAVE A WINNER!

Big Brother 2012

BigBrother 2012 Begins With, Of Course, Some Intriguing Twists.  An Intro and Some Snark

Big Brother 2012-Starting to Rev Up, Who's Looking Like a Winner This BB Series

Big Brother 2012 Rocks On. "Coaches" Now Contenders, One Evicted.

Big Brother Season 2012 One of the Best Yet. How Long Can Frank Hold Out?


-Bachelor Ben Begins His Search Anew After His Rejection by Ashley

Bachelor Ben Begins to Hone In On His Future Wife. The Real Skinny on the Skinny Dipping Scene.

Bachelor Ben F Continues Quest to Find Love; The Prettiest Contender of All

The Bachelor-Could This Series Be the Inspiration for Speed Dating? Update Leading Up to Home Town Dates

The Bachelor 2012-Ben Soon to Pick His True Love, Predictions, Thoughts, Snark

Bachelor Ben's True Love Begins Rockier Than Any Bachelor Ever; Project Runway All Stars Has a Winner


The Voice-Another Singing Competitive Reality Series Begins Its Run Against American Idol

The Voice 2012-Battle Rounds an Intriguing Way to Cull Down the Competition

Few Good Voices on The Voice 2012; Lots of Celebrity Squabbles
The Voice 2012 BoresOn; Contenders Can't Sing and Not Looking Too Good Either

Wrapping Up Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice, Survivor-2012. Some great, some so-so, some awful.

The Voice Fall 2012



Top Chef Texas Elk? Ty-Lor, Paul Forge Ahead

"Top Chef Texas" -Making rabbit the food of the gods.

Top Chef Texas-An Early Look at the Contenders As They Whip Up Some Rattlesnake

Top Chef Texas- Making Evil Food and Low Calorie Food...Or Are They One and the Same?

Top Chef Texas-Restaurants, Grilling Meat, Women vs. Men

Top Chef Texas-Down to Final Four-Predictions and Snark

Top Chef Texas Down to Top Two. But We Know Whose Going to Win Don't We?

Top Chef 2012 Seattle


Celebrity Apprentice 2012 Begins-An Intro, Some Snark, The Celebrity Contenders

Celebrity Apprentice 2012 Continues, Women Bicker, Men Stay Strong, It Becomes a Hoot

Celebrity Apprentice 2012 Marches On, Some Snark and Predictions

Celebrity Apprentice 2012 Winding Down to Top Five & Contenders Get Testy

Wrapping Up Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice, Survivor-2012. Some great, some so-so, some awful.


Dancing With the Stars spring 2012

Dancing With the Stars Spring 2012-Celebrities Announced, Thoughts, Pics and Opinions

Dancing With the Stars Spring 2012 Begins-Some Early Observations. Some Tongue In Cheek

Dancing With Stars 2012-First Ousted Celeb Dancer No Surprise

Dancing With the Stars: Sob stories abound but celeb dancers ousted anyway. Foxtrots and Rumbas.

Top 9 Heading Toward Top 5 Heading to Winner on Dancing With the Stars 2012

Dancing With the Stars 2012-Latin Dances and an Old Pal Sent Home

Dancing With the Stars Fall 2011
"Dancing With the Stars" 2011: For Hope, too little too late;For Ricki, almost…;For Rob...ah, not so much…;For J.R.-Has it all.

DWS -five left-2011

DWS 2011-heartbreak

A Snarky 2011 "Dancing With the Stars" Wrap Up
Dancing With the Stars All-Stars-9/2012

Let's Take a Look, and Snark a Bit, Over this Dancing With Stars All Star Edition

Other TV reviews

 Posted by Hello

Extreme Home Makeover

Food Network Celebrity Challenge-It's Over, There's a Winner, Was It Any Good?

History Channel's "Invention USA"- Some Genius, Some Flops, Always Intriguing

More Celebrities Competing, Now They're Swapping Wives; Guest Writer Michelle Overhauls Her Aquarium

Project Accessory,-Down to Three. Guest-Dogs & Skunks

They Dance, They Swap Wives, Now Celebrities Cook-Food Network's Celebrity Challenge

The Next Great Artist

The Chew

Fox's MOBBED Brings a Good Concept to Flash Mobs

Lifetime’s Project Accessory-Yeah, It’s An Attempt to Cash In On the Other Runway Product but It Does Have an Intrigue

The Revolution-The Intelligent Make Over Us, The Stupid

TLC's "What Is Magic?"-Is David Blaine Doing Magic or Trying to Kill Himself?

Fox's "Touch" Not "24" But Kiefer Sutherland Brings It Home

"What Would You Do?" A Reality Gotcha Show With Totally Unbelievable Scenarios

Shark Tank-Inventors Take Note, Investors Just Might Invest

HGTV's "Love It or List It" pro forma Handles Dilemma of Whether to Remodel or Sell

ABC's Scandal Good Show, Headed Toward Hitsville; A Review

Rev: Fox's Dating Shows: "Take Me Out", "The Choice". Finding Love Without All the Drama

Worst Cook In America-2012

Food Network's "Worst Cook in America",an Intriguing Concept

Coming Down to Finals of Worst Cooks in America. Predictions, Some Snazzy Snark


X Factor-The Final Three and Of Course It's Not As Huge As American Idol

X Factor Top Twelve

X Factor first act eliminated

X Factor Fall 2012

NBC's Fashion Star-Finally the Big Networks Discover Fashion and Take on Lifetime

NBC's Fashion Star Surpasses Project Runway a Thousand Fold

Fashion Star 2012 Has a Winner Both Contender and in TV Fashion Show Format. Also, I Will Be Walking the Runway Soon-Read All About It!

Award Show Reviews/Fashion Reports

Golden Globes and People's Choice 2012 Whacky Fashion Awards

Grammys 2012-Fashion Summary on Music Awards Show Following Sad Death of Whitney Houston

Academy Awards 2012 Fashion Report. Some Categories Invented By Me.


Project Runway All Stars Colorful Confections and Clothes from Strangers

Project Runway All Stars-Coming Down the Runway to a Winner, Updates, Photos, Predictions

Project Runway All Stars-Might Be Overkill, Might Be Cool

Project Runway All Stars-Dressing Miss Piggy; She With Dirty Hair Sent Home

Bachelor Ben's True Love Begins Rockier Than Any Bachelor Ever; Project Runway All Stars Has a Winner


Survivor South Pacific
Survivor South Pacific -Will It Be an Ozzy/Coach Showdown?

"Survivor" 2011-Has this show always been this boring?

Survivor One World
Survivor One World-It Begins With Some Really Strange Contenders

Survivor One World-Men versus Women Continues and the Women Were Doing Okay. Now It All Changes

Survivor One World-Now One Tribe and the Nasty One Is Gone

Survivor One World-Ice Cream, Pizza, Beer and Men Being Sent Off Like Flies