Archive for the ‘Book Notes’ category

Yes We Can …

October 3, 2008

… find great political books down at the old neighborhood bookstore! I found out as much the other day, as I was out hunting for titles about the candidates for president and vice president. River City Books has titles written by and about John McCain, Barack Obama and their respective running mates. There are also terrific issues-oriented books as well as those about current world-shaping events. Has there been an election between two more different candidates — at least recent memory? Has there ever been a more important president election? Whether you vote Republican, Democrat, Independent or Bull Moose, I know you’ll find books that both inform and make you think.


‘Coach Jack’ Now Available

July 1, 2008

I always like reading local books and when I was in Carleton College-owned River City Books yesterday I found a new book that is as local as they come. “Coach Jack: The Life and Times of Carleton’s Jack Thurnblad” by David G. Lavender is about one of Carleton’s most beloved coaches and alums that anyone with a tie to the college will want to check out.

Says Stephen R. Lewis, Jr., Carleton’s ninth president: “Jack and Jinny Thurnblad are a great Carleton story spanning remarkably different eras in the College’s history from the 1940s to the present day. Campus leaders as students, ‘glue’ in the alumni body for fifty-five years, respected and effective coach from 1960 to 1984, ambassadors to Northfield, to collegiate athletics, and to young athletes outside the U.S. — what joy they have given to all who have known them. This thoroughly researched and well written account of their lives by Dave Lavender is a welcome addition to Carleton’s historical record.”

What Happened? I’ll Tell You What Happened

June 10, 2008

If you haven’t heard about the book What Happened let me be the first to formally welcome you back from Neptune. I hope you like the weather.

The book, of course, is the latest political firestorm account — seems like we have one of those every six weeks or so — and it’s made news especially because it’s written by Scott McClellan, a rare administration loyalist to pull the alarm.

It hasn’t been easy to turn on a radio, TV, or computer of late without seeing some reaction to the book and/or hearing an interview with McClellan. If you’d like to read what all of the interest is about — always a good idea, if you ask this humble bird — you know where to go any day of the week.

Good Point

June 8, 2008

I have to agree with this guy, as quoted at

“Small, independent stores play a vital role in the intellectual life of a community. It’s very much a one-to-one, personal interaction. What booksellers have always tried to do is get to know people and be able to make specific personal recommendations. Somebody once said that what we do here is a lot more like therapy than it is like retail. Somebody will walk in and say, ‘Boy, I’ve had a tough week. I’ve been dealing with this and I’ve been dealing with that. I’m interested in finding out more about this other thing.’ And the bookseller will say, ‘Well, why don’t you try this?’ as if we’re writing prescriptions.”

-Jim Huang, owner of the Mystery Company Bookstore in Carmel, Indiana

Harry Potter Reference Guide

February 28, 2008

Hey, Harry fans, what do you make of this? I am not sure if Rowling is being selfish or if she’d do what anyone else would …

Sadly, My Cheese Problem Lingers

February 26, 2008

I think this is pretty funny.

Everything’s Political

February 17, 2008

The New York Times has posted a great round-up of new topical political books — just in time for the amazing race for president.