Smalltime

Russell Shorto, the author, is not to be confused with his grandfather, Russell Shorto, the Smalltime Mafioso who was the No. 2 man in the small steel mill town of Johnstown between 1946 through 1960. This is the elder Shorto’s story. But more interesting, it is also the story ofContinue Reading

The Crown in Crisis

The Crown in Crisis is a well-researched and detailed study of the abdication of British King Edward VIII on the brink of World War II. However, non-Anglophiles may find all the characters and what their jobs entail rather confusing. Though I can envision future university students citing this book inContinue Reading

The Unusual Suspect

Raised by parents who met in a psych ward, Stephen’s life was destined to be anything but normal. But who would have thought that Stephen, a shy, mild-mannered university geography student, would become a modern-day Robin Hood? Robbing banks internationally to help the homeless? He was truly The Unusual Suspect.Continue Reading

The Intellectual Devotional

The Intellectual Devotional presents 365 short chapters displaying what humanity has learned, created, and achieved during its time on Earth. The book covers seven subjects— one for each day of the week. Monday-History Tuesday-Literature Wednesday-Visual Arts Thursday-Science Friday-Music Saturday-Philosophy Sunday-Religion After taking every Appreciation class offered at my community college,Continue Reading

The Power Plate Diet

The Power Plate Diet has four rules: No super-starchy carbs after 4 p.m. Cut back on added sugar Cut back on sodium Cut back on alcohol In addition, what goes on your plate varies based on meal. For breakfast, it’s a third each of proteins, carbs, and fruits/non-starchy vegetables. ForContinue Reading

Niksen

So you’ve Konmari’ed your entire house (or at least have a drawer of items that spark joy and a closet that is best forgotten), what’s next? Why not try Niksen? It’s the Dutch art of doing nothing translated into a new American act of decluttering your mind. Or, according toContinue Reading

Gardening in Summer-dry Climates

From Vancouver to San Diego, gardeners along the Pacific Coast must select plants that work for Gardening in Summer-Dry Climates. This book can help with clear instructions and a huge (over 200 pages) compendium of suitable plants. Equally amazing is that each plant has at least one full-color photo. ForContinue Reading

The Ultimate Spam Cookbook

I really thought that I had used Spam in many creative ways over the years. Fried rice? Of course! Toasted Spam and cheese sandwiches? Yes! Mac ‘n Cheese with Spam and peas? It’s a no-brainer! But The Ultimate Spam Cookbook has provided me with so many fresh ideas for myContinue Reading

You're on Mute

You’re on Mute is probably the funniest book ever written about the bane of 2020, Zoom. It includes sections on work meetings, family gatherings, dating and job interviews. The book doesn’t tell you which button to push to unmute yourself. Instead, it focuses on the etiquette of video meetings. JeffreyContinue Reading