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Featured Reviews

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age (2017) - Jimmy Soni  (Grade:A)
The Duke's Children (1879) - Anthony Trollope  (Grade:B+)
The Handmaid's Tale (1986) - Margaret Atwood  (Grade:C+)
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Compass marker 07/21/17:


Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961) was born in the village of Oak Park, IL on July 21, 1899. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and the citation specifically mentioned The Old Man and the Sea (1952), read Orrin's review (Grade: A+)


John Gardner (1933-82) was born in Batavia, NY on July 21, 1933. Read Orrin's review of Grendel (1971)


Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstong became the first man to walk on the Moon when he debarked from the LEM set foot in Mare Tranquillitatis on July 20, 1969.


Cormac McCarthy (1933-) was born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 20, 1933. Read Orrin's review of All the Pretty Horses (1992) (Grade: A+)


Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-) was born on July 20, 1919. In 1953, he and Tenzing Norkay became the first men to climb Mount Everest. Read Orrin's review of Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer)(Grade: A-)


Thomas S. Kuhn (1922-96) was born on July 18, 1922. Read Orrin's review of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962)(Grade: A)


Hunter S. Thompson (1939) was born in Louisville, KY on July 18, 1937


Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) was born in Malden, MA on July 17, 1889. Read Orrin's review of The Case of the Baited Hook (1940)(Grade: B+)


The Assault [El Asalto] (1990) (Reinaldo Arenas 1943-90) (translated by Andrew Hurley) Reinaldo Arenas (1943-90) was born in Holguín, Cuba on July 16, 1943.


Rembrandt Harmensz (or Harmenszoon) van Rijn (1606-1669) was born in Leiden, The Netherlands on July 15, 1606.


The Virginian : A Horseman Of The Plains (1902)(Owen Wister 1860-1938) Owen Wister (1860-1938) was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 14, 1860


Christopher McKenzie Priest (1943-) was born in Cheshire, ENG on July 14, 1943. Read Orrin's review of The Prestige (1995) (Grade: A)


July 14 is Bastille Day, comemorating the 1789 storming of the hated French prison wherein seven feeble maniacs were set free. Read Orrin's review of The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1856)(Alexis De Tocqueville 1805-59)(Grade: B+)


The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness (1999)(Wole Soyinka 1934-) Mr. Soyinka, who was born on July 13, 1934, at Abeokuta near Ibadan in the British colony of Nigeria.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) was born in Concord, MA on July 12, 1817. One of the leaders of the American Transcendentalists movement, his two greatest works are Waldenand Civil Disobedience. He once actually said: Simplify, simplify.


R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was born in Milton, MA on July 12, 1895. His most memorable creation was the geodesic dome "a system of interlocking triangles that enclosed the maximum volume of space with the minimum of materials."


Marcel Proust (1871-1922) was born in Auteuil, FR on July 10, 1871.


John Calvin (1509-64) was born in Noyon, France, on July 10, 1509. His religious views are presented in The Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536)


James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was born in Lowell, MA on July 10, 1834. There's a nce selection of his work online at Art Masterpieces


Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. (1943-93) was born in Richmond, VA on July 10, 1943. Read Orrin's reviews of Days of Grace: A Memoir (1993)(Arthur Ashe 1943-1993 and Arnold Rampersad) (Grade: B) and Levels of the Game (1969)(John McPhee 1931-) (Grade: A)




Reader comments and suggestions are welcome after each review, or send email to Orrin.

The Brothers Judd - The Adventure of Great Literature



If two New Hampshire men aren't a match for the Devil, we might as well give the country back to the Indians.
-Stephen Vincent Benet (1898-1943), The Devil and Daniel Webster