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Featured Reviews

The Martian (2011) - Andy Weir  (Grade:A)
Shop Class as Soulcraft : An Inquiry into the Value of Work (2009) - Matthew B. Crawford  (Grade:A)
Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I (2014) - Charles Spencer  (Grade:A+)
The Tehran Conviction (2010) - Tom Gabbay  (Grade:B+)
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Compass marker 08/02/15:


James Baldwin (1924-87) was born in New York, NY on August 2, 1924. Read Orrin's review of Go Tell it on the Mountain (Grade: B)


Myrna Loy (1905-93), one of the all-time hotties, was born in Raidersburg, MT on August 2, 1905. Brothers Judd particularly recommends The Thin Man (1934), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) and The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)


Herman Melville (1819-91) was born in New York, NY on August 1, 1819. Read Orrin's reviews of Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street (1853) (Grade: A-) & Billy Budd, Foretopman (1891) (Herman Melville 1819 - 1891) (Grade: A)


Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was born in Frederick County, MD on August 1, 1779. He wrote The Star Spangled Banner on September 14, 1814 about the American flag that remained flying over Fort McHenry despite a whithering British bombardment.


William Clark (1770-1838) was born in Caroline County, VA on August 1, 1770. Read Orrin's review of Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West (1996)(Stephen E. Ambrose 1936-) (Grade: A-)


Richard Henry Dana (1815-82) was born in Cambridge, MA on August 1, 1815.


Madison Smartt Bell (1957-) was born in Nashville, TN on August 1, 1957. Read Orrin's review of All Soul's Rising (1995)


Milton Friedman (1912-) was born in New York, NY on July 31, 1912. Author of such pivotal free market texts as A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 with Anna J. Schwartz (1963), Capitalism and Freedom (1964) and Free to Choose (1981) , he won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1976.


Emily Bronte (1818-48) was born in Yorkshire, ENG on July 30, 1818.


Archer Mayor (1950-), author of the Vermont based Joe Gunther mystery series, was born in Mount Kisco, NY on July 30, 1950.


Edwin O'Connor (1918-68) was born in Providence, RI on July 29, 1918.  Read Orrin's review of  The Last Hurrah (1956)   (Grade: A+)


Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) was born in Indianapolis, IN on July 29, 1869.  Read Orrin's review of  The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) (Grade: A)


Chester Himes (1909-84), creator of Grave Digger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, was born in Jefferson City, MO on July 29, 1909. Read Orrin's review of The Crazy Kill (1959) (Grade: B)


Alexis De Tocqueville (1805-59) was born in Paris, FR on July 29, 1805. Read Orrin's review of The Old Regime and the French Revolution (1856)(Grade: B+)


Kenneth Fearing (1902-61) was born in Oak Park, IL on July 28, 1902.  Read Orrin's review of  The Big Clock (1946)  (Grade: A)


Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902), was born outside of London, ENG on July 28, 1866


Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-88) was born in Essex, ENG on July 28, 1844.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) was born in Geneva, Switzerland on June 28, 1712. Read our comments on The Social Contract.

Joseph Mitchell  (1908-96) was born in Iona, NC on July 27, 1908.  He worked at The New Yorker for thirty years, despite having writers block for most of his later life.  Read Orrin's review of  Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories (1992) (Grade: A+)


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)  was born in Surrey, England on July 26, 1894.   Read Orrin's review of  Brave New World  (1932)(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