A Walk In The Woods

Bill Bryson


Sweet, memorable, packed with more information than you ever wanted to know about what COULD happen to you in the woods, and really funny. Bill decides to walk the Appalacian Trail and gets an out-of-shape college buddy to join him. Disasterous choice of course, but makes the whole trip a great story. (No, he never hiked the whole thing.)

The Terrible Hours

Peter Maas


The praises on the cover of this book for Peter Maas' writing don't quite hold up to reality. It's an interesting story of the man who's inventions helped to rescue a crew of sailors on a downed submarine in 1939, but i just felt that the narrative could have been a whole lot more interesting and suspenseful if written by someone like Jon Krakaur. Pretty cool rescue though.

Fighting Fire

Caroline Paul


Get this book and read it. It will change the way you look at those people who put their lives on the line to save people that they don't know. Caroline Paul takes you right into the world of being a fire-fighter and describes the chaos and beauty of fires with breathtaking prose. The fact that she's a woman in a male-dominated field adds to the power of this book. If you're considering a job in the medical or rescue arenas, definitely read this book.

My Bug

Edited by Michael J. Rosen


My friend Eric Edgerton sent me this book one day out of the blue. It's kind of a coffee-table book really, with a fair assortment of pictures and lots of stories from real people about their VW Beetles. Some of the stories were nice, but there weren't very many famous people writing them and most of them weren't that fantastic. All in all, my own memories of my own bug beat all of the tales in the book. But it's nice to hear about other people's love affairs with a little round car.

Adventures in the Screen Trade

William Goldman


William Goldman wrote the screenplays for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "Marathon Man", "A Bridge Too Far", "The Great Waldo Pepper".... This book is about writing them, writing other scripts, and the whole process of what it is to be a screenwriter in Hollywood. What Goldman writes is pleasant and easy to read and he spews forth a whole heck of a lot of information about the screenwriting trade. If writing's your thing, you owe it to yourself to read this. Plus there's a lot of nifty behind-the-scenes info on movies and actors and directors that Mr. Goldman has worked with. Stay tuned for the sequel to this book....

The Hungry Ocean

Linda Greenlaw


Linda Greenlaw was the captain of the sworfishing boat Hannah Boden, the sister-ship to the Andrea Gail, which was the ship that went down in "The Perfect Storm". This is a well-written account of a single month-long swordfishing trip in the north Atlantic. I noticed that much of the life-on-the-boat ambience of the movie version of "The Perfect Storm" seems to have been lifted from this book. It's a good read.

In Our Humble Opinion

Tom and Ray Magliozzi


Tom and Ray are also known as Click and Clack, who are also known as "those Car Talk guys". This book (mostly by Tom it seems) is a collection of rants about motorists, laws, the government, education, and whatever else comes to mind. (Their minds, not mine.) It's not as funny as i hoped it'd be, but some of it had some good bashes of bastions of modern culture. There's a particularly long section on the messed up state of public education in this country. But don't be confused, this book is not as funny as the show. It gets serious a whole lot. And while the book has some interesting points, on the whole it doesn't really stay with you in any meaningful fashion.

In a Sunburned Country

Bill Bryson


Australia is a big empty place. That about sums up Mr. Bryson's take on it. I didn't find this book as compelling as "A Walk In The Woods", perhaps because it seemed so spotty. The prose wasn't quite as amusing, and it read more like a tourists journal than a real exploratory exposition of the country. Bill's at his best when he's a little bit nettled, and Australia evidently doesn't do that to a person too much. I think he just tried to cover all of the country in too short a time. He should stay somewhere until he gets bored with it, then the writing will sparkle with pointed barbs of hilarity. So, not a BAD book....