by Lauren Gelman
by Dawn Raffel
by Caitlin O'Connell
1. He's an ugly hero.
Jack Reacher is big and tall, ragged and unkempt. In A Wanted Man, the latest installment in the series by Lee Child, he’s got a freshly broken nose patched with duct tape, making him look even more grotesque. Yeech.
2. There's no tearful happy ending.
Readers who like a nice romantic wallow with a nice sweet ending are never satisfied by a Reacher novel, where the endings are usually Reacher working as a one-man army against the bad guys. Where’s the romance in that?
3. The books are kind of interchangeable.
It doesn’t matter which order you read the 16 novels in—it'd be nice if there was some development to reward loyal fans. Child's newest installment will get the same predictable great reviews as all the others, so it’s kind of tough to ask which to choose as a favorite.
4. It makes a terrible gift.
Reacher books are ridiculously popular around the world, and they are equally popular with both men and women. Which means that if you want to buy this for Grandma’s birthday, or Junior’s birthday, or anyone’s birthday, they’ve probably already bought it for themselves. Reacher fans don’t let any grass grow under their feet.
5. Tom Cruise is going to star in the movie.
If you start reading about a heavily built, six-foot-five fighting machine, you will inevitably start wondering what special effects will be in place for the upcoming movie Jack Reacher to enable Tom Cruise to play the part. Then again, Reacher is the ultimate maverick, and Cruise was Maverick in Top Gun. So maybe that explains it.
6. Once you start a Reacher novel, you will unfairly ignore your family.
We speak from experience. Once you begin reading A Wanted Man, you will continue reading it until it’s over, and nothing in the real world will pull you away from it. As this may cause friction among those around you, it’s probably best not to start it in the first place.
by Lauren Gniazdowski
by Beth Dreher
by Lauren Gelman
by David Noonan
As the turmoil in the Middle East continued two days after the murder of the American ambassador to Libya and three other members of the U.S. mission, I became curious about the history of America's evolving role in the world. Fortunately, the State Department maintains an excellent website.
I found just what I was looking for here, an easy-to-navigate list of key foreign affairs milestones going all the way back to 1750. From the roots of the French and Indian War through the rise of the Nazis and the fall of the Soviet Union, it's a complex and compelling tale told in concise chapters. What it offers, besides a good read, is some much-needed…Read More >>
by Andy Simmons
For the folks out there reading the latest Michael Chabon novel on an electronic device, here’s something to chew on: Books—you know, those paper things with inky words impressed on them—are not a lost art form. Don’t believe it? Just ask Guy Laramee.
While some people might discard their old tomes or employ them as doorstops, Laramee, a Montreal-based artist, gives them a second life as beautifully crafted sculptures. In the case of one work, The Great Wall(above), he even created a background story. It's premised on the fact that the Chinese have conquered America in the 23rd century. Or something like that. I…
What I did get, though, was that the artwork, which includes books turned landscapes, temples, caverns, and more, is spectacular.
Try doing all this with a Kindle.Read More >>
by Andy Simmons