Monday, 30 December 2013

BOOK REPORT 2013-52 Weeks/52 Books

For The Record.

BILL BRYSON-ONE SUMMER, AMERICA 1927: Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Al Johnson, Henry Ford, Calvin Coolridge, the New York Yankees, Hollywoodland, Mount Rushmore, the Great Mississippi flood, the roaring twenties. Legend and legacy, it's all here to the flight-plan of Charles Lindbergh in 'One Summer' that changed America and the world forever in 1927. From crime to prosperity and power to the fall from grace, this defining age of entertainment and innovation influenced the world in all it's inspiration for better or worse. From the might of boxing to the black-eye on a nation at war between races and cultures. This short history of nearly everything that happened in the United States overall changing season gives us our 52nd read right at the last day of December to close out our reading year. We did it! That makes for a record met, personal best of a book read for every week of this year, as well as numerous magazines, comic-books. web-articles and book passages as an added bonus. Oh and speaking of bonuses, the 52 books read over the 52 weeks cost barely over £52! That's awesome value...take that kindle! Who else but the great American writer taking residency in England;Billy Bryson to take us to the end of this milestone year of pages? With this latest parent present addition to the reading list, three of his books (including his magnificent, coming of American age memoir 'The Life & Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid') also make a list of varied 2013 reads that may not be Keats, but certainly aren't Kardashian. So without further ado we thank Bill, you and reading for a great year and wish you all the best for 2014. Let's hope it's an even better reading year, albeit if it's a more relaxed one. So this coming January take some time, make yourself a brew, put your feet up and just enjoy your new favorite read. In your own time. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Now for the record and in order book worms, here's the reading list...

-Dream Team
-The Last Shot
-Harry Belafonte: My Song
-The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
-The Case Book Of Sherlock Holmes
-The Hounds Of Baskervilles
-The Silver Linings Playbook
-Gangster Squad
-Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep
-The Descendants
-The Blind Side
-The Lincoln Lawyer
-Wit'ch Fire
-The Great Gatsby
-The Perfect Storm
-We Bought A Zoo
-10 Poems To Change Your Life
-The Hobbit
-Bill Bryson: Notes From A Small Country
-Bill Bryson: Down Under
-Bill Bryson: The Life & Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid
-Phil Jackson: The Last Season (A Team In Search Of Its Soul)
-Tom Clancy-Executive Orders
-I Am Legend
-Phil Jackson: Eleven Rings-The Soul Of Success
-Ernest 'Che' Guevara: The Motorcycle Diaries
-Mr. S: My Life With Frank Sinatra
-Fight Club
-Jack Kerouac: Maggie Cassidy
-Glory Road
-Miles Davis: Miles-The Autobiography
-Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
-Into The Wild
-Star Wars: Riptide
-The Silent Season Of A Hero (The Sportswriting Of Gay Talese)
-Up In The Old Hotel
-Star Trek: Department Of Temporal Investigations-Forgotten History
-Johnny Cash-Cash The Autobiography
-Bill Clinton: Giving
-Casino Royale
-The Bourne Imperative
-E Street Shuffle
-Walk Like A Man
-Red Hot Chili Peppers: An Oral/Visual History
-Anthony Kiedis: Scar Tissue
-Ron Burgundy: Let Me Off At The Top-My Classy Life & Other Musings
-Julius Erving: Dr J-The Autobiography
-Jack Kerouac: Wake Up
-Michael J. Fox: Lucky Man
-Bill Bryson: One Summer-America 1927

You can find quick coffee table read reviews of all these books in this blog...

Monday, 2 December 2013


We've hit 50.

MICHAEL J. FOX-LUCKY MAN: This is what a Michael J. Fox says. Michael's first memoir (he released his sophomore 'Always Looking Up' in the new millennium) is one of the best celebrity autobiographies to come out of Hollywood in recent times, if not ever. Frank, forthright and damn funny, there's not a cliche or boast to be found in the perfect wrote pages of a man who has seen the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows in this fame-filled life of the golden era of movie-making from the 80's to this new millennium. Although appreciating everything life has given or thrown at him, you wouldn't expect most A-list actors to gloss over something like the incredible 'Back To The Future' trilogy and not write shorthand on his own shortcomings, but Michael lays it all out here simple and plain with some inspired insight to go along with some incredible influence. The man who suffers from Parkinson's Disease makes this memoir like his life his mission to make a statement of support for fellow sufferers and a scold to those in power not providing enough financial or motivational help for a disease that could find it's cure quicker than those others that are receiving thousands of funds more. Still, as tragic the turns have been in this mans life he doesn't keep going on and on about it, just like the spoils of his riches and fame (he finds it lame that he was let go for a speeding offence because of the name on his license in a funny passage), he makes this all about his family ties from the love of his children to his devoted wife. What more can you expect from a man that can inspire Muhammad Ali and make jokes with Larry David and not for once look like he is either making a mockery or taking things too seriously? The Canadian Fox like Basketball's Rick also shows us just what made him the straight out of the foxhole like Jamie with an extra kiss, Hollywood star he is today from 'Teen Wolf' to 'Spin City', his Nan. Telling him he could be anything he wanted to be and championing him, we see the beautiful inspiration that was fed to him like good home cooking and it's something he prepares us with her recipe here in this perfect prose. This isn't just well-wrote, it's well lived. Reading this, we're the lucky ones.

JACK KEROUAC-WAKE UP!: Wake up! It's time to go on the road with Kerouac again and this one really does travel and traverse all around the world and the mans mind that inspired the earth's free-thinking, beat thoughts. After the short and sublime, love of growing up ode of 'Maggie Cassidy', that proved to be a great under the tree, reflective, Sunday Summer afternoon park read, we picked up another bargain from the Jack of all pages. This one to add to the bibliography is all about the life of Buddha. This God biography is inspired you better believe that. Even if this religion is something you don't want to follow you can't deny the spirit and soul of this short read. With teachings we can all heed and inspired solutions to some of life's struggles, emotions and hardships this is one way to meditate and relax on a better way thinking no matter what you believe. How to treat others, yourself and the world and your place in it, you can't help but see this as an aid to the problems or conflicts you may face. This can enlighten any dark depth in the form of a short story. As you can read this all of course inspired Jack and as Kerouac influenced a new writing generation around the world this all means so much to followers of the beat or believers of the Buddha. Both will be brought together here from the words of a man whose own books became scripture to his legion of admirers. In need of some inspiration this fall, rub your eyes, get out of bed and pick this and yourself up. Don't sleep! TIM DAVID HARVEY.