Uncle John’s True Crime by Bathroom Readers’ Institute

Cozy with Books

It’s Thursday, almost the weekend!
You know what that means?
It’s time for this week’s book review: Uncle John’s True Crime: A Classic Collection of Crooks, Cops, and Capers by the Bathroom Readers’ Institute!

Book Description

Title: Uncle John’s True Crime: A Classic Collection of Crooks, Cops, and Capers
Series: Uncle John’s Facts and Trivia
Author: Bathroom Readers’ Institute
Edition: Ebook > Libby
Length: 288
Genre/s: Nonfiction, Crime, True Crime, Reference > Trivia
Rating: 4 Golden Eggs

Blurb (Goodreads)

You’ll be on the edge of your seat reading tales of cops, robbers, criminals, and lawyers with this little tome that packs a lot of heat.

Do you like to read great stories? This book is loaded with them! We’ve rounded up the best cops-and-robber articles we’ve ever done–plus a rogue’s gallery of new offenders. You’ll read about dumb crooks and criminal masterminds, mafia henchman and low-level goons…

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Ringo’s New Book – ‘Lifted’

Beatles Blog

Ringo Starr has a new book out. It is called Lifted – Fab Images and Memories From My Life and Across the Universe.

Speaking about the book Ringo said: “I am not writing this book as a Beatle historian. I’m writing this book as a Beatle — and there’s only a couple of us who can do that.”

Asked about it’s origins, Starr explains: “I didn’t keep all these photos. These fantastic images came back to me in recent years from here, there and everywhere — online and off — and have somehow helped me get back to seeing my life with The Fab Four through fresh eyes. A lot of the photos in this book I spotted on my phone and on my computer and “lifted” them because they brought back so many fabulous memories.”

“So this a book full of Beatle images that many people haven’t seen…

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The Glorious Cause by Jeff Shaara

The Glorious Cause by Jeff Shaara-Published 2003

In continuing my most recent kick on the American Revolutionary War, I look at New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara’s, The Glorious Cause.  Piggybacking off his own, Rise to Rebellion, Shaara’s second and final novel of the two-part series begins about a month after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  Although a robust 680 pages, The Glorious Cause is an addicting page turner that, despite my hectic lifestyle, only took me a couple of weeks to finish.

Shaara tells the story in chronological order from the point of view of several key players in the cause for American independence, with the four headliners consisting of George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, Benjamin Franklin, and even British General Charles Cornwallis.  He brings life to these characters, depicting their strategies, frustrations, and fears.  That the author can make a sympathetic figure out of Cornwallis speaks to Shaara’s ability to assist the reader in understanding that while the British general was in fact fighting for the “other side,” Cornwallis was simply a human being with the same feelings and problems in his personal life who was doing what his king wished for him to do.

Of course, the reader is enlightened on Washington’s feelings of despair and anguish, reeling from the losses at Long Island and New York City, as well his first-hand account of the defeat at Fort Washington.  We ride along with the American general on his tour of redemption at Trenton and Princeton, victories that were crucial to building some sort of American morale.  Shaara, in a stroke of finesse, weaves in Martha Washington, who’s tough, but motherly disposition perfectly complements the general and drastically brightens up the culture during a tough winter at Valley Forge.

Shaara brings us across the Atlantic with Benjamin Franklin to persuade the French to align with the colonies.  We get to see inside Franklin’s brain, the methods he utilized to interact with King Louis’ right-hand men.  Franklin’s ability to play the part of the elder spokesman of a startup (hopefully) nation with a ragtag army, despite his lofty status, as well as his zany sense of humor are in full display, as well.

The book provides firsthand accounts of some of those on the undercard, so to speak, those no less important to the outcome of the war.  Some of these people include, the Marquis de Lafayette, Nathan Hale, Prussian General Frederich von Steuben, and even the traitor, Benedict Arnold.  We are given a sense of understanding of how these and other characters play key supporting roles in how it all shaped out.

Shaara escorts us to all the key battles along the way:  Trenton, Brandywine, Yorktown, as well as many lesser-known clashes.  Battle scenes are vividly captured, the reader entrenched side by side with the combatants.  We’re in both camps and tents, drinking their rum and writing letters home.  All in all, The Glorious Cause checks off all the boxes a reader of the Revolutionary War could ask for, and then some.

Coolidge by Amity Shlaes

Coolidge by Amity Shlaes; Published February 2013

Calvin Coolidge is widely recognized as a cool cat, someone with a dry wit who delivered some of the greatest one-liners in presidential history.  Thrust into action when President Harding unexpectedly passed away, Coolidge quickly became America’s laid-back answer to a fast and furious decade of excess.  A man of modest means who walked the walk in the way he carried himself and lived his life, Coolidge is rarely discussed among the greatest presidents in US history.  However, with the publishing of her book “Coolidge” in 2013, noted author Amity Shlaes brings the 30th president back into the limelight.     

Shlaes delivers a point-by-point timeline of Coolidge’s life from his upbringing in miniscule Plymouth Notch, Vermont, through his years at Amherst College, and during his stint as governor of Massachusetts.  We are there when he experiences the trials and tribulations of being in the White House, some personal, such as the unexpected death of his son Calvin Jr, as well as leading the nation through an extended period of growth.  He was the last US president to leave the national deficit lower than the one he inherited.

When the stock market crashed in 1929, the year after Coolidge decided not to run for another term, kicking off the Great Depression, Americans began looking back and flung some criticism Coolidge’s way for what was deemed a laissez faire approach to politics.  Shlaes, very pro Coolidge in her book, will certainly spark a debate among historians who wish to place at least some of the blame on the 30th president.

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