Tag: Books

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I Read All 24 Jack Reacher Books This Year


In 2019 I read 40 books, pretty evenly split between biographies/history books and non-fiction. Largely because of our tinpot dictator governors shutting down so much other activity this year (sporting events, concerts, restaurants, dances, etc.), I’ve been reading a lot more, and have gone through 56 books in less than eight months, including all 24 of Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher series.

Several months ago, there was a Ricochet post about favorite books and someone mentioned the Jack Reacher series, none of which had I ever bothered to try. I downloaded one from our library (not the first of the series, it had a bunch of people waiting) and whipped through it in about a day and a half. After that I was hooked; most of them took me no more than two days. I wasn’t able to read them in any particular order because of library availability, but I just finished the last one, which ironically is the first in the series, Killing Floor. It has an interesting prologue from the author outlining how he became a writer and his basis for the character.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. NaNoWriMo Victory: I Published a Book!


There has been a lot of sadness and negativity in our world so far this year, but I want to share something good with you all: during the stay-at-home months of March and April, I was able to accomplish a goal that I have had for as long as I can remember. All gratitude and praise to Jesus, I have published my first book!

Even before I could read, myself, I was “writing” books. My mom would fold and staple paper into a “book” for me, and then I would draw the pictures and “read” my book aloud. Once I learned how to actually read and write, I didn’t slow down. In fact, my main issue has always been actually finishing something before I move onto another idea. Being a published author is what I have always wanted to do with my life, but I lacked discipline growing up, and then college and working distracted me from my goal.

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Leaving aside economic policy, one frustration of our public health response to the COVID-19 outbreak (and coverage of it) is the focus on epidemiology to the exclusion of all other fields. Epidemiologists are obviously experts in precisely the challenges posed by a global pandemic. But if we dismiss contributions from others as “non-experts,” we may […]

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Since a lot of us seem to have a lot of time on our hands and have limited freedom to wander about, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you some of the books I’ve read and that I recommend reading, as well as, some of the books that are currently on my […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Overlooked Series for TV or Movie Adaptation


The Game of Thrones book series is nihilistic nonsensical bilge. But it makes for “good” television because that sort of mess seems to be popular in today’s culture, what with all the sex, sorcery, and savagery. As an actual story though? It’s terrible. Which is probably why George R.R. Martin could never finish it – it had no real logical “out”, no escape from its cycles of violence and revenge, save what the HBO writers could force together. Until HBO picked it up, though, it was unlikely fare for Hollywood treatment – Hollywood typically shies away from overly long fantasy cycles simply because such things are very expensive to cast and produce well, to say nothing of finding good writers to translate novels into scripts you can actually film. For all the awfulness of its story, I do give full credit to HBO for the solid work they put into the project over nearly a decade – one can deplore the story but still admire the brilliant and extremely skilled craftwork involved in telling it, and (more importantly) sticking with it at that high level for so long. Would that The Hobbit had been given that same dedication.

And now it seems we are to receive another attempt at telling the story of Dune. I am not excited at the prospect. The David Lynch film of the 80s was terrible. The SciFi Channel’s miniseries of 20 years ago was much better. But why Dune? Why yet another attempt? If Hollywood is looking for that next “big epic”, surely there are other and better stories to tell? Dune, the first book, is interesting, but has its weaknesses, while the rest of the series gets rather strange. Haven’t other authors written better and more compelling fantasy or science-fiction epics? Or must we continually return to just a few “classics”, like Amazon is trying to do with its pending Tolkien series? I would like to propose a few other authors and series that Hollywood should consider instead, and would invite you to make your own suggestions as well.

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Once upon a time, I had two books that I never finished reading. They were two halves of the same novel, published in separate volumes and numbered so that the second took up, page number wise, just where the first ended. And then I lost them. So, as I have spent the last four years […]

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I have sworn off most TV except for HGTV/Food Network and looking at the Dow occasionally (from the other room: “Turn that thing off!”). Waiting for Bosch Season 6 on Amazon next month. Our fitness center is closed, but we are still trying to exercise regularly by walking when the weather permits, we have a […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: On the Love of Books


“Aren’t we blessed, we who love books?” ― Frances Maureen Richardson

First of all, you’re probably wondering who is Frances Maureen Richardson? I would be shocked if you had heard of her. She’s a friend of mine, a woman in my book club, and a woman who in her senior years wrote and published her first and only novel. The novel is called Not All of Me is Dust. It’s really a fine novel. Twenty reviews on Amazon and all gave it five stars, and other than a couple of friends she has no idea who those reviewers are. You can read about her book here.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Is a Decadent America a Technologically Stagnant America?


Has America been technologically stagnant for a half-century? That’s apparently one of the main arguments found in New York Times columnist and AEI visiting fellow Ross Douthat’s upcoming book, The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success.

Now, I haven’t read this book. But it was just reviewed by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who quotes the following passage, I assume accurately: “Over the last two generations,” Douthat writes, “the only truly radical change has taken place in the devices we use for communication and entertainment, so that a single one of the nineteenth century’s great inventions [running water] still looms larger in our every­day existence than most of what we think of as technological breakthroughs nowadays.”

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Exile: Portraits of the Jewish Diaspora


The nation of Israel is constantly in the news, a small nation whose very existence attracts a disproportionate interest from the rest of the world. Israel is also a modern creation, whose groundwork was laid in the late 19th century, and whose birth came as a promised land of safety and return after the horrors of WWII. Return from what? From the Diaspora of Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. From Roman Palestine, over the next 1900 years, the Jews spread throughout much of the world. And with the creation of Israel, many did return. But many communities of the Jewish Diaspora either remain where they planted themselves centuries (or even millennia) ago, or have continued to spread into different, and sometimes unlikely places around the world.

Exile, the first published book by an author already known here on Ricochet, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, is Annika’s investigation into a number of these Diaspora communities. How did they arrive where they are? When did they arrive? And why do they stay, with the promise of a return to Israel beckoning? Over the past several years, Annika has been visiting some of the most unlikely or far-flung Jewish communities around the world, and she presents their stories here in a single volume.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Destiny of the Republic’ by Candice Millard


On July 2, 1881, James A. Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau in the Baltimore and Potomac Railway Station in Washington, D.C. Unlike the bullet wounds suffered by Abraham Lincoln, a mere 16 years earlier, these wounds were not fatal. The first shot passed through Garfield’s right arm before embedding itself harmlessly in the wall. The second shot entered his back four inches from his spinal column, traveled downward ten inches, then came to rest behind his pancreas. What became immediately apparent upon his autopsy was that Garfield’s death, two months later on September 19, was the direct result of the medical care he received.

The first half of the book is a twin biography of Garfield and Guiteau. The assassination takes place at roughly the midway point in the narrative. Born into abject poverty in Ohio in 1831, Garfield’s father died when he was only two years old. His mother and older brother recognized his intelligence and aptitude as a student and made provisions for him to continue his education, rather than go to work when he came of age. During his first year of college, Garfield made money as a janitor and working with a local carpenter. In his second year of college, he was named an associate professor and taught six classes in addition to his own studies. At just 26, he was named president of the university. What followed was a rise to Civil War general, congressman, and state senator before finally being named the Republican Party’s compromise candidate on the 36th ballot at the 1880 convention.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Reading in the Winter of Discontent


BooksA year ago I wrote an article called “Keeping Up” (published elsewhere) about my reading plan for 2019. I noted that since I have fewer reading years ahead of me than behind me, it would be a good use of my time to plan the coming year. It is part of my winter of discontent that I failed to keep that plan.

Not that my plan wasn’t good. To quote myself:

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Recently I was asked a few times to explain my “evolution.” These are the books that have probably been the most influential on me over the course of my short life. 10. Ben Carson’s Gifted Hands and Tom Landry’s Autobiography I think my now flourishing love of the American South was formed between these two […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The 5 Best Books We Read in 2019


The book-lovers at Goodreads asked their members to select their favorite books of 2019. After 4.7 million votes, here are the top five:

  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood
  • Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
  • The Institute, Stephen King
  • The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides

Didn’t read any of ’em. Over the past few years, I’ve focused on classics since I spent my school years on stuff like The Lord of the Rings and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I created a Goodreads account, which allows you to track and rate what you read, and set goals for how many books you want to knock out in the coming year.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Book Recs for a Recent Catholic


I have recently decided I want to be Catholic after a lifetime of protesting (being Protestant, not being an anti-theist) and am looking for some great books on the history of the Catholic church, Catholic philosophy, Catholic apologia, etc. I figured Ricochet would be a good place to ask, given the founder and community here. S o what would you guys recommend?

For anyone wondering what prompted the change, Cupid’s arrow found its mark and I’m engaged to a wonderful Catholic girl and I want to raise our future children in the faith.

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If you’re like me, and I know I am, you’ve been following the slow and painful death of the mainstream comic book industry. After a gigantic peak in the 90’s, the industry in the past decade has been cratering rather alarmingly with low sales and comic book shops closing their doors or simply ending comic […]

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City Journal editor Brian Anderson joins Vanessa Mendoza, executive vice president of the Manhattan Institute, for our second annual discussion of Brian’s summer and vacation reading list.

Summer is upon us, and the City Journal editors are ready for some vacation. We asked Brian to tell us what books he’s taking with him to the beach this year and why.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. When Did Librarians Get Woke?

Local Librarian // Image credit shutterstock.com

What image comes to mind when you think of or hear the word librarian? For me that image is of a conservative person (and truth be told always a woman). By conservative, I refer not to politics or ideology (I imagine librarians have always come in a variety of ideological flavors) but instead of one with a conservative sensibility or temperament which includes a certain respect for tradition and decorum. And, that makes sense (at least to me) for those who are charged with preserving and providing access to a significant portion of our cultural heritage. In recent years, however, that image is fading fast for me.

Pride Month is celebrated at the Boston Public Library in June 2018 – Image credit Keith J Finks / Shutterstock.com

A couple of weeks ago, the American Library Association (ALA) held its annual conference and it was a cornucopia of leftism and the stupidest aspects of today’s identity politics according to this July 10, 2019 article by Joy Pullmann at The Federalist. The leftist bent of the conference also clearly shows at the ALA’s review of said conference. The ALA seems to be entirely on board and supportive of every aspect of the LGBT agenda including, regrettably, what I call their war on childhood. The conference involved many workshops including “Creating Queer-Inclusive Elementary School Library Programming,” “Telling Stories, Expanding Boundaries: Drag Queen Storytimes in Libraries,” and “A Children’s Room to Choose: Encouraging Gender Identity and Expression in School and Public Libraries.” And, of course, these sort of endeavors are to be encouraged and undertaken by librarians and school teachers regardless of what parents may think as per the workshop “Are You Going to Tell My Parents?: The Minor’s Right to Privacy in the Library.” The conference also had the usual paeans to racialist thinking and behavior such as the workshop “Talking to Kids About Race: A ‘how-to’ workshop” which included the current racial grievance industry charges such as white supremacy is the operating system in the USA, and white fragility is a tool of white supremacy. Oh, and I am happy to report that the conference was able to approve a motion that denounced detention centers for illegal immigrants. How daring of them!

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post


To say my oldest son and I have a troubled relationship would be an understatement but I won’t go into any more details. He has not been interested in getting an education in High School and his high school has not been interested in giving him an education in high school. As a result, he […]

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