Book Review: Growing Up Amish

If you are like me, the only time you have ever met an Amish person is when you have stopped off to look at the sturdy furniture they make.  You are fascinated and mystified at their 1800s lifestyle (no electricity, cars or phones, or even indoor plumbing) but don’t know a whole lot more about…

Review: The Taliban Shuffle – strange journalism

If you wanted to know why the coverage of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the West is so shallow and uninformed, you should read this book.  The author, Kim Barker was the South Asia Bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2009.  But if you were looking for any insight on Afghanistan (where she…

Going Rogue on facts

Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue”, which I read recently, is a fascinating book in many ways.   The book told me so many things about Sarah Palin that I had never suspected before.  For instance: 1. Sarah Palin writes beautifully.  She writes much better than how she speaks or twitters.  Sample this (and all this in just…

Melting stony hearts through schools

The other day, Bill Maher was on Larry King’s show on CNN, and in his usual forthright manner, talked about terrorism and Afghanistan and how war is not the best way to fight terrorism. As I listened to Maher speak, I wondered if Greg Mortenson was also watching.  I could picture him sitting in his…

The mystery of the dejected Hardy Boys author

Through Patrix’s blog, I discovered a fascinating article in the Washington Post on the author behind the Hardy Boys series.  Franklin W. Dixon (or at least the first Franklin W. Dixon), it turns out, was really someone named Leslie McFarlane.  The first few dozen Hardy Boys books were churned out by Leslie, and later the…

Dancing on the Brink

Henry Paulson’s insider account of the financial crisis “On the Brink” is a fascinating story.   Paulson, of course, presided over the demise of Lehman Brothers and Wachovia and others as Treasury Secy.  This book is supposed to be a day-to-day account of the crisis unfolded and how Paulson and others (Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner)…