January 15, 2014

B(ooks) A(lready) R(ead) V

Continuing with our occasional series of books that I've read in 2013, we bring you another fun filled post of what books tickled my fancy last year.

25} Surgeon In Blue: Jonathan Letterman, the Civil War Doctor Who Pioneered Battlefield Care by Scott McGaugh. I've always been an aficionado of the US Civil War and read most everything that has been written about it. However, this book intrigued me, simply because I knew quite a bit about the medical/living conditions and I was always interested in learning more (side note: I did a report on Andersonville in my high schools days. Didn't get a good grade due to more how it was written than anything else). This well written biography is a must for those interested in learning how today's battlefield medicine got its start during America's bloodiest conflict.

26} The Food Police: A Well Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate by Jayson Lusk. I have a soft spot for bizarre non-fiction, and this one is about as bizarre as it gets. This book is a fine example on how good intentions manufactured by people with rose colored glasses have wrecked havoc on the economy and helped contribute the current debacle that is our nanny state.

27} The Forest by Edward Rutherford. My preference for historical fiction has basically dwindled down to anything/everything written by Edward Rutherford. There isn't much that I can add beyond the fact that just like his previous novels that I've read (Sarum and Russka), this one has been meticulously researched and even though it clocks in near 800 pages, it does not drag at all. If you have the time, check out all of his novels (11 written so far). Someday, I do plan on delving back into his books.

28} Full Service: My Adventures In Hollywood and The Secret Sex Lives Of the Stars by Scotty Bowers. This one is self explanatory. If you know even a little bit about the various Hollywood stars of the 40's and 50's, and I'm not talking about the average stuff that everyone knows, then this book is for you. I've read/seen quite a bit about the Hollywood celebs from that time period, so this book really intrigued me. For what its worth, this book is a very fascinating read. Whether it's true or not depends on what you already know about a given celebrity from that time period. From what I've learned over the years (note: I dig pop culture and history), I gave Mr. Bowers the benefit of the doubt. A very enjoyable read.

29} Prairie Tales by Melissa Gilbert. Having read Alison Anrgrim's excellent memoir a couple of years ago, I was very interested in reading about what Melissa Gilbert had to say about the show and herself. And let me tell you, just like the memoir by Sissy Spacek, this one did not let me down. A fantastic look at what a child actor went through in the 70's & 80's, as well as the usual trials and tribulations that she went through as an adult. If you like memoirs, this one is for you.

30} Mop Men: Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners by Alan Emmins. Yes, I realize that the title probably reflects a thoroughly crass book, but contrary to popular opinion, it does not. Alan Emmins decided to expand on a story he did as for a magazine and for those of you think that this is as disgusting as it sounds, it is. But the person who runs the company profiled does a masterful job of handling people when they've hit rock bottom. Intriguingly enough, Alan also weaves a criminal case connected to one of the crimes scenes that he happened to profile in the book. Not necessarily an entertaining read, but if you're a writer who does crime novels or you just enjoy reading about all facets of true crime, then this book is for you.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. You are a very good (if short) reviewer! Again, stuff I'd never heard of but now want to pick up. The food book and call-boy books in particular sound fascinating.

  2. M: Thanks.

    Yeah, the food police one is really intriguing. The library has a new non-fiction shelf of non-mainstream that are geared more towards people who like to research/confirm their pre-existing beliefs about things.

    The call boy one has roughly 410+ reviews on Amazon, averaging out to roughly 3/4 stars.

  3. MOP MEN actually sounds like the perfect book for me.

  4. G.A.: I think it sounds like the perfect book for everyone. :D


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