A Different Kind of Daughter: The Girl Who Hid from the Taliban in Plain Sight


Reviewed July 2016

This book makes my top five per cent of reads and as with the others in my select group, it is based on the idea or, in this case the unusualness of the story and the setting. You will travel into an ancient culture, that is now the focus of security concerns in the west.

It is rare that a person so young as the author, and subject of this autobiography, has a story so compelling.

Orr: My Story

Health, Sports, Fitness

Reviewed August 2014

This is foremost a book about values, a code of conduct, responsibility and having fun. Those who grew up in small towns or rural areas in the decades before or a decade or so after the 1940s may find themselves nodding in recognition and remembrance of those times as a child.

A certain stoicism in the face of one's accomplishments was common. Celebrating in front of opponents, particularly incidental accomplishments, is “disrespectful” says Orr.

In Defense of a Liberal Education


Reviewed Sept. 2015

The author, Fareed Zakaria, is a journalist, both print and television, a job regularly utilizing a liberal education. As a print journalist, he is generally a columnist, a job requiring synthesizing and organizing ideas and writing them down. As a television journalist, with a Sunday morning CNN feature/news program, he is primarily eliciting information from people through interviews. His career has included a stint as a Harvard professor.

Losing the Signal:The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry


Reviewed Aug. 2015

This is an anxious read, maybe more so for patriotic Canadians, who know in broad strokes about the fall and are waiting for the crash (which may never come) of this pioneer of the smart phone industry.

As the title suggests, it does deal with the rise and the fall of this upstart Waterloo, Ontario company that within a decade shot up past the big players to dominate an industry. However, the authors spend little detail on revelling in the rise and a great deal in parsing the fall.

Detroit:An American Autopsy


Reviewed June 2015

This is a type of pot boiler. It can stir discussion and concern with the vivid description of a dire state in what was one of the top four U.S. dynamic big cities. It may be timely, but have a short shelf life.

LeDuff, a newspaper reporter who has come home from New York to write for one of the local dailies (Detroit News), has a perspective from the earlier times used as a basis for comparison with what his Detroit is now.

Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World


Reviewed June 2014

The intention of this book is to highlight music performers who made the greatest innovations to popular music during the 20th century. Of course it is highly subjective, but here it is coming from people in the industry who worked in and witnessed the music and performers up close. In addition, often they had relationships with performers ranging from passing acquaintance through working close over a long period of time.

Chuvalo: A Fighter's Life: The Story Of Boxing's Last Gladiator


Reviewed Sept. 2014

Boxing, “the sweet science” has always had a select fan base and its popularity has been waning maybe partly because it is too violent, and in some camps recently, because it isn't violent enough.

This book is a window on a life few people know, and many don't care to know, through the eyes of one of the most violent and durable practitioners of the sport.