Book Review: New Non-Fiction

I have been sent scores of new Non-Fiction this last couple of months. In the coming weeks, I will be reviewing these books, including the 3 below- The Algonquin Round Table New York by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, Lens of War: Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War and Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship. All of these have either come out recently, or are about to publish.

New York


The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide

by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick

Lyons Press (2014), Hardcover, 288 pages

An enlightening overview of the exploits of New York City’s literary, theater and newspaper royalty from the end of WWI to the beginning of WWII. The Algonquin Round Table, self-proclaimed by the group as The Vicious Circle, formed in 1919 and included such luminaries as Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx and Robert Benchley, and the local press clamored to publish their every word.

While the story of the Table takes center stage, the book also spends time going over the beginnings of the now venerable New Yorker Magazine. Also of interest, Fitzgerald meticulously chronicles the lives and (mostly) deaths of the members after WWII. I enjoyed this look at New York’s early Avant Garde, and learned a great deal about New York City during this period. Highly recommended.

**** (out of 5)



civil war photography

Lens of War: Exploring Iconic Photographs of the Civil War

by J. Matthew Gallman (Editor), Gary W. Gallagher (Editor)

Georgia Press (2015), Hardcover, 256 pages. Expected Publication April 15th 

This is no ordinary photo collection of The Civil War– the editors have compiled some of the most iconic photos of the war that 27 scholars analyze, offering us their take on the story behind the images. The work of pioneer photographer Matthew Brady is of course evident throughout the book, as are some of his protegés who have ventured out on their own.

These photos are viewed through various lenses, offering the reader alternate narratives that many of us may not have even fathomed. This is an excellent collection that will appeal to Civil War buffs,  photography and art enthusiasts, as well as students of History and Human Geography.


Dirigible Dreams

Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship

By C. Michael Hiam

Foreedge (2014), Hardcover, 248 pages

As a child, I was always excited whenever the Goodyear Blimp would fly overhead, the thought of people being  aboard a flying  bag of gas set my imagination to new heights.  Dirigible Dreams gives us the history of the great airships, from the groundbreaking work of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, to the ill-fated Hindenburg disaster, which brought about the demise of airships as viable modes of transport.

These airships, or Zeppelins were the grandfather of the present-day blimp, although they are quite different. Imagine travelling in luxury across the great expanse of oceans, floating like air itself. These were massive flying machines that have been utilized to discover, carry travelers and to drop deadly weaponry during WWI.  A blimp is simply a big balloon that flies in circles above a ball field.

This was a highly entertaining as well as an educational  read. Recommended for lovers of history, aviation, and technology.

 (out 5)

Thugbrarian Set-List: Jumbo Rollers- Smokey Rabbit Hole (Jumbo Rollers)

Jumbo Rollers


Singer/guitarist Johnny Rock from the Jumbo Rollers gave me his new cd a few weeks ago, and I have finally got to listen to it in my car stereo. This is Rock & Roll my friends. The live shows are always entertaining, and this cd was just what I needed to deal with pesky morning traffic. Expect to hear some home-style Punk/Garage/Rock & Roll on Smokey Rabbit Hole, and expect your ears to thank you as well.

The awesome cover was taken by Local Norfolk, Va. Photographer Beth Austin, who is known to take great photographs of Bands that play in the area. You can listen to the songs from this cd before you buy one at the Jumbo Roller’s Bandcamp Page


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March 8, 2015 · 6:25 pm

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