May 3, 2021

Billy's Books 47: A Farewell To Arms

Today we review Ernest Hemingway's classic, A Farewell To Arms. I haven't read him since high school, when forced. Back then, I thought he was boring. Now that I'm grown up, and oh-so-much wiser, I can appreciate Hemingway more.

As you might expect from someone as manly as this author, you must read between the lines. Draw your own conclusions about how the main character feels; all you'll know are his words and actions. He very matter-of-factly describes how someone dies right before him. The narration can be quite stark; one can see how his literary style (quite new at the time) influenced so many writers after him.

Apr 6, 2021

Billy's Books 46: Victory's Price

The latest Star Wars book, Victory's Price by Alexander Freed, is the third book in the Alphabet Squadron series. More fast space ship battles, self-loathing, and pathos. I should mention that the story includes the Battle of Jakku.

Here's a little tidbit:
"There will always be those who die in war who don't deserve it," he'd said at last. "We can acknowledge that tragedy -- we must, if we want to remain human. But our first obligation is to our comrades." She hadn't asked why. No one ever did, though most wondered.
Thanks again to the Saint Louis Public Library for letting me read it!

Mar 12, 2021

Billy's Books 45: Splinter Of The Mind's Eye

Another Star Wars book? Well, this one has sentimental value. Splinter Of The Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster, is the first Star Wars novel I ever read, or even heard of. Could it have been the first published, beyond the movie novelization? I don't know.

Jan 27, 2021

Billy's Books 44: Light of the Jedi

Another Star Wars book! Yes, Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, is part of the new High Republic series. Many characters are introduced, with quirks and personalities ready to roll.

As always, hats off to the Saint Louis Public Library for allowing me to read so many books. Support your local library!

Jan 14, 2021

Billy's Books 43: Dune

Whoa, not another Star Wars book! Instead, Dune is Frank Herbert's original sci-fi epic. As I was discussing it at work today, a comrade walked by and said, "The greatest science fiction novel ever," and kept walking. I don't know if that's true; there was no time for discussion. I never even got his name...

As always, hats off to the Saint Louis Public Library for allowing me to read so many books. Support your local library!

Dec 26, 2020

Super-weird Kate Bush "Christmas" Special

It's OK to watch this after December 25. If you're up to it.

Don't let the preview image deceive you. This is no hum-drum singer-songwiter crooning at the piano; it's barely a Christmas special. Ten minutes pass before anything resembling Christmas is even hinted at, and that's really just a prelude to an unexpected (also un-Christmassy) surpise.

What stands out most about this variety show (a '70s phenomenon unto itself) is how profoundly weird Kate Bush is. She's as theatrically and musically bizarre as David Bowie, yet from a far more distant planet. To the weirdos!

Great band, too.