Summer Reading Sale
 
 

Find Books


Read the City


Win Free Books!


PowellsBooks.news


The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson



Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »

spacer

Customer Comments

Anne R from Maryland has commented on (10) products.

Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof by Alisa Solomon
Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof

Anne R from Maryland, January 31, 2014

This book is a treat for anyone interested in musical theater, modern Jewish life, or the dynamic between art and life. Solomon's book has three parts. The first is about Sholem-Aleichem, the author of the stories on which Fiddler was based. The second is a "making of" story of the musical, and the third is about certain post-Broadway productions of Fiddler and how they reveal contemporary social and cultural concerns. The "making of" section is the best account I have read of the creation of a musical. Solomon wades through a mass of detail and homes in on the most significant moments, the decisions that made Fiddler the moving, funny, and delightful show it is. The other sections are too long, but Solomon is such a good storyteller that I didn't care.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (Vintage) by Tim Wu
The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (Vintage)

Anne R from Maryland, October 22, 2012

Everyone should read this book! Wu argues that every breakthrough communications technology of the 20th century--telephone, films, AM radio, FM radio, broadcast TV, cable TV--went through the same cycle: wide open to all at first, and hailed as an innovation that would change the world, but later bought up and controlled by large corporations who closed the technology down and restricted users' freedom of speech. Will the Internet, still very young, be the great exception? Wu doesn't think so, and he has an idea of how to prevent it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Human Stain by Philip Roth
The Human Stain

Anne R from Maryland, October 10, 2012

This was the first Philip Roth book I've read in decades, and I was fascinated and rather awed by how his powers as a novelist have grown. The Human Stain is a much bigger, more ambitious book than Portnoy's Complaint or Goodbye Columbus. Although it's the story of one man, Colman Silk, a New England college professor whose career comes to a humiliating end, it's also about the state of the nation at the close of the 20th century. The characters--Silk's family, his colleagues, his girlfriend, the girlfriend's Vietnam vet ex-husband--all ring true, although some sexism mars his portrayal of Silk's faculty nemesis. I kept reading to find out what happened to everyone as well as to see where Roth was going with his analysis of contemporary America. Now I want to read the first two books in his American Pastoral trilogy.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library) by Edmund Morris
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library)

Anne R from Maryland, August 16, 2012

This is one of the most enjoyable and well-written biographies I've ever read. My image of Theodore Roosevelt had been that of a macho, jingoistic imperialist--a crude caricature, it turns out. I didn't know he was a pioneering reformer who cleaned up the corrupt New York City police department, straightened out the federal and New York State civil services, and, as governor, initiated so much pro-labor legislation that party bosses and corporate titans conspired to run him out of the state by making him vice president in 1900. All this did, of course, was to make him president a year later when William McKinley was assassinated. And along the way, he was a cowboy, war hero, and author of many books. Morris tells the story vividly, gracefully, and with a sense of humor. I'm looking forward to the second book in this series.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies by Michael W Kauffman
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies

Anne R from Maryland, February 1, 2012

Until I read this book, I knew little of Lincoln's assassin other than he was a famous actor from a famous acting family. American Brutus was very enlightening as to Booth's character and motives. He was not a monster, a lunatic, or a pawn of other interests. He was in many ways a good man--loving, kindhearted, charming, considerate, and (despite what some have said) an excellent actor. But he was also a white supremacist and passionate Confederate partisan. As it became clear that the South was going to lose the war, Booth became desperate to do something for the cause. This is not so much a biography of Booth as an account, carefully researched and vividly told, of the assassination, with an extensive backstory on Booth. I would have preferred more detail on his stage career, and perhaps less on the trials of the conspirators, but all in all this is a fascinating read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



1-5 of 10next
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.