2014, a year of many books

In 2014 I read 65 books – my experiment of tracking everything that I read has paid off. Most importantly, I read the entire Outlander series – if you haven’t tried this time-travel, historical romance series please do. If you love a great hero you need to meet Jamie Fraser. In my opinion, he’s one of the most memorable characters in fictional history – right up there with Emma Bovary, Julien Sorel, Bigger Thomas, and Humbert Humbert – tragic, warm, flawed, and certainly sexier. While many of the books were just for fun, they all have added something in my research quest. Below are some highlights from the past year.   January Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin I read the Game of Thrones series in 2011-2013. By January 2014 I was dying for more but...

A Fair to Remember and Relive

How many times have you rolled your eyes and sighed when someone starts telling you about his great grandfather? When you ask Lee Bruno about his, he is surprisingly circumspect – perhaps too much so. Lee Bruno’s gorgeous volume Panorama: Tales from San Francisco’s 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition is a testament to “the City that knows how”, the Exposition, and the remarkable vision of Ruben Brooks Hale, the author’s great grandfather. Hale was a far sighted entrepreneur, president of the Merchants’ Association, who planted the idea of hosting a grand Exposition – timed with the opening of the Panama Canal – in the minds of San Francisco’s civic leaders in 1904. Unfortunately, the earthquake and fire of 1906 naturally put plans on hold. As the city...