Whistlestop Blog


Unrepentant Confession: Reader's Digest Condensed Books

Unrepentant Confession:  Reader's Digest Condensed Books

Reader’s Digest Condensed Books were once the executive reads of entertainment. They were the essence, the core, the sum of the book with the flavor left in by the skillful editors. Despite the scorn and condescension and doubt they suffered over the decades, they served a purpose well — and their effect was, in my reading as a boy, immensely positive.

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History is more than the historian

History is more than the historian

Book store blogs are expected to be promotional as well as informational.  We have bills to pay, after all.  My thoughts here, however, will persuade you, I hope, not to buy a book.  I also hope that they will give you an idea of how I stock history and biography here at Whistlestop Bookshop.

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Reading Politics and Reading History

Reading Politics and Reading History

Reading Peter Baker's Days of Fire:  Bush and Cheney in the White House has prompted some thoughts on reading books that bridge journalism and history.  I confess that I rarely read such ambitious "contemporary history" books.  I figure I lived through it, so why re-hash what I remember well enough anyway?  I read the Wall Street Journal every day; I read dozens of magazines from Foreign Affairs to Science News; I skim many more, from the New Yorker and the Nation to Esquire and Vanity Fair.  There are advantages to owning a book store, yes.  When you think you keep up, then, and when there is so much to read in so many other fields, why read what you already know?

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