Friday, August 28, 2015

Bloom County Returns!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman

John Wayne: The Life and LegendJohn Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What could be said about John Wayne that hasn't been said. He became a character unto himself. I thought I knew a lot a Duke Morrison but this was a decent and thorough accounting of his life. From his dirt poor kid from Iowa to a legendary Hollywood movie star. He defined the American masculine model for decades. The book is well written and paced. Details of his personal life are intermingled with his on screen activities. I did enjoy this book and it has spurred me to watch more of his films. With his long career I was amazed how many I've missed or overlooked. I'm even watching one now as I'm writing this(Hondo). Perhaps the most moving part was the end of his life battling cancer. It remind me of my Dad's battle with it. It's worth a reading if your fan of John Wayne.

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A Bitter Harvest

A few years back I was called on jury duty. Now many people try and dodge this civic duty but in a way I find it a fascinating process. It puzzles me the extant that other avoid it or look down upon it. It's perhaps the closest many of us get to see government and the judicial process in action. I will admit the waiting in the jury pool room waiting to be called can be boring. Your in a room full of stranger marking time. This time I went there were a few different rooms with tables, chairs, book shelves and magazines. This was before I had my iPhone so I was bored so I checked out the books. Most I wasn't interested until I came upon a beat up copy of Ann Rule's Bitter Harvest. Needless to say soon after I was hooked in the book. After two days of jury duty I had a good portion of the book already done. I couldn't help note the irony of reading about crime while on jury duty. I didn't feel right taking the book so I ordered another online so I could finish.

This wasn't my first encounter with Ann Rule true crime books. In my younger adult years about the time of the first Bush Presidency I read many of her books. My girlfriend then worried a little about me reading about serial killers and such. I think it was more of an amazement and perhaps a morbid curiosity as to why people commit these horrendous crimes. Many times against those they supposedly love.

Her style of writing was straight forward without being heavily judgmental. You almost felt sympathy for the accused but then you remember what they did and it brings you back. Many are tragic stories that just make shake your head in wonder and sorrow over how they happened. She helped understand a lot about the criminal mind in many ways but admittedly many will never be fully understood.

I was saddened to learn of Ann's passing this week. I will miss her writing and insight as will many of family, friends and fans.

 Thank You Ann!