This collection of short stories touches on the personal relationships of people on the verge of anguish and catastrophe. Ross' style is stripped-down and blunt. In the opening story, an unemployed man is trying to mentor a young neighbor while going through the interview process for a new job. Both end horrifically. In another story, college friends attempt to one-up each other with stunts that only college-aged boys would consider. The lives of two brothers collide dramatically as they try to cope with the death of their parents and attempt to reconcile their differences. These are just three of the provocative stories in this collection.
Michael Jackson, while once known as the most famous pop star on the planet, was also quite possibly the most eccentric and mysterious one. He had a pet chimp named Bubbles; there were leaked tabloid photos of him sleeping in an oxygen chamber; his children were rarely seen in public without a mask or disguise; his own appearance was greatly distorted over the years from numerous plastic surgeries and skin lightening treatments; he did not want to go grow up, often choosing child companions over adult ones and even naming his California ranch after J.M. Barrie's fictionalized Neverland. The list of unusual behavior is almost too great to list. But who was the real Michael Jackson?
Directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne, "Rio Bravo" illustrates why Wayne became an American icon. The intense plot is galvanized by the excellent cast and sharp dialog. Wayne's character, Chance, arrests Joe Burdette, the spoiled brother of a rich cattle baron, Nathan. Nathan threatens trouble. A test of wills begins while they wait for the U.S. Marshall. Chance's allies are questionable. Dude, played by Dean Martin, is a drunk and Stumpy, played by Walter Brennan, has a game leg.
Have you ever left something inside a returned library book? Given the amount of things we find in our books, you may have. Michael Popek became fascinated with the things he found in the pages of the books he sorted for his family's used book store. Popek began sharing with friends descriptions of some of the more unusual things he found. He then started a blog and now has a new book titled "Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages." The book is organized by the type of object found, from photographs to razor blades. Popek does not comment on the found items. He simply reproduces an image of the letter, recipe, drawing, or object with a transcription if needed. He also includes an image of the book in which the items were found. The entries range from the amusing to the heart-wrenching. This delightful book will please any reader who wonders "Who read this book before me?"
--Jennifer A., Headquarters