Book Review: Watergate

Watergate: A Novel by Thomas Mallon (New York: Pantheon Books, 2012. 448 pp) Thomas Mallon is an American author whose notable works include Henry and Clara, Bandbox, and Fellow Travelers. A specialist in non-fiction, Mallon focuses his studies on plagiarism, diaries, and the Kennedy assassination. A contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times Book Review, Mallon earned his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Harvard University. He has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rockefeller Fellowship, and the National Book Critics award for reviewing. Currently, Mallon directs the Creative Writing program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Passive Voice  A writing technique I learned much too late in my academic life, I… Read More →

Book Review: The Law of Love and the Law of Violence

The Law of Love and the Law of Violence by Leo Tolstoy; translated by Mary Koutouzov Tolstoy (Mineola: Dover Publications, 2010; originally published in 1948. 128 pp) Leo Tolstoy is a late nineteenth century Russian novelist known best for War and Peace and Anna Karenina. In his youth, Tolstoy studied law at Kazan University. Tolstoy gained massive wealth from his fictional writing, and as a result, developed into a social reformer and Christian anarchist in his later years. Tolstoy died in 1910. Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” represents the most influential document from my undergraduate years. Read in conjunction with an ethics class, King’s words resonated in ways I had previously never felt…. Read More →

Book Review: Strategy Safari

Strategy Safari: a Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Mangament by Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, and Joseph Lampel (New York: Free Press, 1998. 416 pp) Henry Mintzberg is the Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University. He earned his doctorate from MIT and is the founding partner of Bruce Ahlstrand is a senior faculty member in the Business Administration program at Trent University. Graduating from the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics, and University of Oxford, Ahsltrand is considered an expert in strategic management and organization theory. Joseph Lampel is Professor of Strategy and Innovation for Cass Business School at City University London. With a Ph.D. from McGill University, Lampel works with managers in the… Read More →

Book Review: Stanley Park

Stanley Park: A Novel by Timothy Taylor (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2001. 432 pp) Born in Venezuela, Timothy Taylor grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. He attended the University of Alberta and Queen’s University. Taylor published his first novel, Stanley Park, in 2001. His two latest novels, Story House and The Blue Light Project were shortlisted for the CBC Bookie Prize. A winner of the Journey Prize, Taylor works as a contributing editor for Vancouver Magazine and has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers. Cascadia Although I am an American, I consider myself, equally (if not more so), a Cascadian. Culturally speaking, I feel a closer affinity to British Columbians than Americans residing on the Eastern Seaboard. Even if my national… Read More →

Book Review: The Orthodox Way

The Orthodox Way: Revised Edition by Bishop Kallistos Ware (Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995. 164 pp) Kallistos Ware is an English bishop within the Greek Orthodox Church. Born Timothy, Ware went to Westminster School in London and later to Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1966, Ware was ordained to the Greek Orthodox priesthood and received the name, “Kallistos.” Ware lectured on Orthodox Studies for 35 years at the University of Oxford, retiring in 2001. Ware’s most popular publications are The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way, both intended for lay people. Burn the Heretics Whenever my grandfather discusses Greece, he mentions his singular experience in the Greek Isles. Visiting an Orthodox Church with my grandmother, an Orthodox priest graciously administered… Read More →

Book Review: Spiritual Enterprise

Spiritual Enterprise: Doing Virtuous Business by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch (New York: Encounter Books, 2008. 300 pp) Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is Chairman and CEO of Global Fiduciary Governance LLC, a leading strategy and thought leadership company. Ted founded Spiritual Enterprise Institute in 2005 and serves as a research professor at Yale University. The Rabbit Trail It endlessly frustrates me when an individual soils a valid argument by injecting needless rabbit trails. For example, someone could contend that they dislike country music as a whole because they don’t favor the drums. Yes, drums exist in country music, but it doesn’t mean that quality of country music is defined by the drummer. In a similar manner, Ted Malloch ruins an interesting argument in… Read More →

Book Review: Listen, America!

Listen, America! The Conservative Blueprint for America’s Moral Rebirth by Jerry Falwell (Toronto: Bantam Books, 1980. 237 pp) Jerry Falwell was an evangelical, fundamentalist preacher. He founded Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg Virgina, Liberty University, and the Moral Majority. Falwell attended Baptist Bible College and became an outspoken voice for conservatism in the United States. Falwell died in 2007. Thank You, Sir Well-behaved children do not find trouble. If they speak kindly in a crowd, no offense is taken. If they covet nothing, no jealousy or harm of property could ever occur. To a certain extent and from the condescending tone of the title, Jerry Falwell’s Listen, America! flows from this reasoning. If a person, community, or country acts… Read More →

Book Review: The Street Sweeper

The Street Sweeper: A Novel by Elliot Perlman (New York: Riverhead Books, 2012. 640 pp) Born to second-generation Jewish Australians of East European descent, Elliot Perlman studied at Monash University. While working as a judge’s associate, Perlman submitted a short story that eventually won The Age Short Story Award. Upon becoming a full-time writer, Perlman’s debut novel, Three Dollars, won The Age Book of the Year and the Betty Trask Prize. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. History as the Spoils of War History is written by the victor. When peace arrives and diktats emerge, the narrative that develops often becomes one sided. For this reason, we can never conclusively know history because our narratives carry bias. I vividly remember surprise… Read More →

Book Review: The Shipping News

The Shipping News: A Novel by Annie Proulx (New York: Scribner, 1993. 352 pp) Born in Norwich, Connecticut, Annie Proulx earned her B.A. at the University of Vermont and her M.A. from Concordia University. While working as a journalist, Proulx published works of fiction in various magazines before publishing her first novel, Postcards, in 1992, winning her the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Of her many awards, she notably won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for The Shipping News and she adapted her short-story, Brokeback Mountain, into an award-winning feature film. She currently resides in Wyoming. The Dinner Table  There’s something pristine about a populated dinner table. The scent of freshly prepared food. The peace of… Read More →

Film Review: Hugo

Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese (Paramount Pictures, GK Films, Infinitum Nihil, PG, 126 minutes) Starring Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloё Grace Moretz, and Emily Mortimer. We Always Need More Drinking Games When the cast of Bridesmaids introduced a category at this year’s Golden Globes, they ushered in a new era of award ceremony watching. Humorously, the cast suggested a “Martin Scorsese Drinking Game”, in which one takes a shot every time someone mentions Scorsese during an award ceremony telecast. The inherent joke in this game revolves around the notion that Martin Scorsese seemingly has his hand in every part of the movie business; by default, anything Scorsese touches garners critical acclaim. A Boy Named Hugo Case in… Read More →