logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: 20th
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-17 06:37
A WHITE HOUSE DINNER FOR THE AGES
Dinner in Camelot: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House - Joseph A. Esposito

Prior to reading "DINNER IN CAMELOT: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House", the most I knew of this most unique dinner which took place on the evening of Sunday, April 29, 1962 was from a now famous statement President Kennedy made there. It is as follows: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." One of my high school U.S. history teachers first made me aware of that quote, which left a deep impression that hasn't left me after almost 40 years. 

Joseph A. Esposito has taken considerable care in reconstructing for the reader what that White House dinner was like - down to the various personalities (e.g. Linus & Ava Helen Pauling; Dr. Ralph Bunche, the first African American recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the UN in negotiating the 1949 armistice between Israel and the Arab States; J. Robert Oppenheimer - the father of the atomic bomb - for whom this dinner marked the beginning of his political rehabilitation after having had his security clearance stripped away from him in 1954; the poet Robert Frost; the widow of Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway; the literary personages Mr. and Mrs. Lionel & Diana Trilling; Pearl Buck; William & Rose Styron - who later became close friends of the Kennedys; the writer and social critic James Baldwin; and the astronaut John Glenn) in attendance. 

The book also has the complete seating plan for the dinner, which took place in the State Dining Room (where President Kennedy presided at the lead table, # 7) and the Blue Room (where the First Lady, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, sat at the lead table, # 17) - in addition to several photographs that were taken at the dinner itself. They help to recapture, in a large sense, an America that was sure of itself and its place in the world despite the perils and challenges of the time, and the essence of a President and First Lady who encouraged a flowering of the arts and sciences among all Americans - as well as inspiring people to be and do better for themselves and humanity. 

I absolutely enjoyed reading "DINNER IN CAMELOT" which I think will serve in years to come as the main source for anyone wanting to know more about this unique and seminal event in 20th century U.S. history. It may also remind the reader that it is possible for the U.S. to extricate itself from the polarization and toxic national politics that bedevils us in the present time. For we live in a nation that has had many ups and downs since its inception in 1789 - and managed to, at various times, to embrace "the better angels" of its spirit and character.

 

Let "DINNER IN CAMELOT" remind the reader that We the People can work together anew to make a better nation for ourselves and future generations through encouraging a renewed appreciation for the arts and sciences.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-16 01:48
Death of an Outsider by M. C. Beaton (audiobook)
Death of an Outsider - M.C. Beaton,Shaun Grindell

Series: Hamish Macbeth #3

 

This one was read by a different but equally competent narrator. I'm rating this a little bit higher because although Hamish has some messed up ideas about marriage (this is the 80s not the 50s as far as I know), this had a line that greatly amused me and sparked discussion about lobsters and whether they'd actually eat a corpse.

 

Otherwise I don't have much to say; Hamish has to deal with another murder while subbing in for another policeman on vacation.

 

Previous updates:

62 %

50 %

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-06-13 18:58
Reading progress update: I've listened 181 out of 294 minutes.
Death of an Outsider - M.C. Beaton,Shaun Grindell

"She was drinking sherry from the bottle, like a harlot."

 

That's got to be one of the best lines in the book.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-06-13 00:43
Reading progress update: I've listened 148 out of 294 minutes.
Death of an Outsider - M.C. Beaton,Shaun Grindell

A murder victim eaten by...lobsters?!

 

(Presumably tossed into the tank after death.)

 

Would lobsters eat a person if he or she were tossed into their tank?? That just sounds too weird to be possible.

 

(Apparently lobsters eat crabs, clams, mussels, and sometimes other lobsters.)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-06-12 17:57
Reading progress update: I've read 17%.
Death from a Top Hat - Clayton Rawson

Reading this at the same time as listening to a Hamish Macbeth audiobook is making me read it in a Scottish accent in my head, which is just plain weird.

 

So far I'm not a huge fan of the narrator and the ultra meta style that had the narrator/POV character starting off the book by writing a magazine article about detective novels. I am, however, still curious to find out how this locked-room mystery is resolved.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?