DeMille introduces a new character in ‘The Cuban Affair’

The Cuban Affair reviewKey West charter boat captain Daniel “Mac” MacCormick is made an offer he has every intention of refusing: Sail his boat to Cuba under the guise of a fishing tournament and recover cash and documents hidden during the revolution. But the lure of a $2 million payday is more than he can resist, and he takes the bait.

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‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ is an ambitious story of one man’s life

Review of The Heart's Invisible FuriesCyril Avery is adopted at birth and raised by eccentric and well-to-do parents who make it clear that he is not a real Avery. Nonetheless he perseveres, practically raising himself in their sprawling Dublin mansion. The ambitious novel The Heart’s Invisible Furies (Hogarth Press, digital galley) follows Avery’s entire life from the 1940s to the present day.

While away at school Avery comes to the realization that he is gay.  But given the mores of the day, he keeps that fact to himself. The novel begins and ends in Ireland and a large part of the plot deals with the fact that Ireland is unsympathetic, if not overtly cruel, to gay men. One doctor tells him there are not any gay men in Ireland.

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A hike to the Walls of Jericho

On Sept. 2, 2017, I hiked the Walls of Jericho from the Alabama trial head in Jackson County, Alabama, with my brother in law and my dog. The hike is a strenuous 6 miles round trip and leads to the headwaters of the Paint Rock River. At the end of the hike is a large natural stone amphitheater which usually has at least a small flow of water running through it, feeding a series of waterfalls.

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‘When the English Fall’ shows how to handle the apocalypse with dignity

After a powerful solar storm destroys electrical devices and causes civilization to crumble, an Amish farming community in Pennsylvania helps by supplying food to a neighboring town. But as things deteriorate, the outside world encroaches on their isolated society.

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Daily Miscellany: Is ‘buying local’ even possible?

  1. Is “buying local” even possible? “Imagine my surprise when I encountered a sign promoting a “local” food product in the bakery aisle of our town’s Safeway.”
  2. X-Ray views of the New York City subway system.
  3. Lies our tech overlords told us: A list of the bold promises on which we’re still waiting for Silicon Valley to deliver.
  4. What one reporter learned by working as a butler at the Plaza Hotel.

Steampunkalypse: A review of ‘The Clockwork Dynasty’

While doing field research and trying to unlock a mystery from her childhood, anthropologist June Stefanov makes a startling discovery: For millennia automatons have lived among us, hiding their presence while trying to understand the nature of their own existence. But their time is drawing to an end and Stefanov may be a key, if unlikely, ally in their survival.

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A list of Amazon RSS feeds

It’s hard to find a list of Amazon RSS feeds, but they do exist for best sellers, new releases, movers & shakers, most wished for and gift ideas. You can navigate to the sections linked above and choose one of the subcategories. At the bottom of each subcategory page there is a link to an RSS feed. There are hundreds of subcategories for which you can find feeds.

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Review of new August fiction: ‘Mrs. Fletcher’ and ‘See What I Have Done’

Mrs. Fletcher

Mrs. Fletcher reviewIf the title reminds you of Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate, it’s with good reason.  This satire explores love, loss, hookups and cross-generational relationships.

After divorcee Eve Fletcher’s son goes to college she is left trying to reinvent herself and give meaning to her life as an empty nester. She sets her hopes on a community college course on gender and society, but an unexpected text message sends her down a rabbit hole of online porn and thoughts of illicit relationships.

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Daily miscellanny: We’ve never had it so good

  1. Megan McArdle says that from cooking to woodworking, rising levels of skill and effort have become barriers to entry.
  2. Enable HTTPS for free on you website with Let’s Encrypt.
  3. Kevin Rose talks with Ryan Holiday about Stoic philosophy.
  4. An increasingly influential group of thinkers insists that humankind has never had it so good – and only our pessimism is holding us back.
    • The proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty had fallen below 10% for the first time.
    • Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels had failed to rise for the third year running.
    • Child mortality is roughly half what it had been as recently as 1990.
  5. Share and receive photos at the Feature Shoot Print Swap.