Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Cocktail Waitress”

We return now to noir. That genre of writing also referred to as “hardboiled,” “tabloid murder” and “lose/lose fiction.” James Cain is considered by many to be the writer who most influenced these noir works in the U.S. along with Raymond Chandler (“The Big Sleep”) and Dashiell Hammett (“The Maltese Falcon”). His seminal works include “Double Indemnity” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” These are ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Washington’s Farewell”

We are back with the third season of Hitting the Books. I say “we” because without the help of Olivia Witherite producing and Pete Kerzel editing, Hitting the Books would not happen. And none of our work would matter if you, the reader/viewers weren’t there. So thanks to all and I hope this year’s books spark an interest to read on. The selections are mine, ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “A Thousand Days”

Richard Griffin is a highly respected baseball columnist for the Toronto Star. He has covered baseball for decades beginning with the Montreal Expos in 1973. He became the public relations director for the Expos in 1978. Since 1995, he has been a columnist and beat writer for the Toronto Star covering the Blue Jays. I have known Richard since his Montreal days. He was an ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Far and Away”

“Far and Away” by Andrew Solomon is a travelogue covering some 83 countries from every corner of the globe. It is not a travel guide. Each stop is its own story. Each stop is a moment to ponder. Solomon, an art historian and psychologist, seeks to find the world in the place where he currently stands. Trying to understand that place on this small planet ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Pictures at an Exhibition”

When the Germans invaded Paris during World War II, one of Hitler’s objectives was to loot as much of the world’s great art from museums and private collections as possible. Parisians stripped thousands of art works from their private and public places and hid them wherever they thought the Nazis might not find them. However, there were plenty of priceless pieces that were stolen, and ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “His Final Battle”

“His Final Battle” by Joseph Lelyveld is the story of the final 16 months of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s life. He was dying with limited time to live. He knew it, but few, if any other than his personal physician, shared that knowledge. He learned in March 1944 that his congestive heart condition would be fatal. That would remain a secret even from his wife. With ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Art of Racing in the Rain”

Eric Nadel is the voice of the Texas Rangers. He has been recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence. He is a longtime associate and friend and he is a reader. I caught up with him on the Rangers’ trip to Baltimore. Nadel not only reads, but believes in supporting the book business, by visiting ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Maples Stories”

John Updike is recognized as a giant of the writing world, his fiction having covered the bestseller and positive review lists for decades, “The Maples Stories” is a collection of 18 works that he penned over five decades. They are the stories of a marriage between Richard and Joan Maple. They are the stories of his own married life to the point that some have ... read more