Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “A Bullet for Cinderella”

There is no reason for the selection of “A Bullet for Cinderella” over the myriad of other works by John MacDonald. That is one of the great truths about his writing. Pick a book and you will enjoy. Sure, some are better than others, but as always, the “better” lies in the mind of the reader. His works are the stuff of the best of ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Book Thief”

What a treat to be able to introduce you to the co-producer of “Hitting the Books,” Olivia Witherite. She has been the coordinator and videographer of this blog from day one and an uncompromising supporter of what we do here. She takes the video and edits it to what you see, while working with her social media department to get this blog up and running ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “The Story of Lucy Gault”

There is a silent loneliness about the history of Ireland. All the pubs and all the music and all the poems cannot remove this reality. Neither does “The Story of Lucy Gault.” William Trevor is an extraordinary writer of the Irish soul. He hits the mark here. The endless battles among religions and the British is the undertone of this novel, but the story set ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Dead Wake”

I knew very little about the sinking of the cruise ship Lusitania in 1915. The sinking of the Titanic always draws major attention, while the Lusitania story exits in the shadows. That story won’t be in the shadows anymore after reading “Dead Wake.” Author Erik Larson has written much of historical events in non-fictional works filled with massive research efforts. “Devil in the White City” ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Adventures in the Screen Trade”

You do not have to want to be a screenwriter to enjoy “Adventures in the Screen Trade.” This is a fun read, and if you do want to be a screenwriter, you can get to that in the latter chapters. Two-thirds of this book are wonderful stories about dealing with Hollywood studio big wigs, the ego-filled attempts to deal with the stars and figuring out ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Triumphs of Experience”

“Triumphs of Experience” by George E. Vallant is about findings from the longest (in time) and most in-depth study of the maturation process of adults ever undertaken. The study began in 1938 and was intended to last 10 to 15 years. This book was written in 2012 with the study still underway. In 1938, 268 Harvard male sophomores were selected as the subjects of the ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Beethoven in Love; Opus 1139”

Howard Jay Smith is an acquaintance of mine, not through literature, but our shared love of wine. Sampling vino with a group of regular imbibers at a luncheon, we got to talking about this book. He sent me a copy, and thank goodness for that. Smith is an award-winning writer and “Beethoven in Love; Opus 139” is his third book, published in 2015. He has ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Monuments Men”

Welcome back to the 2019 edition of “Hitting the Books”! With the support of producer Olivia Witherite, editor Pete Kerzel and you as readers, let’s try another trip into the stacks. As from the beginning, the idea is a look at books I’ve enjoyed and would like to pass along. We will be joined at times by guests-managers, players, coaches, and broadcasters-who’ll tell us their ... read more