Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “On the Road”

It is our great good fortune to have Pete Kerzel as the co-producer of Hitting the Books. Pete organizes the written portion of the blog, for which I am deeply grateful. Earlier this summer, you met co-producer Olivia Witherite, introducing her favorite read, “The Book Thief.” Today, Pete joins us with his insight on a classic: “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac. Kerouac’s book is ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “A Place Called Maine”

Twenty-four authors have their stories about Maine related in this book, “A Place Called Maine.” I hesitate to offer this work only because, being from Maine, many of these stories strike at the heart of my growing up. How others view the stories may not be so captivating. Then again, don’t all stories reflect an author’s life in part and it is the quality of ... read more

Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne: “Leadership in Turbulent Times”

“Leadership in Turbulent Times” by Doris Kearns Goodwin is an examination of four presidents who took office in times of crisis - Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Kearns can bring the real essence of the times and the men to life in a novelistic read. She has done this in her many books and that is a prime reason she ... read more

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