Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Monday, December 14, 2009

One for Obama … The Tiger Tally … Travels with Charley … A Two-For … DOC says ...


One for Obama ... here’s something we think President Obama is doing right, supporting charter schools such as those featured on 60 Minutes two weeks ago. Geoffrey Canada is the man behind the great success he’s made of a pet project that is yielding phenomenal results. A Harvard man that knows how to get things done and is getting them done, Canada will fire teachers, directors and porters who can’t get it done. He’s about success and refuses to accept failure. Compare his school’s progress to what the public school system produces and what you have is night and day. Kids get into the school by a lottery and when the drawing is held, the parents of the unfortunate ones who aren’t picked (and are doomed to a public education) are visibly upset (to the point of tears). Education is the key to any society/country’s success. Should Obama become a one and done president, schools like this one may not survive.

Mr. Canada has proved himself a one man wonder. He promises his kids that every one of them will go to college and he means it. Although he manages to fund his program with mostly private funds, there’s no doubt a less sympathetic political party could (and probably would) undo the great success accomplished in Harlem. This is a big deal and one reason Obama should do whatever he can to keep himself from being one and done .

The Tiger Tally ... it’s up to 12 and closing in on the Knucksline Over/Under fast …

Travels with Charley ... In 1960, shortly after fighting Hurricane Donna to save his sailboat moored in Sag Harbor, Long Island, John Steinbeck took off across and around America in a camper he’d named for Don Quixote’s horse, Rocinante. The camper was specially built for his trip In Search of America. This was a fun read from start to finish because the travelogue provides one of America’s greatest authors speaking to us directly through his pen rather than his characters. He’s also speaking to Charley (his pet French Poodle—the standard size) and several of the people from around the country he meets along the way.

Steinbeck claimed he wanted to see the country he had written about and he did so in the tiny camper so overstocked with provisions he had to have the tires changed after they blew out during the trip. He’d brought guns and fishing poles and booze and beer and Charley. The pooch was sick a couple of times during the trip and at one point Steinbeck had to take a four day break while Charley recovered at a vet’s office in Texas. Although his wife joined him twice along the way for brief overnights, Steinbeck eventually grew tired of the trip as he went through the South where he’d experienced some racial ugliness in New Orleans. It was a chance for the author to relate in his travel memoir a past memory of a black family he’d grown up with in Salinas, California and how there were never any lesser expectations of them than anyone else in the community. The hard working black family flourished, as did the children Steinbeck grew up with.

The book is broken into four parts and each is a joy to read. This one is highly recommended, if for no other reason than the fun of Steinbeck’s playful words and the exchanges he had with his pooch.

A Two-For ... A book Knucksline reviewed here back in October has made it to the Washington Post’s best of 2009 mystery list … the author, David Zeltserman, also made it to the same Washington Post’s 2008 list with his previous novel, Small Crimes. Dave is one of those unsung authors too often ignored by some of the circle jerkers in the business. It happens.

Zeltserman resides in Bean town and aside from the fact he’s a die-hard Patriation fan (and has been a spotter for coach Cheaterface stealing defensive signals against all three much better teams within their division), Zeltserman also has a black belt in the martial arts and has been known to hustle pool rooms across America.


and the DOC says ...

You have some 'splaining to do Lucy!

How exactly does Fredo get a point for a school that is paid for mostly by private donations? If you win the lottery you get an education and if you don't win you get advanced courses on running the deep fryer at Mickey Ds. The D.C. school system just handed out $15 million in bonuses and their reading scores are the 4th worst in the nation.

I would give the Bamster a point if he would fire the teachers who suck and hire new ones, but that might piss off his paid-for union voting block. Not to mention his "Safe School Czar" who thinks that all school children should read gay porn. Luckily, school kids can't read. Okay, I'll give Fredo a point for that.

Actually, I think that is how the new health care works as well. If you win the lottery you get the hip replacement. If you don't they give you a milk box with skate wheels on the bottom, so you can sort of roll around.

Man, I am getting sick of hearing about who Tiger Woods has been diddling. That is personal information and should only be a matter of interest for Tiger Woods himself and Mrs. Woods' squadron of lawyers.

I read "Travels With Charlie" when I was in high school. And yes, that was when we kept our muskets in the cloak room so that at noon we could go out and shoot our lunch. And yes, they actually did call it a cloak room. Good Lord, how freaking old am I?

Your colonial pal,