Ex Libris

The Liberal Missouri Public Library was our babysitter for a few years when we were young. Our mom worked at Citizens Bank of Liberal, later Farmers State Bank, next door, so my sister and I would walk to the library after school and wait patiently for Mom to drive us home. We greatly preferred this over taking the school bus. Continue reading “Ex Libris”

Book/Movie Review: Winter in the Blood

As book nerds, we commonly hold the rather snobbish opinion that movies based on novels are never as good as the book. There are good reasons for this, as each book reading experience is very subjective. We visualize the characters in our own way. We savor each detail. Film interpretations of novels often have to be ruthless in cutting details, lest each film run hours or days in length. Characters are often cast for their star appeal rather than their authenticity to the role. Avid literati often take offence at this. “How dare they cast Brad Pitt in that role? He’s completely wrong for it.” Or, “How dare they not include the scene at the refinery, that’s the key detail that explains the ending.Continue reading “Book/Movie Review: Winter in the Blood”

Book Review: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

New feature here at Upscale Shack. Occasionally we’re going to review books. It’s rare that I select a book based on a written review. Often, when I do read a book review, it’s after I’ve already read the book, usually to see if other readers have come away with the same impression I have, or if I missed some vital bit of information that someone else picked up. I’m going to strive to keep these reviews short and simple, to not be tempted to divulge spoilers and plot details in the vein of a 5th grade book report, but to hopefully offer something more substantial than the one-line reviews so often offered by the philistine trolls on Amazon. You’ve seen them: “Reading is hard. This book sucks, bro. This writer is lame.”  Continue reading “Book Review: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden”