New Non-Fiction: Getting a Good Home Inspection, The Three Stooges, Traveling in Arkansas Territory, Navigating the Grand Canyon in 1927by Larry Cox on May. 03, 2012, under Uncategorized
The Holmes Inspection: The Essential Guide for Every Homeowner, Buyer and Seller by Mike Holmes (Time Home Entertainment Books, $21.95)
During the buying or selling of a house, the tipping point generally occurs following the home inspection. Since the family home is probably one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, every effort should be made to get it right. That means, of course, finding a competent home inspector you can trust, fully understanding what a home inspector can and can’t do, and arm yourself with questions and a checklist.
Mike Holmes has spent more than three decades working in almost every aspect of construction and home renovation and has built a solid reputation for outstanding craftsmanship and standing behind his work. In 2007, Mike launched “The Holmes Foundation” to help ensure that residential renovation and construction is done right — the first time. Measure twice, cut once, as a carpenter once told me. Holmes also maintains an excellent website, www.holmesonhomes.com.
His new book is truly an essential guide for those either selling or buying a new property. Holmes explains why a home inspection is such an important part of the process and why we should take our time in making decisions during this often stressful period. Especially important in “The Holmes Inspection” are the checklists at the back of the book. For example, Holmes lists questions we should ask our real estate agent and home inspector, in addition to a handy glossary so that we are able to communicate in an effective way.
In this goofy real estate market, we need all the help we can get when buying or selling a house. This guide will help consumers navigate this often mystifying and downright scary process.
The Three Stooges Scrapbook by Jeff Lenburg, Joan Howard Mauer, and Greg Lenburg (Chicago Review Press, $22.95)
The world is basically divided into two types of people, those who “get” the Stooges and those who don’t. I got the Stooges an early age when I grabbed my sister’s nose with a pair of pliers because I had seen the maneuver executed in one of the team’s comedy shorts. My dad was not amused. Neither was my sister.
For more than eighty years, The Three Stooges have dished out their unique comedy mayhem in more than 200 film comedy skits, 25 feature films, and thousands of television, stage and personal appearances.
Larry, Curly, and Moe, AKA Larry Fine, Curly Howard, and Moe Howard, were the creation of Ted Healy, an entertainer who was booked into the Brooklyn Prospect Theatre in New York as part of an eight-act vaudeville bill. When the members of his German acrobatic act failed to appear, he called his old boyhood friend, Moe Howard, for help. One thing led to another and soon Healy and his team of “stooges” began fracturing audiences with their ad-libbed routines.
By 1933, the team began hitting its stride by appearing in four films including “Hello Pop!” which was shot in color. “The Three Stooges Scrapbook” is an absolute joy. In addition to documenting the team, there is an extensive list of all of their film appearances complete with release dates, casts, and plots. First published in 1982, this book has been expanded and revised and features more than 400 photographs and illustrations. It is comprehensive and essential in fully appreciating the work of one of the funniest comedy teams ever.
This book is compiled by Jeff Lenburg, an award-winning author based in Phoenix, Joan Howard Maurer, the daughter of Moe Howard, and Greg Lenburg, Jeff’s twin brother and one of the world’s foremost authorities on The Three Stooges.
A Mad, Crazy River: Running the Grand Canyon in 1927 by Clyde L. Eddy with an introduction by Peter D. Miller (University of New Mexico Press, $19.95)
Clyde Eddy, a middle-aged office worker from New York City, shoved off into the current of the Colorado River at Green River, Utah, one June day in 1927. Accompanied by a team of college students, a hobo, an Airedale dog, and a bear cub, the trip down the river often described as one of the most dangerous in the world began.
Forty-two days and eight hundred miles later, Eddy and the members of his crew floated in Needles, California, and were hailed as the first to navigate the river during its high water period. This highly readable book is the originally narrative of this thrilling adventure. Originally published in 1929 and unavailable for decades, it has been reissued with a forward by Peter D. Miller of National Geographic Magazine.
Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorsky (Simon & Schuster, $28)
Although there have been countless books written about Hitler’s rise and the ascendency of the Nazi Party in Germany, Andrew Nagorsky, an award-winning journalist, his book is told from the point of view of Americans who witnessed this grim period of history firsthand.
Some sensed just how dangerous Hitler was, while others dismissed him as a flash in the pan but even those who didn’t take him seriously fully recognized the Nazi leader as a man who had an uncanny ability to attract and mesmerize followers.
Key among Americans in Berlin during this period were Truman Smith, military attaché to the U.S. Embassy and, in 1922, the first U.S. diplomat to meet Hitler, Charles Lindbergh, who visited Germany to obtain intelligence on the Luftwaffe, Dorothy Thompson, legendary female correspondent and wife of Nobel Prize-winning author, Sinclair Lewis, and Howard K. Smith, future TV anchor.
Sifting through diaries, letters, interviews, and public records, Nagorsky reveals that Americans were fascinated with Hitler and their experiences and observations strongly suggest that without him the Nazis would never have succeeded in their drive for absolute power. Filled with fresh insight and riveting stories, this is an important addition to the recorded history of Hitler and the Third Reich. This is first rate reporting that captures and engages readers until the very last page.
A Journey of Travels into the Arkansas Territory During the Year 1819 by Thomas Nuttall and edited by Savoie Lottinville (University of Oklahoma Press, $24.95)
Thomas Nuttall was a self-educated botanist when he arrived in the United States from Liverpool in 1808. He began a journey that began in Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, then down the Ohio River, eventually to the Mighty Mississippi and then up the Arkansas River with a side trip to the Red River. He was an observant man who recorded many of the details about this historic trip in his journal which was first published in 1821.
Particularly interesting are his descriptions of the crude military establishment in Fort Smith, the arrival of the first governor of Arkansas Territorial, the Native peoples in the region, along with valuable details about the plants, geology, and animals in this primitive area.
This wonderfully, concise and fascinating book was published in 1980 by the University of Oklahoma Press and is a valuable addition to the early history of this region.
Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed – And Why It Still Matters by Andrew Gumbel & Roger D. Charles (William Morrow, $27.99)
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked his rented Ryder truck near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. The vehicle was loaded with a deadly fertilizer bomb he had made with his army buddy, Terry Nichols. Shortly after 9 a.m., the bomb was detonated, destroying one-third of the Murrah building and killing 168 people including 19 infants and toddlers. It was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism on American soil.
According to this new book, much of what we think we know about this event is wrong. For example, the authors maintain that this horrific event could probably have been avoided if there had been a proper investigation of certain leads focusing on the radical right. How, and why, the FBI and ATF did not cooperate or pursue some of the country’s most dangerous radical criminals at this critical time also added to the problem. Perhaps most shocking of all is how much McVeigh’s plot was inspired, and directed by members of a patriotic fringe group and that at least seven people connected to it either had an alibi for April 19, 1995, or lied about their whereabouts. The fact is they were never investigated or even questioned about the bombing, even though some of them were fingered as possible suspects by government informants.
Whether it was a sloppy investigation or a series of key errors of judgment and media leaks, the real story of what happened that April morning 17 years ago is finally being told. This is a crisply written, fully documented book that will anger you. Based on unprecedented access to the government’s documentary record of the investigation in addition to 150 on-the-record interviews, Gumbel and Charles demonstrate the dysfunction within the country’s law enforcement agencies which squandered opportunities to penetrate the radical right so that the bombing might have been prevented.