Book review: Smith’s ‘The Meat and Potatoes of Life’ gives a funny look at military life

Once upon a time, young Lisa Smith, a lawyer, married Francis Molinari, an up and coming naval career officer. Then they had three kids, and military service caused multiple relocations. Like everyone else raising a family, notions of “new place” adventures are dashed by reality, and Supermom ideals are torn down faster than a confederate… … Read More

Board game review: ‘Settlers of Catan’ harkens back to early times

“Settlers of Catan,” the competitive board game created by Klaus Teuber, is an award-winning game for ages 10 and up. The goal of the game is to collect and trade resources to build settlements and roads. Overall, I like playing this game, but the only downside is that it takes too long to learn and… … Read More


Book review: Jim Bouton biography goes deep inside writing of ’Ball Four’

Jim Bouton the pitcher was famous for a time for a few successful World Series appearances as a New York Yankee in the early 1960s. But Jim Bouton’s legacy was minted as a writer, and he reveled in that fame. “I loved being a medium celebrity,” he’d often say. “It’s a boost to the ego.… … Read More


TV review: ‘Hightown’ is a tale of drugs and murder

“Hightown,” an eight-episode TV series set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, premieres May 17 on Starz.There’s been a murder in Truro and it’s up to a disgraced officer in the National Marine Fisheries Service and a rogue Statie to solve it in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced miniseries “Hightown.” Ambitiously covering a swath of Cape Cod from Wareham… … Read More


TV review: Stellar cast jazzes up Netlfix’s ‘The Eddy’

Add Damien Chazelle to the list of Oscar-winning directors dipping their toes into the TV stream, as the 35-year-old Rhode Islander enters the swirling, jazzy waves of “The Eddy.” It’s merely a splash, though; helming just the first two of eight episodes in the Netflix series about a nightclub owner under assault by thugs, police… … Read More


Book review: New book on The Association provides a different look at pop music of the ’60s

If you can remember hearing the catchy strains of “Along Comes Mary” by The Association back when it first hit radio’s top 40 stations, wow … you’re old! If you’ve never heard of The Association, you’re either too young or haven’t been properly schooled in the pop music of the 1960s.“Along Comes Mary,” the group’s… … Read More


Board game review: ‘Pandemic,’ a board game you won’t soon forget

“Pandemic,” the cooperative board game designed by Matt Leacock, has won four awards in three different countries and for good reason.I like “Pandemic” because it is about saving the world and not destroying it. The players start the game with different roles. With each role comes different strengths and weaknesses.Player roles are chosen randomly and… … Read More


Book review: ‘Prairie Lotus’ reimagines ‘Little House’ world through eyes of a Chinese girl

Like countless American girls, Linda Sue Park devoured the “Little House” novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder, re-reading them and imagining herself in the stories as a friend of young Laura.But as she grew up, Park was troubled by the way those stories treated people of color, in particular Ma’s hatred of Native Americans. “Ultimately it… … Read More