Book Review: Lighthouses of America

Lighthouses of America
Lighthouses of America by Tom Beard
in association with
the United States Lighthouse Society
Hardcover / 176 pages
150 color photographs
Welcome Books
(an imprint of Rizzoli New York)
August 2017

“There is just something extraordinarily special about lighthouses.” So writes Captain Robert Desh, US Coast Guard (Retired) in the foreword of Lighthouses of America, a new book from Rizzoli New York. I could not agree with Captain Desh more. Even people who have lived in land-locked locales their entire lives and have never actually seen a lighthouse know they are enchanting. For those who live in coastal areas, they are cherished features of the skyline. The songs, stories, and art that lighthouses have inspired is woven into our collective consciousness as thoroughly as any (more…)

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Here and Now

Setting a Story in the Present and Other Moving Targets

I learned the hard way that setting a story in the “right here and right now” is not as easy as it sounds. Sure, it’s simple to set the stage, because you’ve chosen a place and time that’s all around you. What does a house look like? Just peek out the window and start describing. What slang should your characters use? Go to an airport or coffee shop and eavesdrop. Same goes for clothing, cars, (more…)

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favorite books

What’s Your Favorite Book?

It is not surprising, I suppose, that I’ve been queried about this a number of times since my “debut” novel came out. “What’s your favorite book?” is a common interview question, along with “How long have you been writing?” and “Where do you get your ideas?” Common, however, does not make it easy. I love the Odyssey and Jane Eyre and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I’ve loved everything Robertson Davies wrote, and I’m a Michael Connelly fan. I adore Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Which do I like the most? If I try to pick one, I feel like the (more…)

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Las Vegas Follies: Vintage Vegas is Alive and Laughing

Saturday night in Las Vegas used to mean rhinestones and feathers on the Strip, but, just like the Stardust itself, the days of sparkling lovelies in enormous headdresses are gone. Luckily for those who miss those glitzy shows, impresario Rich Rizzo is still around. He choreographed “Lido de Paris” at the Stardust and “Jubilee!” at Bally’s. Those glamorous revues are now forever dark, but that hasn’t stopped Rizzo. Saturday night, I took in “Rhythm,” the latest production of Rizzo’s “Las Vegas Follies” at the Starbright (more…)

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Legal Weed Hits Las Vegas

Legal WeedI like to witness historic events in Las Vegas. Among many momentous occasions, I helped christen the new Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood). I was on hand when the Stardust fell down, and I observed as the La Concha Motel dangled into place to become the new lobby for the Neon Museum. I now lay claim to yet another “I was there.” I braved the heat on July first to attend the One Love Cannabis (more…)

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