What We Are Reading Today: Places and Names

Updated 19 July 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Places and Names

Author: Elliot Ackerman

Places and Names is another spectacular piece of writing from Elliot Ackerman.
He served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“At once an intensely personal book about the terrible lure of combat and a brilliant meditation on the larger meaning of the past two decades of strife for America, the region and the world, Places and Names bids fair to take its place among our greatest books about modern war,” said a review in goodreads.com.
In a review for The New York Times, critic Anne Barnard said Places and Names “is a classic meditation on war, how it compels and resists our efforts to order it with meaning.
“In simple, evocative sentences, with sparing but effective glances at poetry and art, Ackerman weaves memories of his deployments with his observations in and near Syria.”
Barnard said Ackerman pulls off a literary account of war that is accessible to those who wonder “what it’s like” while ringing true to those who — each in his or her own way — already know.


What We Are Reading Today: Texas Flood

Updated 10 December 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Texas Flood

AUTHORS: Alan Paul & Andy Aledort

Texas Flood by Alan Paul and Andy Aledort is a phenomenal biography of guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan that hits on every level, including interviews with those closest to him.

A review in The New York Times said: “An oral history is only as good as its sources, and Texas Flood is thorough and far-reaching, with Vaughan’s bandmates, crew and family taking center stage.”  It added: “Especially fascinating is Vaughan’s complicated relationship with his older brother, Jimmie,  and Vaughan’s ill-fated role in David Bowie’s band, an apparent big break that he quit because he was told he could not promote his debut album.”

The review said: “If there’s a disappointment in the book, it’s the lack of Vaughan’s own voice. Aledort interviewed him several times during his lifetime, but since those conversations were focused on specific projects, the quotes pulled for Texas Flood don’t leave much impression. Both authors are accomplished musicians and longtime contributors to Guitar World magazine, so occasionally things get a little gear-heavy.”