Books

Books:

I have written three books, all available on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle editions.

Babylon with Ghost

  • Boston, 1978.  Wayne and Joan are poor but happy in a fifth floor walkup on the backside of Beacon Hill.  Daycare teaching doesn’t pay well, but all the immense riches of urban life are available as long as they pay rent.  Wayne paints pictures, but fails to sell anything.  Joan tries to find a public school position with no success.  Suddenly, they turn thirty and everything looks different.
  • They decide it is time to start a family.  They will need better careers with more income, so Wayne explores the exploding field of computers.  Family support will be welcome so they agree to move back to Joan’s native Long Island.  Will the transition from carefree city joys to solid middle-class suburban succeed?  A decade of disruptions and learning begins.     
  • Starting from nearly nothing to acquiring a house, two cars, a couple of boys, new jobs, and all the accompaniments of modern life presents breathless challenges.  No longer poor, hardly rich, they encounter all the joys, problems and frustrations of raising children.  Money often seems less important than time itself, as constant demands pile up. 
  • Computers are just beginning to become standard in small and mid-sized businesses.  Wayne quickly discovers that there are many kinds of hardware and software, all incompatible, and all changing constantly.  Nobody is quite sure what is best, what is right, what works, or (most important) whose fault the latest problem is.
  • Joan resumes teaching as she futilely tries to guide her husband in proper middle-class etiquette.  Starting on the bandwagon late, they always seem to have a little less than the relatives and folks next door.  But they realize that these are some of the happiest times of their lives. 
  • Memoirs are often composed as aids to fading memory.  Mine makes no pretensions beyond being a personal and family remembrance of turbulent times not long ago.  My imaginary friend Ghost inserts lighter commentary. 
  • Much has changed over these last decades.  But these stories provide a reminder that the past was always just as complicated to live through as the present.

My Bike Tour in France Remembered

  • In 1968, a college junior hates school, thinks he wants to be an artist, and is resigned to being drafted for the Vietnam War once he graduates.  That summer, Wayne bicycles alone over 2000 kilometers in France, staying in hostels and campgrounds on a shoestring budget.
  • He views ancient countryside, visits cities and towns for several days each and observes in amazement the depth of history, beauty of art, and ways of life.   He converses frequently with other European “jeunesse,” all filled with questions and hopes of social reform in that revolutionary year.  He worries about his own life, what he should do, and what he might want to accomplish.
  • I tell his story to my grandson as I remember it, and consider how those lessons influenced my later outlooks and desires.  A series of adventures with meditations on meaning, beauty, art and history occur across northern, western, and southern France. 
  • Adolescents, those who remember being young, and anyone who likes the travelogues of Mark Twain should enjoy these stories.

The Domination Era

  • Poetic essays about our experience of living in a unique, global, crowded, scientific civilization. 
  • You and I live in a time different from that of anyone born one or two centuries ago.  We know more about everything, we understand that everything is interconnected. 
  • The physical universe is fully consistently modeled.  The serial story of time has become documented and shared.  Humanity uses technology of immense power in an instant, interconnected world.
  • My life and yours, on the other hand, unfold as rapidly and unpredictably as they always have for any human.  We rarely control our situation nor future, and we encounter much _ love, hope, fear _ that is not amenable to logical methodology.
  • An exploration of the interface between our unique experiences and the common universe we share with others.  The simply question with contradictory answers _ what should I do after breakfast.

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