jfine@northshire.com's blog

Jonathan Fine - Receiving/Shipping Dept Manager in Manchester

Jon is the receiving manager and unofficial wellness director at Northshire and has worked here since 1998. He loves all things guitar- and listens mostly to blues, classic and selected contemporary rock, and most of all, music that defies genre- most especially The Derek Trucks Band. He loves the Maine coast and most frequently finds himself reading sports non-fiction, music memoirs and selected contemporary lit fiction. Personal gods include guitarist Derek Trucks and writer Ann Patchett.

The Unforgettable Loretta Darling: A Novel by Katherine Blake - Book Review

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The Unforgettable Loretta Darling: A Novel By Katherine Blake Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063342200
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - July 9th, 2024

There are elements of Hollywood romance novel here as Blake's book is most often light and frivolous in dealing with the narrator's burgeoning career as a self-made Hollywood make up artist in 1950. Also, however, there is an "avenging angel" storyline underlying it all as this young woman, just arrived from England, is viciously and callously sexually assaulted at a Hollywood orgy. That aspect is short-lived but deserving of a warning. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine

Leave the World Behind: A Read with Jenna Pick by Rumaan Alam - Book Review

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Leave the World Behind: A Read with Jenna Pick By Rumaan Alam Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062667649
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Ecco - November 23rd, 2021

There is an art to creating an otherworldly atmosphere. Step by step, page by page, from the time the owners of the remote rental house show up at the door where a family of vacationers is staying, one worrisome happening after another (NYC blackout, cell system crash, animals fleeing) is revealed. Something is wrong out there, in the world, back in "civilization". Something that has been building up for years has finally reached a breaking point and, one tense moment after another, Alam leads us to the disturbing realization that this, his apocalyptic vision, feels all too real. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine

Liberation Day: Stories by George Saunders - Book Review

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Liberation Day: Stories By George Saunders Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525509615
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - October 10th, 2023

I keep expecting George Saunders’ stories and his brilliance to run out of steam. So many of the stories have to do with futuristic corporate-ruled parallel realities, after all, that there is always the danger that the freshness of his ideas could wane. After absorbing his ten most recent creations in Liberation Day, however, it is abundantly evident to me that Saunders' abilities- both to weave tales brimming with multi-tiered storytelling and to create bold and striking new worlds comprised of languages seemingly all their own- continue to dazzle and shine brightly. Amazing! ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine

Being Henry: The Fonz . . . and Beyond by Henry Winkler - Book Review

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Being Henry: The Fonz . . . and Beyond By Henry Winkler Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250888099
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Celadon Books - October 31st, 2023

Henry Winkler has many remarkable tales to tell, the most foundational being his rise from undiagnosed-dyslexic grade school "failure" (to his parents, teachers and others) to landing/creating the iconic role of "The Fonz," the role that would both elevate him to international fame and cast a shadow over decades of his career. This is an entertaining memoir from a gifted actor and a self-effacing and, ultimately, open-hearted man. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine

George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle by Philip Norman - Book Review

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George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle By Philip Norman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982195861
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Scribner - October 24th, 2023

I may have occasional quibbles with Philip Norman's style or presumptions in the course of his most thorough review of George Harrison's life, but none more than the title: The Reluctant Beatle? That is not, in my view, descriptive of Harrison's life as a Beatle. The Dark Horse Beatle was what he was but no one asked me, so...

A Dark Horse is an underdog or lesser-known person (or horse) who emerges as a surprise winner. Harrison was nothing if not just such a "sleeper" member of the Fab Four, eventually writing some of the greatest Beatles songs ever recorded and, in true dark horse fashion, eclipsing the early '70s solo careers of John, Ringo and even Paul with his mega-hit album All Things Must Pass.

Norman digs deep to discover countless facts of which even a semi-serious Beatles fan may not have been aware and sheds new light on the group's dynamics and the complicated psyche of the plain-spoken yet most introverted Beatle. Spoiler alert: there are some seriously unflattering facts revealed here about George's "love life" and his own blame in the infamous courting of his wife Patty (Layla) by Eric Clapton.

Bottom line: this is a must-read for you or the Beatlemaniac in your life! ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


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