Category Archives: History

FREE Books from Me for Your Summer Reading Enjoyment

I know, I know. Where does the time go? It’s summer already—

As part of this year being my “Year of Change,” I’m finally getting down to brass tacks, organizing and publishing my works, short stories, research papers, poetry, and the like.

Starting today until May 31, 2017, my books that follow are free for the taking. I hope you pick them up (free is a wonderful thing here), read them, and let me know by writing a review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Click on the links I provided below to get to them fast—

Empty Chairs LINK  “Empty Chairs” is my collection of five poems and original photographs, reflecting upon separation, vacuity, and desertion. This book ends with hope and the belief that all is not lost when we feel forsaken.

Puppy Love: A Praise of Dogs in Poetry LINK Dogs — No other animal as a pet compares to them: They are social, loving, playful, loyal, obedient, and have unique personalities. And sometimes they are like Peck’s bad boy. “Puppy Love” is my delightful little book of poetry and illustrations celebrating the joy of man’s best friend — and dog’s best buddy.

A Gift Upon Our Souls: Love through Poetry LINK This little book of five poems presents love as a gift to two people who waited almost a lifetime to find each other.

Path to Zen LINK  These  five poems revolves my early foray into discovering Zen. There is much to savor, enjoy, and be gained by the tuning out of the day-to-day rat race and the tuning in of serenity and self-realization. This book contains five poems with several of her original illustrations.

Jack, So Lost: The Lost Soul Poems LINK We all know people who are lost, those who wander without positive purpose within their own world, negative and lost to everyone, who fall short in benevolence and place themselves on a pedestal only they can fathom. This collection of five poems speak to The Lost – the soulless people who waste their lives consumed with anger and hate.

October LINK My homage to October.

Gallery Night: Poems in the Dark LINK In the dusk, between the known light of the day and the shadowy strangeness of the evening, sits a quirky time where our minds embrace unbridled imaginations. Here, within “Gallery Night,” we stroll the neighborhood in the twilight and peer into basement windows, listen to buskers, and observe what our minds perceive – whether it be existent or fantasy. There are five thought-provoking poems with an illustration in this book.

Grapes Suzette: And Other Poetic Epicurean Delights LINK One day, while writing notes upon notes about my observations of the world, I realized that she had a short menu of poems in her repertoire that spoke about eating and drinking, covered here in various forms of poetry.  As you read each poem and delight in these courses, you will read about each poem’s style and the background which inspired me to put pen to paper. Bon apétit!

Supreme Theater: Political Poetry LINK Here are five short poems with a political theme, some with a serious nature, but most with a humorous bent, whereby I illustrate the absurd truth about our nation’s capitol.

God of the Sea: Poetry by the Gulf of Mexico LINK  These five poems were inspired by one trip in November 2012 to the Emerald Coast that touches the Gulf of Mexico. Two of these poems are superimposed upon photographs I took that day. Spend some time drifting away in a nautical dream with these poems.

Life in the Oasis: Poetry LINK  Each of the five poems represents the varying facets of joy and elation in the author’s relationship with her husband from the early days to today. Though a long-time writer, it was only until she met her husband that her deepest and most creative talents fully took root and blossomed.  This is first in my series, Fantasy Color Poems.

The Green Gloves (a short story) LINK We never know where Life will take us. We can dream, plan, and some quirk in the road will take us to another road. The Book is written about our lives before we are even born. We can fight it, try to turn it around, ignore it, but our life ends up the way it was written.

The Crowd of Turin LINK  In this short story, a man handles his hurt in ways that make him not care, until one day he has an epiphany.

Frederick Douglass and the Women’s Movement LINK This short book (31 pages) is a study of Frederick Douglass’ involvement and influence in the antebellum women’s rights movement and how he buttressed it with his work for freedom – for both blacks and women. I intend this book to give the reader an impetus for further research and greater knowledge.

Thank You and Happy Summer!


72nd V-E Day

Pacific Paratrooper

WWII US Army veteran Howard Harvey @ Washington DC ceremonies WWII US Army veteran Howard Harvey @ Washington DC ceremonies

On May 8, 1945, millions of people around the globe took to the streets to celebrate the World War II surrender of Germany on what came to be known as Victory in Europe Day, or V-E Day. At 2:41 a.m. local time the previous day, representatives from the victorious Allied nations met with German officials in Reims, France, to sign the official surrender documents but, in accordance with an earlier agreement between leaders in the United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom, the news of the end of hostilities on the continent was withheld for 24 hours and announced simultaneously on the 8th. In London, spotlights in the form of a “V” for victory were turned on over St. Paul’s Cathedral—although it took some time to get them working again after nearly six years of wartime blackouts. In the United…

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BOOK REVIEW: Life at The Dakota

If there ever was a book that has it all, a book that holds your attention, a book that makes you want to know more, this is it.

“Life at the Dakota” is a socioeconomic history of the famous New York City residential building. Yes, that one – the one where scenes from Rosemary’s Baby were filmed, the one where Jason Robards once slept overnight at the wheel of his car, the one where a resident displayed a her favorite stuffed horse, the one where John Lennon was murdered.

The Dakota was constructed between 1880 and 1884 and opened October 27, 1884. It was built by the architectural firm of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh with the design by Edward Clark, the head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

The Dakota was, indeed, a building well ahead of its time, with central heating, its own in-house power plant, the first elevators installed in a residential building, a gymnasium, and much more. Before it was opened for residency, all of the apartments were leased, and no vacancies existed from then until 1929.

The book begins with an in-depth history of New York and the Central Park West area, including the dichotomy of the lifestyles and economic factors between the East and West Sides. Here we learn about the Who’s Who and Who Wants to Be and Who Doesn’t Care Who’s Who.

The original apartments, dining room, gymnasium, tennis court, servants’ rooms, laundry rooms, wine cellar, et cetera were lavish or simply practical, according to function. No cost was spared. We find that over the years, even at the onset, residents took to moving and rebuilding walls and reconfiguring the space. One resident even had a sunken pool installed, only to be covered over at another time, and then rediscovered during a future remodeling project decades later.

There are numerous stories about many of the residents and the employees, their quirkiness, their practicalities, and their contributions and influence on The Dakota. There are people whose names were, or are, well-known, and those who are now shadows in history or pop culture, but intriguing nonetheless.

The building became a co-op in the early 1960s, and we learn how that occurred with all its brouhaha, and how that continues to impact its operation today – or at least until 1979 when this book was published.

This is a very tightly-written book and is, therefore, extremely interesting and difficult to put down. Each chapter is filled with so much material on the people, politics, cloak-and-dagger tomfooleries, and economic data that I want to learn more, yet it’s a shame that the book ends its account in 1979. It practically screams for an addendum to share what happened since then.

I recommend “Life at the Dakota” for anyone who likes history, architecture, mystery, intrigue, and/or entertaining ideas. Yes, it even has a trio of old cocktail recipes.

There is a book that has it all, a book that holds your attention, a book that makes you want to know more – this is it!

Life at The Dakota
By Stephen Birmingham
Published: 1979; 2015
Publisher: Open Road Media
Pages: 243

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


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