PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... a soulful journey that blends together biography, autobiography, philosophy, Kentucky history, the story of bourbon’s origins and an insider’s look at how the Van Winkle whiskey is made and marketed ... Thompson comes off as the Boswell of bourbon country here — a keen literary observer and respectful fanboy with an obvious affection for his subject ... moves smoothly through the family lore with the subtle nuances of a well-aged bourbon; it has top notes of stoicism and melancholy and a lingering finish of pride, even when recounting the hard times. Everyone drinks a lot of really excellent whiskey and Thompson admits: \'To be honest, it gets repetitive after a while, I know. I know.\' But he soldiers on in order to thoroughly report what goes into each coveted bottle bearing the Van Winkle name ... Although flecked with humor and lighthearted moments, Pappyland takes a critical approach to the corn-squeezing culture, busting up myth as needed to reveal lesser-known tidbits ... Although it sometimes feels as if Thompson goes around the block (with a stop for pie and coffee) with some anecdotes, his ability to zoom in and out from the global to the personal level puts things in perspective.
Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, Michael Witwer, and Sam Witwer
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review\"With more than 700 images of guidebook illustrations, game packaging, advertising and ephemera crammed between its covers, it feels as if you’re exploring a document dump of the company archives in convenient coffee-table-book form ... While the book is dominated by images of clanking chainmail-clad warriors, columns of text detailing the game’s historical development also snake through its pages. The tone is largely upbeat and earnest, but the authors don’t sidestep the ups and downs of the franchise ... Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana will mostly appeal to those who have similarly fond memories or who want a nostalgic blast from the past — even if the past was last night. But player or not, it’s hard to deny the degree to which D&D has infiltrated the culture...\
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewDon’t panic, non-nerds. In addition to writing code in multiple computer languages, Ullman has an Ivy League degree in English and knows how to decode her tech-world adventures into accessible narratives for word people ... The first three-fifths of Life in Code is primarily composed of essays published elsewhere between 1994 and 2004, while newer material from 2012 to early 2017 fills out the rest. The technology mentioned within those early chapters often recalls quaint discovery, like finding a chunky, clunky Nokia cellphone in the back of the junk drawer. The piece on preparing computers for the Year 2000 has a musty time-capsule feel, but the philosophical questions posed in other chapters — like those on robotics and artificial intelligence — still resonate.