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The ten safest cities in America


According to Chris Kolmar of, these are the ten safest cities in America:

  1. Naperville, Illinois
  2. Cary, North Carolina
  3. Irvine, California
  4. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  5. Murrieta, California
  6. Thousand Oaks, California
  7. Gilbert, Arizona
  8. Frisco, Texas
  9. Allen, Texas
  10. Santa Clarita, California is a great source of information on places to live in America.


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The top twenty books of all time


According to, these are the top twenty books of all time, the books everyone should read.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. 1984 by George Orwell
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  8. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontte
  10. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  11. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  12. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul
  13. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  14. Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
  15. Money by Martin Amis
  16. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  17. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  18. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  19. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  20. Ulysses by James Joyce

How many of these classic books have you read?

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What are the ten best rock albums of all time?

According to The Top Tens, the ten best classic rock albums of all time are:

  1.  Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
  2.  Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
  3.  Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
  4.  The Wall by Pink Floyd
  5.  Back in Black – AC/DC
  6.  Moving Pictures – Rush
  7.  Paranoid – Black Sabbath
  8.  Led Zeppelin II – Led Zeppelin
  9.  Who’s Next – The Who
  10.  Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Naturally, everyone who reads this list will disagree with some choices.  Bruce Springsteen is not on this list.  Nor is Tom Petty.  Personally, I think Dark Side of the Moon is one of the finest, if not THE finest, album ever recorded, but I’m not sure if falls into the category of classic rock.  Rock and roll grew out of performers like Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry and Bill Haley and the Comets.  That was classic rock and roll.  But if you throw heavy metal and pop music and poetic meditations (like Pink Floyd) into the mix, then this list would be pretty representative of the great “rock” albums of all time.

What do you think?




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Who’s reading in America and who isn’t?

Eighty-one million Americans did not read a book last year.  Not a single book.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that nearly 244 million Americans did read at least one book last year.

According to the Pew Research Center, younger adults (18-49) are more likely to have read a book than older people (80 percent vs. 72 percent) and people earning more than $75,000 annually are more likely to have read a book than those earning $30,000 or less (87 percent vs. 64 percent).

College-educated people are more than five times more likely to have read a book than people with a high school education or less (93 percent vs. 63 percent).  Women read books more than men, but only slightly (78 percent vs. 75 percent), and white are marginally more likely to read books than African-Americans (80 percent vs. 76 percent).  Among ethnic groups, Hispanics are less likely to have read a book last year (62 percent), and the fact that some Hispanics don’t speak English, the language of most books published in America, may account for that gap.

Among the 81 million Americans who haven’t read a book last year are 32 million people who can’t read.  It’s shocking that ten percent of the population is illiterate.  Literacy rates are tied to poverty, drug use, and a higher crime rate, so the late Barbara Bush’s focus on literacy when she was First Lady was an important contribution to our country.

Higher book readership and higher literacy rates are a function of education.  According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States is the sixth most-educated country in the world.  The top five, in order, are Canada, Japan, Israel, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

For more on book reading in our country, see “Who Doesn’t Read Books in America?” by Andrew Perrin at