Five-Carat Soul by Richard McBride, a Review of this Creative Gem

Beach dec 2017


Mr McBride can compose beautiful music, pen memoirs and write fiction that completely engrosses the reader. The latter is what he did here.

He loves history and character as I do and I thought the book’s shining moment was an imagined vignette about a man of great wisdom and heart, Abraham Lincoln. That alone was worth the cost of admission. Read this jewel, and if you haven’t, read another masterful work by the author, ” The Color of Water.”

Mr. McBride has a deep well of talent that continues to flow.

H Robert Rubin, Memoirist and author of “Look Backward Angel,” an e-book available at Amazon



“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, a Review

Not long ago I had the rare pleasure of reading this engaging biography of two dedicated brothers. They were so driven both their lives were spent single and childless. They had enormous intellectual curiosity and keen judgement. Clearly they were men of great courage.

Prior to their success there had been many failed and dangerous attempts to fly with an engine in a “well-controlled” vehicle by other inventors. David McCullough seems to attribute much of their success to their balanced judgement. McCullough certainly never diminished their daring attitudes but noted its titering with an eye to safety, i.e. test flights over soft sand dunes.

The author’s prose is rich and absorbing. He was fascinated with the lives of the Wright brothers. His enthusiasm is contagious as one reads his prose. I have read a lot of his historical biographies some of which have won the Pulitzer. I consider this book his “finest hour.” For me, it was an absolutely fascinating read.

H. Robert Rubin, memoirist and author of “Look Backward Angel”, an e-book available at Amazon.


“The Color of Water” by Richard McBride, a Review

When he was small the author of this brilliant memoir, whose father was African American, asked his Caucasian mother an important question. His mom was born an Orthodox Jew, but became a Christian. He asked, “What color is God?” She responded, “The color of water.”

And so one follows two remarkable journeys, that of the author and of his mother alternating through this beautiful work. She had been abused as a child, left home as soon as possible and was widowed consecutively by the deaths of her two African American husbands. She was left to raise twelve children, alone.

Mr. McBride has been an award winning composer and heralded author. All of his siblings have been remarkably successful.

This book in part is about the elements of humanity we all share. It’s specifically about a mother’s momentous effort to make her numerous children whole. To those who love the genre of memoir as I do, this is a read that should NOT be missed.

H. Robert Rubin, memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book available at Amazon


Thanksgiving 2017

It was 1977. In January and February I was alone in Baltimore. In March of 1977 I met Kristine at an open house at her art school.

Six months later we were engaged and 9 months later we were married. The number 7 reared its beautiful head 36 years later when Lucas, our second grandson was born. We were now a family of 7.

I am so thankful and look forward to Thanksgiving on this our 40th year together.

A happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

H. Robert Rubin, MD, memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel


36 Hours in San Jose

So recently Kris and I spent 36 hours on the road in Campbell, CA, a town in San Jose where our son lives. It is adjacent to Los Gatos where he works.

We ate one night’s dinner at Yiassoo an order at the counter, excellent Greek restaurant in Campbell. The Mediterranean bread was inspired as were the sauces offered to blend with the grilled meat and poultry. It was down home, inexpensive and first-rate.

The next morning Kris needed time to paint as our purpose was to provide our son a painting based on his visual concept of an ocean view and Torrey pine. He and I went to his favorite diner, a marvelous little place called Los Gatos Cafe.

The color, crust and herb flavoring of the hash brown potatoes was unbelievable. Both he and I combined our potatoes with a dish that mixed a beautiful egg souffle with the contents of a fajita, a wonderful egg dish. The icing on the cake was a cake sized, homemade cinnamon bun that can’t be accurately described and must be eaten. Don’t miss the place in your travels understanding the 25 people that will wait ahead of you in line are paying a very small price figuratively and literally.

H. Robert Rubin, MD, memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel an e-book available at Amazon. A second book of memoirs is set for publication in the next few months.

An Interesting Overnight

Recently my spouse and I attended a family occasion and spent two days at a lovely hotel built in the “roaring 20s.” The package deal with cousins, all my siblings, etc. made this quite a value.

I was born about twenty years after the opening of the hotel in all its grandeur. It was exquisitely designed. Our room was on the 11th floor with a beautiful, panoramic view. It wreaked of good taste. We couldn’t have been more pleased.

Night fell on this fine-looking hamlet. We went to sleep for the night just after partaking of morsels of milk chocolate care of the hotel. That evening I awoke for one of my nightly trips to the bathroom.

It was a large room that was in essence pitch black. I walked about fifteen feet on a thick, comfy carpet. I realized, unexpectedly, I had to take a step up. Trembling slightly on that step I gathered, just quickly enough, there was one more step to climb. I actually stayed up all the way to the bathroom and never had to prove that Medicare was available in any state or possession of the U.S.

Perhaps the senior population was much smaller at the birthing of this edifice and perhaps it had a youthful architect with a lower urinary tract that functioned like a fire hose.

H. Rubin, memoirist, essayist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book available on Amazon.


Green Pastures and Still Waters

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the the still waters. He restoreth my soul.” This was the Peace or Shalom of David, the poet king in Psalm 23.

In the memoir of a Yale anatomist, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight, she realized she was undergoing a specifically located left-sided stroke when it occurred. She described what she missed after successful rehabilitation of her left side of the brain, having recovered LINEAR, functions. Paraphrasing her, she said she missed the enormous Peace generated by the NONLINEAR right brain, prior to the rehabilitation..

Isn’t the Shalom described by this gifted man and woman what humanity seeks. Not power, not wealth, not fame, but Shalom in most instances, deep in our inner selves, is what we seek. Is it not?

Paul described that Peace in Ephesians 3:16, “That he would grant you to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner self.” To me that inner self is the subconscious portion of the soul or psyche.

I believe that when one probes that inner self with the help of God and the right behavioral therapist, the baggage of the past gets lighter, the mirror of your soul, the eyes, shine more brightly and the soul fills more and more with Peace.

H.Rubin, memoirist and author of Look Backward Angel, an e-book available on Amazon.