Interrogating Memory updates!

Calling an audible. Here is the audio “teaser trailer” for my book Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own:

Over the next few weeks, I will publish 11 “episodes” of me reading Interrogating Memory on Spotify. There will be a nominal fee for each episode – or the entire shebang – which I will announce shortly.

Award-nominated. Interrogating Memory is under serious consideration for the 2023 Athenaeum of Philadelphia Literary Award! The short list will be announced early in 2023. In the meantime, it is on their current Bookshelf.

Local events. On September 15, I participated in Hummingbird Books’ first Local Author Fair. The event was a success, in large part because of the deep literary talent pool in the Boston area.


The purposes of this website are…

One, to tell stories with data, as in this map showing the current “electoral geography” of the United States.

And here are updated projections of the 2022 elections:

(As of 11:00 pm EST, October 6, 2022)

US House: Using this model, I estimate there is a…

28.8% chance Democrats retain majority (n=508 polls since January 2021)

37.6% chance Democrats retain majority (n=53 polls since Labor Day 2022)

US Senate:


Two, to describe, promote and sell my books, be it through BookShop, Amazon (and similar online retailers) or this very website.

My story-telling style—call it “annotated meandering”—inspired this site’s name.

I do always get to the point, though…eventually.

Just bear with me.


Click here to learn about Matt – or is it Dr. Noir?


Broadly speaking, I write essays – tell stories – about topics in three areas:

  1. My own life (see below)
  2. American politics – including calls for bipartisanship and mutual respect
  3. Popular culture – primarily film/television and music

Within film/television, I have written a great deal about film noir, but also about Charlie Chan films, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and what makes a pleasure (in this case, film) “guilty.”

I write about other topics as well, including our lives during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, baseball, epidemiology and public health, true crime and anything else about which I can tell a good story.


Far more often than I had expected, I tell stories from my own life, using what I call “contextualized introspection.” Along those lines, I am determining the best way to publish my first book Interrogating Memory: Film Noir Spurs a Deep Dive Into My Family History…and My Own.

While I ponder, you may purchase a copy as a PDF here.

Interrogating Memory began as an attempt to turn an essay about why I love film noir into a full-length book. At the same time, I was undergoing genetic testing, exploring my own personal “origin story” and using tools like Ancestry and Newspapers to help me contextualize my “journey” within a larger American immigrant story. I coined the term “interrogating memory” to describe this process – and one of the first things I learned was that the death of my paternal great-grandfather David Louis Berger made the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer more than 100 years ago.

I recently received my first – wholly unsolicited – review, and I could not be more grateful and humbled. David Mayhew wrote: “Greatly have I enjoyed your new book, which kept me glued! It all flows well. Film noir is a real fetching theme! What an expert and connoisseur you are!”

I have now begun to write my second book, tentatively titled Meet Me at the Counter: A Life in Diners. Indeed, the photograph at the top of the page shows the sorely-missed ValeRio diner, which once sat on Route 23 in Phoenixville, PA, at the intersection with Route 113 North. It features prominently in a number of posts – such as those having to do with constructive dialogue and healthy skepticism.

At least…that was what I began to write until I inadvertently stumbled upon the January 1909 statutory rape trial of Adelaide “Addie” Burns – who just happened to be the first wife of my wife Nell’s paternal grandfather. I now plan to write a book about this trial, grounding it in both the aftermath of the Civil War (tens of thousands of dead fathers, husbands, sons and brothers) and the distinctive social mores – including nativism, misogyny, and Congregationalist (read: Calvinist) attitudes toward poverty and crime – of Connecticut at the time.


The Noir of Who: Classic Film Noir’s Imprint on the Resurrected Doctor Who

Disease Testing Worksheet


Just continue to bear with me, while inviting others to do the same. I am grateful to everyone who clicks “Like” and comments in a respectful way: it truly is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter @drnoir33.

Please also check out my Interrogating Memory book. I think you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Then keep an eye out for new essays and my upcoming The Burns Woman and Life in Diners books.

And if you enjoy what you read here, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation.

Thank you.


I want to hear from you!

Please click here to offer your thoughts, ask me questions – or just say Hello!

2 thoughts on “JUST BEAR WITH ME…

Leave a Reply to Matt Berger Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s