October 21, 2020

Review: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass


Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Douglass was a compelling writer with a powerful story. The temptation for our day is to look backwards and to say, how could do many people have acted in such an evil way. But to quote a recent George Will column, it wasn't hard. Human nature is bent toward such evil, and the evil if today simply takes a different form. But we should be genuinely thankful that the forms of Douglass' day are seen for the genuine hellishness that was present.

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October 14, 2020

Review: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's Twain, so there is plenty of humor, some of it side splitting. The satiric treatment of slavery deftly brings forth the folly not only of the institution, but of the underlying racism.

It is also a somewhat tedious book. The lists (which Twain can use to great humor, as in Roughing It) got a little out of hand at times.

A good audiobook option to laugh away a commute or job where listening to books is an option.

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October 07, 2020

Review: On All Sides Nowhere by William Gruber


On All Sides Nowhere: Building a Life in Rural IdahoOn All Sides Nowhere: Building a Life in Rural Idaho by William Gruber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is part memoir, part American History, part anthropology, and part philosophy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

As someone who grew up driving and hiking around Alder Creek and living at the foot of the Benewah in the early 2000s, I found this a fascinating glimpse into life in 1970s Idaho.

Gruber, as an outsider, has the perspective to notice the peculiarities of life up Alder. But he doesn’t write them up sarcastically or condescendingly. He writes from a perspective of love for the place and its people.

Well worth the time.


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About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (remsenbible.com).