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Showing posts from October, 2020

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain My rating: 4 of 5 stars The obvious issues that a 21st century reader will have with Twain: racism, sexist stereotypes, etc. But, man, that dude was funny. With an uncanny knack for capturing human nature, especially the nature of boyhood. It moves a little slow at points, but if you like to laugh this is worth your while. View all my reviews

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

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Narrative 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. View all my reviews

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

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A 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. View all my reviews

Review: On All Sides Nowhere by William Gruber

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On 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. View all my reviews