Monday, March 16, 2009

More quick reviews

I promised some new reviews a while back. I've finally decided it's time for a round up of the last several books I've read. So here are some quick reviews:

Red River by Lalita Tademy probably deserves a review of its own, but I've just been too busy. Like Cane River before it, this is a fictionalized telling of some of Tademy's family history. Red River adds some historical punch by also incorporating the so-called Colfax Riot of 1873. This is very good historical fiction, and the story of Tademy's forbears is inspiring.

A Red State of Mind by Nancy French was a very amusing book that tells about her experience as a conservative former Catfish Queen from Tennessee living among liberals on the east coast. She manages to make us laugh at the condescension and ridicule that she put up with, and her self-deprecating sense of humor makes her every day life look hilarious.

The Survivor's Club was an interesting--if slightly repetitive--look at survival. Ben Sherwood weaves together anecdotes about people who survived plane crashes, ship wrecks, animal attacks, etc. with the science of survival and hints about hot to increase your own survive-ability.

Class Matters is a compilation of the work of a number of New York Times writers. It is composed of a number of stories, about different individuals, originally published in the Times. The stories were interesting, but I found many of the premises and conclusions questionable, including the underlying premise that most Americans think that this is a classless society. I would wager that most Americans recognize that there are social classes in America, as in all countries. It also seemed to me that too many times these writers confused class with income. Paul Fussell's Class is a better look at the subject.

In a day or two I may tackle the fiction.

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