Friday, March 17, 2017

The King of Torts

by John Grisham

Meh. I was disappointed with this one. I wasn't expecting great literature, but past experience had led me to believe I'd at least get an interesting story with some likable characters. It's the tale of Clay Carter, a public defender who gets an unusual opportunity to file a class action claim against a big company. (I guess that falls under the category of tort law. Hence the title.) Clay is a likable fellow, but makes some bad choices. Very obvious bad choices. But, hey, you have to have some conflict, right? I figured we'd end up with a little redemption, a little turn around. Well, it was little all right. I really should have just reread The Last Juror or The Testament.

waiting room material
LibraryThing link

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Gospel of John

translated by Eugene H. Peterson

I think myself much too cool for fads, so even though I heard that a number of people were reading and quoting Eugene Peterson's translation of the Bible, The Message, it's taken me over ten years to finally read a portion myself. I read The Gospel of John over a couple of lunches. The story, of course, is fabulous. I love reading about Jesus and John's Gospel contains a number of the best anecdotes from His life. About the translation, however, I have mixed feelings. I've always found it nice to hear scripture in a different "voice" than what I'm used to. Rev. Peterson certainly delivers there. Where he left me cold was in his translation of the more poetic sections, like the first chapter. His words didn't stir my heart like the older, more literal translations do. Whether that shows the superiority of those translations, or just reveals me as an old fogey, I don't know. Either way, I would recommend folks to check it out if they get a chance.

LibraryThing link

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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Seeking Refuge

by Stephan Bauman, Matthew Soerens, and Dr. Issam Smeir

Another tome of propaganda, introducing Christians to the recent refugee crisis and encouraging them to open their hearts, mouths, and wallets to help refugees. It's preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned. A lot of the info I had heard before, but it's nice to have it collected in one resource.

Check it out!
LibraryThing link


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Monday, February 27, 2017

Callahan's Secret

by Spider Robinson

This is the third collection of tales from Callahan's Place--a bar which tends to attract the most unusual of patrons. It's an enjoyable bit of waiting room material. I think I enjoyed the classic 1970s liberal flavor as much as the plots--it made me feel nostalgic.

LibraryThing link

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Holiday Wars

by Pete Abrams

In Book 11 of Sluggy Freelance, Riff moves to Alaska, Torg returns to the Hoggelrynth School of Magic, Zoƫ dates a human cannonball, Gwynn makes a tofurkey for Thanksgiving and Bun-Bun wages the War on Christmas. Meanwhile, in the Dimension of Pain, an angel has infiltrated and is attempting to transform it into a place of good. Can Lord Horribus prevail in the battle between good and evil?

One more collection on my shelf. Nifty!
LibraryThing link

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Yiddish Folk Tales

edited by Beatrice Silverman Weinrieich

This one's an entertaining collection of folk tales from the Jewish folks of Eastern Europe. They're pretty short and straightforward, mostly collected in the early decades of the 20th Century. I can only imagine that they were much more entertaining when told by a storyteller. Still, it's a nice collection to keep handy for a brief entertaining read.

Go ahead and check it out.
LibraryThing link

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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Understanding Jim Crow

by David Pilgrim

I wasn't willing to take this book to work to read over lunch, but I would recommend it to just about anyone. Dr. David Pilgrim was a collector of memorabilia--racist memorabilia. He spent about three decades collecting cultural artifacts of the Jim Crow era, and then in 1996, he donated the collection to Ferris State University to create the Jim Crow Museum. This book explains what the museum is and what it tries to teach. It's profusely illustrated with photographs of museum artifacts, including the racist caricature on the front cover that prompted me to leave the book at home. It's a disgusting read, in one sense. The crap that was part of our grandparents' and multi-great grandparents' lives is shameful. But it's important to face it. It's important to understand our history in America, to realize, as Dr. Pilgrim puts it, that "Jim Crow was more than a series of 'Whites Only' signs. It was a way of life that approximated a racial caste system." It's especially important as the tropes and stereotypes of Jim Crow linger on in our culture today.'

 Check it out!
LibraryThing link

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