Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Maltese Falcon

by Dashiell Hammett

Every so often I feel compelled to pick up and read a classic book--some tome that is either considered a great work of literature or has at least left its mark on our culture. I felt that impulse recently when I saw a copy of The Maltese Falcon and decided to pick it up. As I read Mr. Hammett's tale of San Francisco detective Sam Spade, I had a fleeting thought that the characters, setting, and story seemed somewhat stereotypical. But then I realized that it was probably because I had already seen multiple parodies, knock-offs, and homages that Falcon had inspired. (Not the least of which was the 1941 film adaption.) But familiarity aside, the characters, setting, and story were quite entertaining and well worth checking out.

LibraryThing link

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

White Rage

by Carol Anderson, PhD

This book made me angry.* Dr. Anderson puts forth the idea that, since the Civil War, every time the African American community has made an advancement towards equality it's been met with a push back from white Americans, trying to take away those gains. She backs her thesis up with numerous examples of truly disgusting actions by everyone from working class mobs to the highest levels of government.

The book was hard to read. The anecdotes from history generated outrage, and there was no outlet. There were no "happy endings" offered where justice was done, where the good guys were rescued, the bad guys punished, or lessons were learned. Nor did Dr. Anderson offer up a plan of action, any hope that the cycle would end. But then, how many African Americans have had to live with that hopelessness over the centuries? I'm glad my wife pushed me to read the book and I hope I can keep its lessons in mind as I see events unfold around me. Who knows? Maybe I'll get an opportunity to push back against the push back some day.

 Definitely, check it out!
LibraryThing link
* Is that a cheap gag? I'm sure it is. But it's the best hook I could think of.


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Book of Three

by Lloyd Alexander

First read in June of 2005.

Check it out.
LibraryThing link

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