It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: When I’m Tired, I Read 7/11/17

Needs more comfy chairs.

So you thought you were going to get Part Three of my exploration of the party platforms today, didn’t you? Well, I’m tired and busy, and that combination means that my research and posting is going to be put off another week. The platforms aren’t going anywhere, so I will be returning to them…one of these days.
For today, I wanted to do something a bit lighter, and since when I’m tired, I read, I thought I would include some of the books that I’ve read/am reading/want to read that I recommend. Please use this as an opportunity to share your reading list too; I’m always looking for new and interesting books to read, and I’m sure I’m not alone. (And if you’re an author yourself, please feel free to share links to your books!)

Short, easy, but thought-provoking
The Third Reconstruction (The Rev. Dr William J. Barber II with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove): I’ve mentioned this book more than once, and I will always, always recommend anything by Dr. Barber. Part autobiography and part how-to guide, Dr. Barber shows us how to build coalitions and #resist.

Shouldn’t be shocking, but it is
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (James W. Loewen) I first became aware of this book because of Sis Dee and purchased it immediately after she wrote about it. As a history major, I thought it would have a few new insights mixed in with what I already knew. I was stunned to discover just how much I hadn’t learned, and that was despite having excellent, non-traditional history teachers in high school and college. This has become the book I buy most often as a gift for friends who are just starting to “get woke.”

If you want a quick read, this isn’t it.
Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (Eric Foner) This is another book I’ve mentioned endlessly, in part because at 900+ pages, I’m still reading it. It’s a deep dive into an often-misunderstood period of U.S. history, but if you want to learn more about some of the roots of what we’re seeing in today’s politics, this is a place to start.

This is likely to become my next “book-to-give.”
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America (Michael Eric Dyson) If you’ve been paying attention to BLM or Black Twitter or even Black Kos, a lot of what Dyson writes will not be a newsflash to you. However, he manages to present a lot of information in one slim volume, and his voice is honest, blunt, and seering while also imbued with love. It’s a remarkable book.

Recent headlines make this 2008 book notable again.
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Annette Gordon-Reed) Another book recommended by Sis Dee (seriously, she’s like a Book Whisperer that everyone should listen to!), I’ve had this one on my wishlist since it came out. Unfortunately, I’ve never moved it into my shopping cart, but it won a Pulitzer, so I doubt my personal recommendation matters much after that.

Did I mention I was a history major back in the day?
The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry (Ned Sublette and Constance Sublette) This is another one that is on my wishlist but not yet read. From the reviews I’ve read, one of their key points is that slavery was an industry, and slave-breeding was effectively the industry of capitalized wombs. This is a perspective that is not often discussed, much less considered, in white America…but should be.

I actually do read fiction now and then.
The Sparrow (Mary Doria Russell) This is one of my daughter’s all-time favorite books, and I’m embarrassed to admit that despite having it on my bookshelf for over 5 years, I haven’t finished it. The fault lies with me, not the book; when I read fiction, I generally want fluff, and there’s nothing fluffy about this book. Having said that, I recommend it based on The Kiddo’s excellent taste in reading material…and have moved it to the top of the pile.

Recently released and intriguing
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (David Grann) True crime, Native American history, and a conspiracy all rolled into one book pushed this one onto my wishlist; being the Amazon Best Book of April 2017 helped with the push. Like so much of our whitewashed history, this is a story with lasting implications that I’ve never heard about.

Young adult reading (or for the young at heart)
Murder Most Unladylike (US title: Murder is Bad Manners) (Robin Stevens) I love nothing more than a cozy mystery, and Ms. Steven’s has written a series of cozies for the younger reader. Set in an English boarding school in the 1930s, this is about two students who solve mysteries together. The mysteries are strong; the fact that one of the protagonists is a young woman from Hong Kong who makes unsparing observations about life as a “foreigner” in England adds unexpected depth to the stories. These are great gifts if you have a young reader in your life (but read them first yourself; you’ll enjoy them).

What are you reading these days?

  15 comments for “It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: When I’m Tired, I Read 7/11/17

  1. WYgalinCali
    July 11, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Good morning, DoReMi and any Moose that happen to drop by. I was a voracious reader as a youngster and still read. Unfortunately, lately, my reading is limited to newspapers and magazines. Perhaps when the Orange Shitgibbon and his entourage have left the WH, I will start back up. Until then, I will file these book suggestions under future pleasures.

    It’s going to be 92 today (glad the triple digits are gone for a few days) and I get to walk puppies. I love the picture at the end of your piece. Do they still make hush puppies shoes and use a basset in the commercial? Or am I really showing my age with that observation?

    • DoReMI
      July 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      I was reading only very sporadically for several years, but I’ve picked it up since November. As I mentioned at DK, it’s been better for me than letting my free-floating anxiety rule my dreams.

      I don’t think Hush Puppies use the basset anymore, but they’re still around. Last I knew, they were a division of Wolverine, which is a MI company. And you weren’t displaying your age; you were showing a firm grasp of wide-ranging trivia!

  2. bfitzinAR
    July 11, 2017 at 10:07 am

    {{{DoReMI}}} – and thanks for the double duty. Life itself has been too heavy for months for me to read anything heavier than Denise’s Sunday post at DK – and some of the diaries you post. Practically any piece of American History about lives and treatment of AAs or NAs gives me headaches or nightmares or both if I get into the details. I have the white privilege to be able to say, “I’ll try my best to make things better but I can’t look directly at that gaping wound” – if I were AA or NA i wouldn’t have that choice.

    Lately I haven’t been reading much of anything – if I’m not online in one of the Villages or working on one or more diaries, i’m usually playing solitaire (with real cards even) or doing cryto-puzzles. I do read for about half an hour before turning off the lights once I’m in bed, but for several months it’s been re-reading “old favorites” – which at the moment are Georgette Heyer’s murder mysteries, most of which are pre-WWII although she did write 2 after the war. I’ll probably move next to either Agatha Christies if I stay with murder mysteries or Mercedes Lackey if I decide to revisit Valdemar. :)

    Gotta get to work. {{{Moose Villagers}}}

    • WYgalinCali
      July 11, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Morning, bfitz. Growing up, I was a big Earle Stanley Gardner fan (I wanted to grow up and be Perry Mason, not Della Street). I’m thinking it might be time to reread them. I have a few John Grisham stories I haven’t read (I ran across one of his I didn’t care for, and it’s been hard for me to try his latest).

      Hope your day at work flies by.

      • DoReMI
        July 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm

        My mom read ESG’s Perry Mason mysteries all the time. When I was really young, she kept them on a high shelf, because she considered the covers too racy for little eyes. Later, when I was consuming Nancy Drew mysteries at an alarming rate, she recognized my mystery mania and allowed me to read them. And we always watched the show together; I think my mom had a bit of a crush on Paul!

        • WYgalinCali
          July 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm

          I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, as well. My crush was on Perry. I watch his show M-F on MeTV while I elliptical. I will watch his movies, that he continued to do until his death, every chance I get.

      • Batch
        July 11, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        Hi gorgeous…I loved all of Grisham’s earlier books but there are a few he’s written that I didn’t care for. He’s seems to have gotten back to his early times with his latest works though I haven’t read any yet. Just going by what I read from the critics.

        • DoReMI
          July 11, 2017 at 1:07 pm

          I quit reading them after the first 2-3; he started getting very formulaic, like he wasn’t even trying anymore. It’s good news if he really has gotten his mojo back…although I’m unlikely to test the theory unless I find one dirt cheap at a thrift store.

        • WYgalinCali
          July 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm

          I have four I bought because they were his latest. Then I tried to read The Appeal and stopped. My daughter liked that one more than his others. Go figure, right? I think it’s because it’s not a murder mystery (which is what I prefer).

      • bfitzinAR
        July 11, 2017 at 2:52 pm

        I read the books and watched the TV shows – and yes, even though my mom was a legal secretary (and an engineering secretary, and a…secretary) for many years, I was more a fan of Perry than Della. But the characters weren’t “real” enough for me to hold my attention once I recognized the formula/pattern. I don’t have a problem with formula books – actually I like them as they are easier for me to read – but the characters have to be real to me or I get bored. :)

    • DoReMI
      July 11, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Oh, mysteries from the Golden Era…my absolute favorite form of “brain candy.” I’ll have to check out Georgette Heyer; I’ve missed her somehow.

      • bfitzinAR
        July 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        She only wrote about a dozen, of which i own 10 – didn’t care for the other 2 – she’s much better known for her historical romances, especially the Regencies. But she’s a very good author and yes fit right in with the Golden Era.

  3. Batch
    July 11, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Sher…Thanks for the great ideas to add to my list…For the most part I read fiction to escape everyday life but I think I’ll try some on your list..

    If you want to try any fiction one of my favorites is Karin Slaughter.

    Hi meese…88 and 62% here in Tampa a sauna in other words.

    • bfitzinAR
      July 11, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      {{{Batch}}} – our current heat index is 103 – 90 and 67% – so same difference. :) moar {{{HUGS}}}

    • DoReMI
      July 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      I’d start with Lies My Teacher Told Me; it’s well-researched but not written for academia, so it’s not quite as dense as some of the others.

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