Corner Reading Society nominee 2019

Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison; 2018; $26.00; 387 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 978-0-7352-2044-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 11/4/18-11/10/18

Why did I read this?  I think I read a good review of the book.

This book had me engaged from the first two lines of the story.  This is the story of a young girl whose mother died in childbirth, whose brother runs away from home to become an outlaw and whose father died in a tragic horseback riding accident.  This is her adventure through the old west in which she encounters corruption, gender stereotyping and more.  It deals with gender roles, siblings, and more.  I can’t do the story justice, but this is one of the best books I have read this year.

What is with the title of the review?  I will be nominating this book to be read by the book group I am part of.

Weight Loss and Fireworks

Elevation by Stephen King; 2018; $19.99; 146 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978-1-9821-0231-9; checked out from the Multnomah County Library, Holgate; 11/2/18-11/4/18

Why did I read this?  It is the latest from a great American storyteller, I would like to read most of his works.  Although I still think I will skip Gerald’s Game and Dolores Clairborne.

Scott Carey is looking a little overweight but according to the scale he is losing weight.  No matter what he wears or has in his pockets he weighs the same as he does with nothing on.  He continues to lose weight as he helps some other members of his community become a bigger part of the community.  The real story here is about tolerance, Scott and his weight loss is the framework for that story.  The relationships in the story and well drawn and make for engaging characters.

10/10

What is with the title of the review?  Weight loss is the hook for the story of tolerance in this book, as for the fireworks you’ll have to read it to find out.

 

 

every white person in the United States (at least) should read this

White Fragility, Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo, foreword by Michael Eric Dyson; 2018; $15.99; 168 pages; Beacon Press, Boston, MA; 978-0807474-15; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Midland; 10/19/18-10/24/18

Why did I read this?  Because race relations are at an all time low in this country and we need to talk about them.  I sometimes have a hard talking about race from my place of white male privilege and want to continue learning and making things better.

White people many times think of themselves as individuals instead of as members of a large group of people (with an oversize power) and therefore considers themselves innocent of racism.  Also we have set up a system where as people who are committing acts of racism are bad people and those who do not commit bad acts are good.  Many of those who don’t commit blatant acts or verbalize their racism are often just as guilty.  We as whites have gone along with a system that continually is prejudiced against people of color.  I am not saying this well but I think that needs to read this and see how they have been complicit in the racism that exist in this country.

10/10

What is with the title of the review?  I think this is one of the most important books that I have ever read and I believe that all white people should read it.

Leave out chapter 128

The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson; 2018; $30.00; 513 pages; Little, Brown and Company & Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY; 978-0-316-41269-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 7/11/18-7/13/18

Why did I read this?  Because it seemed like an interesting pairing of authors.

The President hear seems to be a composite of John McCain, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  The President gets advance word of a cyber attack against the United States that completely cripple the country.  To deal with it the President must go underground to work out who is behind the attack and how to combat it.  At the same time he has to figure who in his cabinet and inner circle has been engaging in treasonous behavior.  It is an exciting thriller with little politics, except for the long speech to a joint session of Congress in chapter 128.

9/10

I met Artie

Singles and Smiles, How Artie Wilson Broke Baseball’s Color Barrier by Gaylon H. White; 2018; 201 pages; Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD; 978-1-5381-0790-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 6/22/18-6/26/18

Why did I read this?  Because i knew Artie.  My wife, Ruthann, sewed for his wife, Dottie.  When they would have appointments I would accompany Ruthann and talk baseball with Artie.  He helped our youngest son, David with a report on Jackie Robinson, offering first hand recollections.  He was a true gentleman and it is hard to believe that he left this mortal coil eight years.  I like to think he is in a cornfield in Iowa playing ball with those he never had a chance to play with due to the segregation of sport for so many years.

Artie Wilson loved baseball. When he was 11 or 12 he took a job shining shoes so that he could buy a complete uniform before he was even on a team.  He worked in the steel mills in Birmingham, Alabama and played shortstop for the company team. While there he lost the top of his thumb, so he squeezed a golf ball to strengthen his thumb so that he could properly grip and throw the ball.  He joined the Birmingham Barons of the Negro American League and became one of the best hitters in the league.  He was the cause of a grievance between Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees.  He made it into a few games for the New York Giants 1951, put was sent to the minors because calling up Willie Mays would mean that there were too many blacks on the team.  Artie played in the Pacific Coast League for years until he was injured, if he could have found a way he would have kept playing.  This is a good account of the life of a good man.  Artie is enshrined in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame, the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, and the Puerto Rico Baseball Hall of Fame.  He won four Pacific Coast League batting titles, he was a four time Negro League All Star selection, he and Piper Davis and considered one of the best double play combinations ever. More than everything else Artie was one hell of a man.