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.
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.
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.
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.
Field of Valor by Matthew Betley; 2018; $26.00; 388 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-6198-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Northwest; 6/21/18-6/22/18
Why did I read this? I read the first two books in the series and am continuing to read the adventures of Logan West, John Quick and the rest of the team.
There was an organization formed to do good when governments couldn’t or wouldn’t do what is right. That organization has fractured and part of it is more interested in amassing global power than doing what is right. Logan and his team cross paths with the organization and partially team with the good side and battle the bad guys. Some of those bad guys are members of the US government and are acting in a treasonous manner which motivates the President to authorize West and his team to track down the treasonous members. Those members of the government are entrenched through the various levels and branches of the government. Lots of action, covert and overt, plenty of plot twists and things to take your breath away while reminding you that the various members of the team are still human and not automons. This is also true of most of the bad guys. A few of the disposable mercenaries are one dimensional but the majority of the characters are three dimensional.
The Outsider by Stephen King; 2018; $30.00; 560 pages; Scribner, New York, NY; 978-1-5011-098-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 6/9/18-6/14-18
Why did I read this? Because I think Stephen King is a great storyteller and I like reading his stories.
A young boy is found molested and murdered in a small town in Oklahoma and all signs point to the beloved little league coach. The lead detective and assistant DA march right over and arrest him in the middle of a game in front of the entire town. On the day of his arraignment he is killed. Shortly evidence comes to light that the coach wasn’t even in town at the time of the murder. As the investigation continues there seems to be a supernatural element forcing its way into the investigation. As the things proceed Holly Gibney from the Finders Keepers agency becomes a part of the investigative team and gradually convinces the other members of the team to embrace the supernatural part of the investigation.