uneven

Half Life, Collected Poems, 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart; 2017;$40.00; 718 pages; Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York, NY; 978-0-374-12595-0; checkeout from Multotnomah County Library, Central; 6/14/18-6/20/18

Why did I read this? Because in 2016 I decided that I was going to read the Pulitzer Prize Winners from each year and this is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry;

Everything from Biblical influenced works, to things that seem to pedophilia and murder, there are a few lines from some of the poetry that I liked, but overall i was not impressed.

6/10

unexpected consequences

Locking Up Our Own, Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.; 2017; $27.00; 239 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, NY; 978-0-374-18997-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 5/20/18-5/25/18

Why did I read this?  Back in 2016 I decided that I would read all the Pulitzer Prize winning books. LOCKING UP OUR OWN was the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for General Non-Fiction.

The author takes a look at what drove African Americans to vote for measures such as maximum and minimum sentences, three strikes and other strident anti-crime measures.  Even though these measures would have a strong effect on the African American population of the United States.  The United States only contains 5% percent of the worlds population, however we house 25% of the worlds prisoner.  The author looks at the effects the heroin and crack epidemics, and the violent crime that came with them, had on the African American population.  Crime was so rampant that the population thought these measures would be effective in curing crime.  However due to the systemic racism in our law enforcement and judicial systems there has been an explosion of numbers of African Americans imprisoned.  Unfortunately we often look at the short term solutions without thinking about the long term effects of what we are doing.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  The population was looking for a solution for a crime wave and they imposed measures that helped stem the crime, but didn’t foresee the long term consequences.

I’m Alright

Caddyshack, The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty; 2018;$26.99; 291 pages; Flatiron Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-10595-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 5/8/18-5/9/18

Why did I read this? Because Caddyshack is one of my all time favorite movies.

This traces the path from the Harvard Lampoon through Lemmings to Animal House to Caddyshack for the writers and stars of Caddyshack. It has interviews with most of the people involved in the creation and production of the movie. It is an enjoyable read of what was a largely improvised comedy. The movie involved two of my favorite actors, Michael O’ Keefe and Bill Murray (what is the secret 800 number) in a movie that was targeted at the demographic I was in at the time. It was fun to read the behind the scenes recollections of those involved and to see how the movie evolved to what it was.

What is with the title of the review?  it is the name of the title song of the movie by Kenny Loggins.  It is a song that always makes me smile.

Grade 10/10

turf wars

6thThe 6th Man by David Baldacci; 2011; $27.99; 416 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-0-466-57310-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 4/25/18-4/25/18

Why did I read this?  Because I enjoy reading stories by Baldacci and am trying to read through his multiple series.  I am currently reading through the King and Maxwell series, of which this is the penultimate book.

King and Maxwell are contacted by King’s old law school professor to look into an alleged serial killers life.  The professor is defending the serial killer but before they are able to meet with him he is assassinated.  The serial killer is a former intelligence analyst, one of the all time best the government has ever seen.  The DHS Secretary and other intelligence agencies are jealous and overly protective of their turf.  The agencies are pulling out all the stops to sideline the agency and company the analyst works for.  King and Maxwell are subjected to all kinds of terrorism by their own government and forces within it.  King and Maxwell manage to figure out the conspiracy and shut down the rogue elements within the government.

10/10

What is with the title of the review?  It is well known that the intelligence agencies within the United States Governments don’t play well with each other and that they will do whatever is necessary to protect their turf and Baldacci builds on that.

 

 

not an alternative, but additional facts

An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz; 2018;$27.95;276 pages; Beacon Press, Boston, MA; 978-0-8070-1310-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 4/19/1/-4/25/18

Why did I read this?  Because I was only taught one perspective of the history of the United States.

Sir Winston Churchill said “History is written by the Victor”, while not completely true, most of what is taught to us as children is written by the dominant group.  So most of the history of the United States was written by rich white men so the that the accomplishments of people of color and women have been diminished.  Paul Ortiz has assembled many facts that augment the history that we have been taught.  This was a very interesting read and added to my appreciation of under reported facts.

What is with the title of the review?  This is not an alternative history but is facts that augment what I already knew.

10/10