Archive for the ‘Harry Crews’ Category

Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter” by Diana Souhami. I found it an interesting look into the period and a gossipy view of the lives of the upper classes, I thought Mrs. Keppel was a strong figure but her daughter, I did find worth knowing about. something to pass the time but nothing more.

The White Masai” by Corinne Hofmann. An absurd woman in an absurd situation that I found instantly annoying, but the look into the life of the Masai, the culture frictions, the pathetic doomed efforts of the author and her Masai husband to make it work. after a while I was just mesmerized by Corinne’s refusal to give up on something almost no one would ever even contemplate doing. Movie clip here.

“Breaking Clean” by Judy Blunt. I thought this memoir was really well written as well as fascinating look into the ranch life on the plains of Montana. Tough people, and an unforgiving way of life that the author ultimately leaves to become a writer.

“A Childhood” by Harry Crews. another tough childhood, much more so, set in Georgia in the 1930’s and early 40’s. I loved this book BUT it is full of dire poverty, and brutality. I think I liked the author’s voice, and afterwards I went on youtube and saw a short film interviewing the guy as an old man and liked him, but I could imagine you guys loathing him and the book. Brian ran away from me when I tried to read bits of it to him. so…I got all of the above books from my sister Linda, who is always digging these memoir things out of Amazon or the Wheaton library bookstore, and, for me, its like meeting a “character” whom I am unlikely to meet in life. like armchair travel, but armchair stories of other people’s lives.

The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson. a really good history of the migration of blacks out of the Jim Crow south from WW 1 through the 1970’s. It takes the stories of three individuals from different eras, going to different cities to make the story more personal. The author interviewed 1200 people and extensively interviewed her main subjects and their families.

“Empress of All Maladies” by Siddartha Mukerjhee, an oncologist. He tells the history of cancer,and cancer research from ancient Egypt to now. I steeled myself for this book and put off reading it, and I have to say its most awful in its depiction of the over-enthusiastic treatments doctors have used in the past, and most cheering in his description of our study of what cancer is, not just how do you kill this thing we don’t understand. still, its well written, good, but a subject that mostly one simply doesn’t want to think about.


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