Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time for a Laugh

And yes, I found it. I headed out for my walk this morning with a new book on my mp3 and laughed snarkily all around the block! Cathleen Schine's The Three Weissmanns of Westport  is promising to be the scathing, witty, ferociously sarcastic and laugh out loud funny book I've been waiting for and a perfect antidote to the book I started in my car this week, the one that will likely take me the rest of the summer to finish.

Pulitzer winner The Hemingses of Monticello weighs in at 25 cd's and requires a concentration that I probably shouldn't be giving to a book while I'm driving. Nevertheless, I think it's a book everyone who claims to have even a vague understanding of the devastation wrought upon an entire people by the scourge of slavery needs to read. Historian Annette Gordon-Reed's book has been called the definitive history of the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sarah (Sally) Hemings and the effect that this relationship has had on the children of that relationship down through the generations.

More than that though, it appears to be a look at the way the Jamestown colonists managed to manipulate and rewrite the laws of British society in order to acquire, hold on to, and expand their vast wealth and land holdings and how Africans, kidnapped and exported from their own country, were used as a form of money or bargaining chip to aid and abet this land grab.
If you've ever found yourself against reparations in the past, this book will change your mind.

I've got so much more to say - so many books to talk about - but work calls. I have a new book from Barbara at Library Journal that I just finished last night. More about that after the review is published. I've also started my next book discussion book Cutting for Stone, which I'm reading on my Sony. Abraham Verghese's use of language makes me swoon and always has. I like to think that "I knew him when," as not too many readers are familiar with his first beautiful book The Tennis Partner.

I'm also trying to put together a ferociously ambitious summer trip for me and Don which involves a wedding in Ohio, a B and B in Gt. Barrington, a few days in NYC - just got tickets for the King Tut exhibit - and then, I hope, a tour of the White House and a couple of days to swing and read on the deck in Chesapeake Beach. Whew!

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