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Now Reading:

A list of books that I am
now reading or have read
since I started this list in late 2000

As with many of us, I do not read as much as I would like to, want to, or need to.  I have all the usual excuses but the fact is that few activities are as satisfying as reading.  Here are the books that I am now reading or have read over the past few months.  I hope you find this helpful.

I'll try to keep this page current but don't be surprised to find it a bit out of date.  For some of these books, I have placed a link to Amazon.COM, the on-line bookstore; click on the link to go to Amazon. COM where you can read more about the book and order it if you wish. 

My favorite Bible.

This page was last edited on September 06, 2016

Now Reading, or , Recently Read, or, Read

Update as of 15 December 2010

Plunder and Blunder:  The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy, by Dean Baker.  Baker is director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC.  Baker's  book chronicles the growth and collapse of the housing and stock bubbles and explains how unwise policy decisions and outright greed led to the market meltdowns.  Baker also describes how the housing and stock market meltdowns were completely predictable.

The Housing Bubble:  Why Did House Prices Fall?, by Lawrence Roberts.  Roberts lives in Irvine, California, home to several of the huge mortgage lending companies whose greed and fraud led to the collapse of the housing market.  This book is a detailed analysis of the psychological and mechanical causes of the rally and subsequent fall of the housing market.

The Monster:  How a gang of predatory lenders and Wall Street bankers fleeced America -- and spawned a global crisis, by Michael W. Hudson.  This book will make you want to take up arms against Wall Street bankers, crooked mortgage loan officers, crooked appraisers, and the rest of the crooks posing as legitimate business people who led the USA into the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression -- and, as of late 2010, we have not recovered from this crisis that may still surpass the Great Depression in its impact on America.  Hudson chronicles the rise and fall, and interconnections, of Ameriquest and Lehman Brothers -- the biggest subprime lender and Wall Street's biggest underwriter of subprime lending.

Winner-TAke-All Politics:  How Washington Made the Rich Richer -- And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson.  We all know the facts and figures:  Up until the 1970's, economic growth was spread fairly evenly across all income levels; working people and the middle class saw their incomes and accumulated wealth increase, albeit at a slightly lower pace than that of the wealthiest Americans.  All that changed in the 1970's so that, by 2010, the top 1 percent of Americans owned 35 percent of the nation's wealth; the next 19 percent owned 50 percent of the nation's wealth.  Thus, by 2010, the top 20 percent of Americans as rated by wealth owned 85 percent of the nation's wealth.  America, once a nation that prided itself on our strong middle class, now resembles a "banana republic," with a few wealthy people at the top owning most of the wealth and with wealth continuing to trickle up away from middle- and lower-income people.  Hacker and Pierson investigate this phenomenon and discover that the culprit is in Washington, DC, where our government has done everything possible to favor the wealthy while stripping protections from middle- and low-income people.  Winner-take-all politics has now become winner-take-all economic policy.

Update as of 8 July 2010.

The Origins of Southern Sharecropping, Edward Royce.

The Crucible of Race:  Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation, Joel Williamson.

William Faulkner and Southern History, Joel Williamson.  AN EXCELLENT WORK.

Ghost Wars:  The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, Steve Coll.

The Reivers, William Faulkner

The Origins of Southern Sharecropping, William Royce.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami

When the Peaches Get Ripe:  Letters home from Lt. Robert Gaines Haile, Jr., Essex Sharpshooters, 55th Va., 1862, Edited by Robert M. Tombes.

William Faulkner and Southern History, Joel Williamson.

Go Down, Moses, William Faulkner.

The Limits of Power:  The End of American Exceptionalism, by Andrew J. Bacevich.

The Snopes Trilogy -- The Hamlet, The Town, The Mansion, by William Faulkner.

Flags in the Dust, by William Faulkner.

The End of America:  Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, by Naomi Wolf.  Somewhat hysterical but worth reading.  Dial down her screaming a few degrees and you'll hit the truth

American Fascists:  The Christian Right and the War on America, by Chris Hedges.  Again, a bit over the top -- but not much. 

The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore.  Superb.

A Crack in the Edge of the World:  The Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, by Simon Winchester.  Tedious.  This book would have made a great magazine article.  As a book it went on and on and on and on and . . .

I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots, by Susan Straight.  Set primarily in a tiny Gullah-speaking village in South Carolina, Straight's elegant coming-of-age novel--a BOMC selection in cloth.  The book started out well then got lost.  In my opinion it's not worth the hype it receives.

Thy Kingdom Come:  How The Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America:  An Evangelical's Lament, by Randall Balmer.  Now and then an important book is published.  Sometimes the importance of the book is recognized when it hits the street.  At other times the impact of the book is not recognized for some time.  Let's hope the importance of this book is recognized immediately.  I have purchased several copies of this book and mailed them to my Congressional representatives.  For much of American history, evangelicalism was aligned with progressive political causes. Nineteenth-century evangelicals fought for the abolition of slavery, universal suffrage, and public education. But contemporary conservative activists have defaulted on this majestic legacy, embracing instead an agenda virtually indistinguishable from the Republican Party platform. Abortion, gay marriage, intelligent design--the Religious Right is fighting, and winning, some of the most important political battles of the twenty-first century. How has evangelical Christianity become so entrenched in partisan politics?

Randall Balmer is both an evangelical Christian and a historian of American religion. Struggling to reconcile the contemporary state of evangelical faith in America with its proud tradition of progressivism, Balmer has headed to the frontlines of some of the most powerful and controversial organizations tied to the Religious Right. With a skillful combination of grassroots organization, ideological conviction, and media savvy, the leaders of the movement have mobilized millions of American evangelical Christians behind George W. Bush's hard-right political agenda.

The Untidy Pilgrim, by Eugene Walter.  Walter is a Mobile, Alabama, native who spent a lot of time in Italy before returning home to Mobile.  He was an associate of Pat Conroy; Walter died in 1998.  There is an annual writers' festival in Mobile in his honor. Also reading Milking the Moon by Eugene Walter.

To Dance with the White Dog, by Terry Kay.  The main character in this novel is an 81-year-old man whose wife dies.  After her death, he finds (or, is found by) a white dog.  For the longest time, only he can see the dog -- his children and friends begin to doubt his sanity because they can't see the dog.  This is a fine story and a great book.

A Century Of War : Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, by William Eghdahl.   This is an IMPORTANT book and you need to read it.  When the British and U.S. navies shifted from coal-fired ships to oil burners, access to oil became a primary strategic motivator.  Soon thereafter, the economies of Western Europe and the U. S. became totally dependent on access to oil.  As the 20th Century progressed, the economies of the rest of the world followed suite.  We are now captive to (1) the nations who control the world's oil and (2) the need to access that oil.  This is NOT a pretty book.  But we are not in a pretty dilemma.

Several years ago I read Pat Conroy's book The Water is Wide.  As a newly-minted teacher, Conroy was assigned to teach in a poor, isolated black community on Dafuskie Island, one of the inhabited barrier islands off the coast of South Carolina.  The original inhabitants of Dafuskie -- descendants of Gulla slaves -- have been replaced by millionaires and their MacMansions.  Conroy was fired after one year because of his unorthodox -- and successful -- teaching methods.  This book was made into the movie Conrack starring John Voigt as Conroy.  Later, I read Conroy's The Great Santini -- based on life with his abusive Marine fighter pilot father -- and The Lords of Discipline, based on his four years at The Citadel -- I then saw the movies made of these two books.  In mid-May 2006, my wife purchased a copy of The Pat Conroy Cookbook and after reading that, I read the rest of Conroy's works:  Beach Music, The Prince of Tides, and My Losing Season.  His first book -- The Boo -- was a tribute to a member of The Citadel staff, a gruff but lovable old lieutenant colonel -- it's obviously a first book by a new writer but it's worth reading, if you can find a copy.

The Pat Conroy Cookbook, by Pat Conroy.  Conroy is the author of several excellent novels -- The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, Lords of Discipline, Prince of Tides, Beach Music, and My Losing Season: A Point Guard's Way of Knowledge.  This cookbook is both a collection of Conroy's favorite recipes and stories about the origin of the recipes and people he met who enjoy cooking as much as he does.

The Island of the Day Before, by Umberto Eco.   This is the third book by Eco I have read.  The other two Eco books I have read are The Name of the Rose (you MUST read it) and Foucault's Pendulum (not easy to read, tedious, but worthwhile).  Umberto Eco is Italian.  He is a "medievalist" -- that is, he is thoroughly steeped in the history of the Medieval Period -- he knows the most arcane and obscure facts of the period and he incorporates them into this writing.  The plot of Island of the Day Before is a bit strange:  In 1634, a man is shipwrecked.  He floats for days on a hatch cover after which he finds a ship tied at anchor.  He climbs aboard, only to find that this ship is empty -- the crew is gone, vanished.  On board the ship are birds and plants -- they appear to be specimens collected for return to the home country.  He starts keeping a journal in which he writes letters back home to his fiancÚ' and in which he recounts his life to this point.  I suggest you go to Amazon. COM and read their plot summary.  This book -- as with the other two Eco novels I have read -- is not easy reading.  I generally read these books late at night, fortified with gin and tonic.

Losing America:  Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency, by Senator Robert C. Byrd.  In the months and years following September 11, 2001, Senator Robert C. Byrd viewed with dismay what he considers a "slow unraveling of the people's liberties," a time when dissenting voices were stilled and awesome power swung suddenly to the president to fight a "war on terror."  From his perspective of 454 years in the Senate, Byrd argues that for too long many of us have passively gone along, aiding and abetting a dangerous process. 

American Alone:  The neo-Conservatives and The Global Order,  by Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke.  Halper and Clarke are two respected, thoughtful, reasonable conservative scholars of foreign affairs.   This book explores how Bush's election and the events of 9-11-2001combined to allow a small group of radical intellectuals to seize the reins of U. S. national security policy.  This is a serious book, it is not polemical, it has no "gotchas," no sound bites.  It's serious and anyone who is concerned about our national security strategy and our relations with the rest of the world needs to read this.

Through Our Enemies' Eyes:  Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America, by Anonymous.  "Anonymous" is a veteran CIA officer with an extensive background in the Middle East and the Islamic world.  While Bin Laden's pronouncements may sound like the ramblings of a madman to the West.  But to a sizable population in the Muslim world, his words resonate with history and theology.  Bin Laden does not, in spite of George Bush's claims, "hate us for what we believe."  In fact, he hates us for what he believes we are doing to the Muslim world -- and a lot of people are listening to him.  We should listen, too -- and that's what "Anonymous" does in this book -- he tells us what Bin Laden is saying.

Against All Enemies:  Inside America's War on Terror, Richard A. Clarke. Clarke served over 20 years in various U. S. government agencies tracking and analyzing the terrorist threat.  He followed the growth of terrorism from fringe, state-sponsored groups to the sophisticated organization that is today's Al Qaeda.  In this book, he tells what he knows.  Clarke has been denounced by the Republicans as attacking George W. Bush.  In fact, Clarke criticizes every administration for which he worked for missing the warning signs.

American Dynasty:  Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, Kevin Phillips.  In his groundbreaking work Wealth and Democracy, Phillips reveals how the wealthiest Americans are set apart from the rules by which everyone else lives.  In this book, he describes how four generations of the Bush family have established themselves as American royalty and used their wealth and connections to further their family and their narrow ideology.

Had Enough?  A Handbook for Fighting Back, by James Carville.  The ragin' Cajun is at it again. This is an excellent handbook for confronting the lies, distortions, and attacks of the right.

House of Bush House of Saud, by Craig Unger.  How is it that on September 13, 2001 -- two days after 9-11, when all air traffic in the U. S. was grounded -- that a private jet was allowed to fly across the U.S. and leave our airspace with 140 Saudi citizens on board, including members of Osama bin Laden's family?  Nearly all the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi citizens yet the ruling family of Saudi Arabia continues to receive preferential treatment from the U. S. government.  The answer may lie in the largely hidden relationship between two immensely wealthy and powerful families -- the Bush family of Connecticut and Texas and the Saud family of Saudi Arabia.  Read all about it here.

The Radical Center:  The Future of American Politics, by Ted Halstead and Michael Lind.  This is a revolutionary book that every citizen needs to read.  Lind and Halstead argue that "Our nation's politics are dominated by two feuding dinosaurs that have outlived the world in which they involved."  The authors describe the three revolutions that have occurred in the U.S. and then detail how conditions now demand a fourth revolution.  Read this book and its companion, The Real State of the Union.

Against All Enemies:  Inside America's War on Terror, by Richard Clarke.  Clarke is a career member of the federal Senior Executive Service who started his career in 1973 as an analyst of nuclear weapons and European security issues in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  In May 998 President Clinton appointed him as the first National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism.  In his book, he traces the development of the terrorist threat to the U. S. and our reaction to the threat from the Reagan administration until March 2003.  This is an important book.

The Real State of the Union, edited by Ted Halstead, President, New America Foundation.  This book is a collection of 32 thoughtful, reasoned essays by talented and capable people.  The essays address every facet of life in America today.  Taking its title from the President's annual speech to Congress, the book starts by pointing out that the Presidential "State of the Union" message has gone from being a real assessment of the state of the union to being an hour-long photo-op -- and both parties are guilty of trivializing the SOTU speech.  The book's tone is set in the second essay by Ted Halstead in which he points out that there have been three major "social contracts" in our history -- and a fourth may be in the making.  This essay alone is worth the price of the book.  These essays do not bash right or left, do not call anyone names, and are not partisan.  You really need to read this book -- it is important.

Shrub:  The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, and, Bushwhacked:  Life in George W. Bush's America.  Both books are written by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose -- Texas journalists who are long-time writers about the Texas political scene and who know G. W. Bush all too well.  Shrub was written before Bush was selected President, Bushwhacked looks at his record after two years as President.  Too bad the national press ignored Bush's record in Texas before the 2000 election -- Bush is now doing to the entire nation what he did to Texas -- and it's ugly.

The Great Unraveling:  Losing Our Way in the New Century, by Paul Krugman.  Every thinking American needs to read this book -- which probably means it will be read by only a few.  At the beginning of the 21st century, the most advanced nation in history is under the control of the most radically reactionary forces in our history.  This nation has been hijacked by a rightwing mob that rejects the legitimacy of everything the U.S. stands for -- and they are getting away with it because the press is afraid to take them on.

The Lies of George W. Bush, by David Corn.  The title says it all.   Problem is, this book is only 324 pages long and to catalog all the lies by G. W. Bushitter would take ten times that many pages -- thus, the book only lists the really big lies.

Big Lies:  The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth, Joe Conason.  Title says it all.  Again, there is not enough paper and ink in the world to document the lies of the "right"  - Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Tom Delay, George W. Bush, American Spectator, Michael Savage,  James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Dinesh D'Souza, Richard Mellon Scaife, and on and on and on -- lie piled upon lie until the Big Lie becomes the Truth.

Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane.  Excellent.  Could not put it down.   This is a dark story.  Clint Eastwood has directed a movie based on the book -- hope the movie is as good as the book.

Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer.  Have not started on this one yet.

Blinded by the Right, by David Brock.  Brock was one of the big stars in the far right wing of the Republican party.  He wrote the book that destroyed -- or attempted to destroy -- Anita Hill.  Brock was a favorite of the right and was in the midst of much of what really was a "vast rightwing conspiracy" to trash the Clinton administration.  Then he saw the light.  Read this book.

Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Well, okay.  I read it and found it interesting -- but disappointing.  This is obviously a political book.   Now, when anyone asks her about anything in her husband's administration, she can say "Read my book."  I would have preferred that she spent less time chatting about life in the White House and spent more time describing her own political beliefs.

Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone:   The Carter Family and their Legacy in American Music, by Mark Zwonitzer.  Excellent work; recommend this book.   The Carter Family is widely recognized as the founding family of American country music.  Living in SW Virginia, the family was surrounded by a musical heritage that drew heavily on British ballads.  Discovered by RCA producer Ralph Speer in the historic 1927 Bristol (TN-VA) recording sessions, the Carter Family was an still is the first family of country music.

Portrait of a Killer:  Jack the Ripper Case Closed, by Patricia Cornwell.   My wife is a big Cornwell fan -- I have read only this one of her books.  Her writing is detailed and can be slow at times but there is no mistaking that every word is carefully researched.  However, this book would have made a great magazine article.   As a full-length book it repeats itself over and over and over.  This book is a case of a 30 minute speech crammed into five hours.

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, by Al Franken.  Franken has done us all a service by exposing some of the lies of the radical right and their mouthpieces -- O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Coulter, Bush, Cheney, and the like.  Franken is a comedian and that fact hurts this book -- he spends too much time being funny and that bites into his topic.  Still, he says what needs to be said about these radical rightwingers who have made The Big Lie tactic their own.

Made in Texas:  George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics, by Michael Lind.  Lind is a former conservative who saw the light.  Disgusted at the hate and venom he experienced daily as an insider in the conservative circles of William F. Buckley and other luminaries of the far right, Lind had a conversion and now writes, warning us of the serious threat from present-day Republican conservatism to our way of life.  In this book, he details how Southern militarism and racism, Southern elite economics that focuses on primitive commodity production, and Southern Protestant fundamentalism combined to capture Washington, DC -- and to threaten the American middle class.

The City and The Stars, by Arthur C. Clarke.  This book often comes as two books in one volume, the second being Clarke's The Sands of Mars.  I am not a big science fiction fan, having read very little of the genre.  The City and The Stars is philosophy and spirituality wrapped around a "science fiction" plot.  Read it.

Islam:   A Short History, by Karen Armstrong.  The author has written extensively on the world's religions, principally on Christianity.  She was a nun for seven years and her insights from that experience show through in all her writing.   Read this book -- it is important that we understand Islam. 

Undaunted Courage:  Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, by Stephen Ambrose.  2003 marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore up the Missouri River, across the Rockies, and to the Pacific following Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France.  Ambrose does his usual good job of making history live.

If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates, by Jim Hightower.  This book should be read along with Hightower's other book, There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Lines and Dead Armadillos.   Hightower is a give-'em-hell populist whose most famous line is "We don't need a third political party, hell, we need a second party!"

Up From Conservatism, by Michael Lind.  Lind describes his conversion from a rising star in the Republican rightwing conservative movement.  He then lays out why present-day Republican rightwing "conservatism" -- which is not conservative at all -- is bad for America.

Bush at War, by Bob Woodward.  Woodward wrote this book in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US.  Using interviews with principals, sources, and his extensive knowledge of Washington, he describes the processes and deliberations that led the Bush administration to declare war on terrorism.

Ghosts of Everest:   The Search for Mallory and Irvine, by Jochen Hemmleb, Larry Johnson, and Eric Simonson.  In the early 1920's, British expeditions tried several times to reach the summit of Mount Everest.  The last attempt, in June 1924, was led by George Leigh Mallory accompanied by his climbing companion Andrew Comyn Irvine.  On the morning of June 6, 1924, the two of them crawled out of their tent and headed for the summit.  Two days later, another member of the climbing team saw two lone figures high on Everest's northeast ridge, in his words, "going strong for the top."  They were never heard from again.  In 1999 an international expedition set out to find out what happened to Mallory and Irvine.  Read the book to see what they discovered.

A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn.  Zinn's book should be required reading in high school senior and college US history classes; he provides a well-researched and documented alternative to the usual heroic stories of our history.

Too Close To Call, by Jeffrey Toobin.  The story of the 2000 Presidential election.

Nickel and Dimed:  On Not Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenriech.   Few people realize that millions of Americans work full-time and yet are still in poverty.  Why?  Maybe you should try to live on $5 to $8 an hour.  That's what the author did.

Fast Food Nation:  The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by Eric Schlosser.  I purchased this book after hearing the author on NPR.  While reading this book, I realized why I bypass chain restaurants and fast food in favor of Mom-and-Pop restaurants -- at least, until fast food drives Mom and Pop out of business.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict; by Mitchell Bard.   The title says it all.  This book is not an attempt at scholarly examination of the Middle East -- but it's definitely worth reading.  You will come away from this book understanding that there likely is no comprehensive Mid East peace settlement possible, ever.

John Adams; by David McCullough.  Excellent, scholarly work.  I'm reading it -- slowly -- it's worth reading but it's more than I ever wanted to know about Adams.

Truman; by David McCullough.  Similar to his work on Adams; this book won the Pulitzer.   It's important because Truman was the post-war president who was responsible for enacting a lot of Roosevelt policies that were pushed aside by WW II, and, because Truman was the individual who started moving the Democratic Party away from being the party of Southern Jim Crow racism and toward being the party that would pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A Simple Plan, by Scott Smith.  This book was made into a movie starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, and Bridget Fonda.

Never Cry Wolf, by Farley Mowat.  Published in 1963, this book still should be read for its insights into how we share the earth with other creatures.

The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje.   I have not seen the movie made from this book.  The book is dark and the first half is difficult reading but it's worth the effort.

The Last Picture Show, by Larry McMurtry.

A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole.

The Infinite Plan, by Isabel Allende.  I have read several of her works over the past year and highly recommend Isabel Allende.   She writes superbly and weaves a good tale.

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. 

Eva Luna, by Isabell Allende

The Stories of Eva Luna, by Isabell Allende.

The Lexus and the Olive Tree, by Thomas FriedmanAn important book; Friedman explains globalization and its meanings for us all -- scary in places -- just like globalization.

Pleasures and Regrets, by Marcel Proust.

The Virtues of Aging, by Jimmy Carter.

The Age of Extremes:  A History of the World, 1914 - 1991, by Eric Hobsbawm.

The Supreme Identity, by Alan Watts.  This is difficult reading.  Watts was an Anglican priest who left the Church to pursue Eastern philosophies, religions, and spiritual pursuits.  He is regarded as the best "explainer" of Eastern spiritualism to Westerners.  In this book, he presents the idea of the Supreme Identity -- God to westerners -- and leads the reader to a discussion of how one can become one with the Supreme Identity.  Watts is one of the most significant and controversial spiritual teachers of our time. The book is out of print; you may be able to find a used copy through, Barnes and Noble, or a used book store.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer.

Fair and Tender Ladies, by Lee Smith. 

Foucault's Pendulum, by Humberto Eco.

A Distant Mirror, by Barbara Tuchman.

The Name of the Rose, by Humberto Eco.

River of Earth, by James Still.   

The Artist's Way:  A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron. 

Transforming the Appalachian Countryside, by Ronald l. Lewis.  The subtitle to this book is Railroads, Deforestation, and Social Change in West Virginia 1880 - 1920.  

Why People Believe Weird Things, by Michael Shermer. 

Fighting Back in Appalachia:  Traditions of Resistance and Change, edited by Stephen L. Fisher. 

Blue Ridge 2020:  An Owner's Manual, by Steve Nash. 

Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt

The Murrow Boys, by Stanley Cloud and Lynn Olsen

The Dancing Wu Li Masters, by Gary Zukav

Bastard Out of Carolina, and Skin: Talking About Sex, Class, and Literature, by Dorothy Allison

For The Time Being, by Annie Dillard

Undaunted Courage:  Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West, by Stephen E. Ambrose

In Retrospect, by Robert S. McNamara

Gathering Storm:  America's Militia Threat, by Morris Dees with James Corcoran

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Friere

Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson.  Recommend you read this one.  It is superb.

Citizen Soldiers, by Stephen E. Ambrose

Slouching Toward Gomorrah:  Modern Liberalism and American Decline, by  Robert H. Bork

Calendar:  Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year

Comrades, Avenge Us.

Into Thin Air:  A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

The Professor and the Madman

The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest, by Anatoli Boukreev

House of Sand and Fog, by Andre Dubus III

Meditations From a Moveable Chair, by Andre Dubus (father of Andre Dubus III)

My favorite Bible: 

Zondervan; New International Version; study Bible, leather-bound, with thumb-indexed pages.

Also -- read the "Cotton Patch Gospels" by Reverend Clarence Jordan.    Both a Biblical scholar and a prophetic man of action, Clarence Jordan lived out the New Testament in the soil of rural Georgia. A visionary during the struggle for the civil rights of all God's children, he founded an inter-racial community called Koinonia. On this farm, folks worked side-by-side to make a living, following Jesus - a radical concept fifty years ago. They experienced a great deal of opposition, even from those who followed the same Lord. This community still exists, Koinonia Partners, even though the visionary who started it died unexpectedly on October 29, 1969, at the age of fifty-seven. sells the various Cotton Patch Gospels. 

For more on the Cotton Patch Gospels, check out this website:

How about sending me an e-mail with your current or favorite readings.  Thank you !!


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