What Our Staff is Reading
The following are fiction and non-fiction titles that have been read and recommended by members of our staff. The initials or pen name of the contributing staff member are noted after each review. The titles may include award winners, not-so-recent bestsellers or a new look at the classics.
By Brooke Allen
This a provocative and interesting look at the religious tenets our founding fathers espoused.
Learn some of the personal behaviors and thoughts of Franklin, Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton when it came to religion. Most of the framers of the Constitution were Deists who did not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, heaven, hell or revelation. They believed a "power" or "providence" created the world but did not take an active role in its day to day activities. America was planned to be an enlightened ideal and an asylum against fanaticism. It may make some readers who peruse this book uncomfortable with the real faith history of our early leaders.
Moral Minority is a well-written, investigatory journey into our early governmental origins.
Reviewed by Carol Ann Strahl/em>
By Michael Chabon
Everything was doing fine on Telegraph Avenue until Gibson Goode, a former football star and the fifth-richest African American in the USA decided to come back to his old neighborhood and build a gigantic, multi-story “record-store-and-more” to celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made to our musical culture. This venture would bring lots of jobs to the neighborhood and Goode would be giving back to the community that raised him before he became a star, but for Archy and Nat, there was a huge problem. Goode’s record emporium would have a supersized Used Vinyl Department and that would put Archy and Nat’s store out of business in no time at all.
Be prepared to consult your dictionary as you read this book, as Chabon’s vocabulary is rich and varied, just as his characters are varied, even if, other than Gibson Goode, they might not be especially rich.
This was the best fiction book I read in 2012.
Reviewed by Jack Edson
By Leila Meacham
Three friends are connected by a tragic event that occurred when they were teenagers. Even in adulthood, there are reminders of what transpired and threads that lead them back to a small Texas town. The book reads like a soap opera with a southern twang and like daytime television it can suck you right into the story.
Reviewed by Kristi D