Books Read: March 2022
Time has gotten away from me recently, mostly because I’ve been staying away from this glowing screen with the attached keyboard quite a bit. Spring is doing its thing where I live and I’ve been leaning in hard to my non digital hobbies, so I totally forgot yesterday was the end of the month. It also explains why I didn’t post anything else all month. I have ideas in my head, but haven’t wanted to sit at my machine and make it happen. We’ll see what happens in April.
The Rooster Bar
We’ve started doing our regular trip the library again to browse the shelves and I picked up this John Grisham book while on one of those trips. Grisham is usually reliably entertaining and not too much work and that’s what I was in the mood for and he delivered. Three law students who are going to a for profit law school that isn’t giving them a great education and they’re all in large amounts of debt, decide that maybe law school isn’t for them. But of course they need to make money and off we go as they scheme around ways to pretend to be lawyers and pull off fraud. It’s not the best Grisham, but it’s probably not the worst either.
Home/Land: A Memoir of Departure and Return
After the 2016 election, Rebecca Mead and her husband decide they don’t want to live in the US anymore and Mead, from the UK, wants to move back to her home country. The book isn’t exactly a memoir about that though, it’s more about her family history in London as well as her thoughts on the future her son will inherit. It’s also astonishing how easy it seems for Mead to sell a home in one expensive city and buy a home in another expensive city—not everyone could react to the election of our former president in quite the same way. I didn’t love this book, parts of it were interesting, but I also started to get annoyed with how much she failed to acknowledge that what she’d done wasn’t possible for those who would most be affected by the transition of administrations in the US.
The Storm of Echoes
The final book in The Mirror Visitor Quartet and it is quite an ending. Christelle Dabos weaves a tale brings together all of the disparate things Ophelia and Thorn have been searching for and we see Ophelia do what’s necessary to save those she loves. It’s a fitting ending, even if it felt very complicated at times, and I’ll miss Ophelia, I really enjoyed that character.
Jesus and John Wayne
The subtitle to this book is How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation and as Kristin Kobes Du Mez traces the history of Evangelicalism throughout the 20th and early 21st Centuries we see just how much White Christian Militaristic Patriarchal Nationalism has taken over the faith. It’s a hard read for someone who was involved in that world for quite a while and ultimately left because of many of the ideaologies she’s tracing through the movement. But it was also good to see all the dots connected, to know that I wasn’t imagining some things. Most of all, it’s been good to read about how the term evangelical no longer means a person who believes in a certain theology, but rather it’s a cultural and political movement. And it’s a movement that allows awful men to do awful things and excuses them at every turn.
Despite evangelicals’ frequent claims that the Bible is the source of their social and political commitments, evangelicalism must be seen as a cultural and political movement rather than as a community defined chiefly by its theology. (loc 5102)
Side note: I followed up this book by listening to the podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill and what a hard listen, but it touches on many of the things that Du Mez talks about with regards to masculinity and evangelicalism.
A new book in the series?!? This was very much in line with this series and I enjoyed another adventure with Sunny and her friends. These books move so quickly and the action for the last portion is usually non stop, making it hard to put down. I wonder if there will be more or if this is it.
An Honorable Man
I discovered Paul Vidich because he has a new book out and decided to go back and start with his first book instead. This book has the feeling of a John LeCarré book, set in the 1950s with the cold war in full swing and the attempt to find a mole within the very newly formed CIA. I had a hard time putting this one down for the last 100 pages and can’t wait to read more of his work.