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What’s on My Nightstand – August 2019

by Tom Walker

I guess you could say I have good intentions. There are 690 books on my electronic nightstand – that is, in my ‘cloud’, and most of them I haven’t read yet. About a tenth of them are downloaded and waiting on my various devices. I’m a slow reader so I have to choose carefully. I should use the library but I like to support the authors.

I do have some two actual paperbacks nearby since I’m getting ready for our Tampa Bay Great Books fall conference on September 11 about American immigration. I just finished Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas and I’m almost finished with Coyotes: A Journey Across Borders with America’s Migrants, by Ted Conover. Both are excellent.

A recent good read was United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (And What We Can Do About It) by Mickey Huff and Nolan Higdon. I interviewed Nolan on my weekly Peace & Justice radio program on Sarasota’s WSLR FM. Another book I liked recently is Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America. It helped restore my faith in our country.

As for fiction, True Grit by Charles Portis was a fun read suggested by my wife, and an even more absorbing one was Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, featured in our January Great Books conference. Because of that I’m starting Home and then Lila, both by the same author about the same set of characters.

I’m in the middle of a science-fiction book The Three-Body Problem by Chinese author Liu, Cixin – but I don’t always finish a book.

For sure reading a couple of pieces a week chosen by our Sarasota Great Books group (ten months a year for almost 20 years!) and the several each month chosen by our local James Joyce Society keeps me busy as well. I feel very lucky to have found such well-read and engaging people!

◊ Member’s Nightstand with Linda Feeney: Currently, my night stand holds “Late Essays 2006-2011”  by J.M. Coetzee, insightful critical analyses of authors ranging from Goethe to Hawthorne to Philip Roth.  Also, Bob Dylan’s “Chronicles Volume One”, and The  “Overstory ” by Richard Powers, a somewhat post-apocalyptic story about trees.   The rest of the space is occupied by back issues of The New Yorker and The Atlantic and a paperback of Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory”, which I fear has become a permanent resident. (6/27/18)

◊ Member’s Nightstand: Footsteps (Richard Holmes) highlights by Judy K. Patterson. Read more…

◊ Member Book Review: We Need New Names (NoViolet Bulawayo) by Anne Strozier.  Read more…

◊ Member’s Nightstand: Barbara Brown.  Read more…

◊ Notes from a Great Books “Newbie” by Barbara Brown.  Read more…….

◊ Summer Reading Tip from Judy Patterson, Tampa Bay Great Books Council member. Read more…….

◊Reading Through Shared Inquiry by Tampa Bay Great Books Co-Founder and Lead Moderator Patrick DeMarcoRead more …….

Updated August 18, 2019