Blonde Roots (Bernardine Evaristo)

No, this book isn’t about hair.  This is the other kind of Roots (note the italics)…except Evaristo has flipped the script.  What if, in some alternate reality, blacks had enslaved whites?  What – if anything – would be different?  And before you ask, this isn’t some alt-right “reverse racism” fantasy.  Rather, Evaristo shows that while … Continue reading Blonde Roots (Bernardine Evaristo)

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has a lot in common with Killers of the Flower Moon.  Both are fascinating pieces of on-the-ground journalism about events that happened decades ago;  both Grann and Skloot worked extensively with living family members of the people involved, and helped solved mysteries the family members never had answers to.  … Continue reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Trevor Noah)

I had never heard of Trevor Noah until he took over The Daily Show from Jon Stewart.  (I’m not well-versed in the comedy world, so he was probably way better known than I realized.)  I don’t watch much TV, but I did watch some of his standup comedy on YouTube.  He’s funny, of course.  But … Continue reading Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Trevor Noah)

Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (Christine Leigh Heyrman)

I got this book several years ago. At the time I thought it sounded fascinating (and it is), but for whatever reason I never got around to it till now. But I’m actually glad I waited. Southern Cross makes so much more impact, and is so much more timely, in today’s post-Trump evangelical landscape. It’s … Continue reading Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (Christine Leigh Heyrman)