2016 Reading Review – Part I

In this segment: African American Literature and Memoir. (See the full list of my 2016 reading here.) African American Literature continues to be one of my most-read genres. I find it intellectually challenging as well as emotionally moving. 2016’s reading was no exception. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson | This was a […]

On His 149th Birthday

In honor of the birthday (yesterday) of one of my intellectual heroes, I thought I’d write a few words. I first encountered W.E.B. Du Bois in a college US history survey in my second year. We read an excerpt from The Souls of Black Folk and I was moved to read the whole book that […]

The Messiness of Grace

As a parting gift (before we move to Utah), my wife’s pastor gave her a copy of Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor (or pastrix) of House for All Sinners and Saints church in Denver. I quickly scooped it up and was delighted by the read. […]

“Such a Jason Book”

I grew up on Garrison Keillor’s “News from Lake Wobegon,” often enjoyed on summer trips up to the small town where my parents grew up. The combination instilled in me a love for stories set in small town America. Now I have a dedicated shelf in my living room for “books with that small town feel.” […]

Who Do You Think You Are?

Earlier this month I read Mindy Kaling’s 2011 memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? It was a Christmas gift in keeping with my reading of Bossypants (by Tina Fey) and Yes Please (by Amy Poehler, my review here). This was perhaps the most interesting as a memoir, because I didn’t know Kaling’s backstory. Unlike Fey and […]

2014 Reading Review – Part 1

I finished 29 books in 2014. Considering what else we have going on in our lives, I think that’s a pretty good number, though I’m always interested in reading more. Since my reviews came out to over 2,000 words, I’ve decided to break things up a bit. Below is entry 1 of 2. Feel free […]

Getting to Know a Favorite Author

In a departure from the more difficult reading of late, I’ve returned to another favorite genre: memoir. In this case, the book I just finished was Ann Patchett’s This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. The book is actually a collection of her non-fiction work, basically the writing that paid her bills before her […]